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the Secretary of the Treasury for the Bureau of Federal Supply to organize a central staff to assist the Catalog Board in developing the details of a uniform system, and in the work required for the coordination of agency cataloging activities with this system. The War and Navy Departments agreed with these provisions, actively participated in the formulation of plans for a Federal catalog system, and contributed almost two-thirds of the funds to support a nuclear central staff in the Bureau of Federal Supply during fiscal year 1947. Provision for continued support of the central staff in fiscal year 1948 was not made by the military departments inasmuch as the United States Standard Commodity Catalog Board had secured the approval of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget for the Treasury Department to include in its budget for fiscal year 1948, the funds required to cover the entire cost of the central staff.
The Assistant Secretary of the Navy and the Under Secretary of War, on March 18, 1947, jointly addressed a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury emphasizing the urgent need of the armed services for a unified cataloging system, and requested his personal assistance in paving the way for complete activation of the central catalog staff in the Bureau of Federal Supply by a request to Congress for adequate funds to proceed with this project. The Treasury Department subsequently requested supplemental funds to support the central staff in the Bureau of Federal Supply in fiscal year 1948. The House Appropriations Committee rejected the request with the recommendation that planning and coordination be continued before resubmitting the proposal.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MUNITIONS BOARD CATALOGING AGENCY
Meanwhile, on July 3, 1947, the Army-Navy Munitions Board had established the Army-Navy Munitions Board Cataloging Agency (subsequently renamed the Munitions Board Cataloging Agency), among the defined functions of which were the following:
(1) To ascertain the areas in which joint Army-Navy cataloging operations are practicable;
(2) To coordinate Army-Navy cataloging operations with the Federal cataloging system. After the refusal of Congress to appropriate funds for the central catalog organization for the Federal catalog system, the Munitions Board Cataloging Agency proceeded immediately to develop plans for a uniform cataloging system to include all items of supply in the armed services. It incorporated the basic principles of the plan for the Federal catalog system which the services had participated in developing under the direction of the United States Standard Commodity Catalog Board. The Agency is employing a method providing for the performance of all technical functions in the bureaus, services, and commands within the departments, with only a small coordinating staff to be located in the Munitions Board.
PARTICIPATION OF CIVILIAN AGENCIES
Recognizing that the interest of the Federal Government can best be served through continuing close cooperation and working contacts between the cataloging activities of the civil and Military Establishments, an agreement for the development of a uniform Federal catalog system was reached on June 3, 1948, between the Chairman of the Munitions Board and the Director of the Bureau of Federal Supply, with the approval of the Director, Bureau of the Budget, the provisions of which, in general, are:
(1) That the present plans and procedures of the Munitions Board Cataloging Agency are satisfactory for initiating Federal cataloging operations, it being understood that the Agency is further developing the elements of cataloging in accordance with basic principles developed under the sponsorship of the United States Standard Commodity Catalog Board ;
(2) That the Bureau of Federal Supply be represented on the executive group of the Agency, that civilian agencies having major supply problems be represented on the technical group of the Agency, and that the Bureau of Federal Supply be responsible for such coordination as will assure that cataloging developments initiated by the Agency are made available to interested civil establishments; and
(3) That upon completion of the Munitions Board cataloging program, the
future respective responsibilities of the Agency and the Bureau of Federal Supply would, in the absence of legislative direction, be determined by agree
ment between the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Treasury.
RELATIONSHIP OF THE MUNITIONS BOARD CATALOGING PROGRAM AND NORMAL
CATALOGING OPERATIONS OF THE THREE DEPARTMENTS
The Secretary of Defense has directed integration of the work already done by the services, bureaus, and commands with the Munitions Board program with the minimum interruption of normal operations. In accordance with this directive, scheduling of operations under the Munitions Board program, or, when necessary, rescheduling of normal operations is being effected to insure integration of the two programs to the maximum degree practicable, thus eliminating duplication of effort,
Utilization by the military departments of the cataloging data developed in the Munitions Board cataloging program will be initially effected by cross-referencing existing names, descriptions, and numbers to the uniform names, descriptions, and numbers developel under the Munitions Board program. Upon the completion of the commodity classification system, now under deevlopment, and as whole segments of the entire range of commodities to be catalogued are completed, the Munitions Board Cataloging Agency system may be placed wholly in effect in all supply operations of the National Military Establishment. It is my understanding that the civil establishments contemplate a similar transition to the new system.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Admiral Ring, this statement of yours is in accord with the official Hoover Commission report on the Office of General Services, supply activities, as outlined on page 6, is it not?
Admiral Ring. May I say, Mr. Chairman, it was not drawn up for that purpose. I would like to look at page 6, if I may. This is the position of the Munitions Board and the National Military Establishment. Do you have reference to recommendation No. 4?
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I had reference particularly to the language in the fifth line-I am referring to recommendation No. 6, on page 32, which reads as follows, after explaining the thing has been done just as you have explained it; and I think it might be well at this time to read that, if you will.
Admiral Ring. The last paragraph of that recommendation No. 6, under “Property Identincation,” in the Hoover Commission report, reads as follows:
Since the war, the National Military Establishment has made some progress toward a coordinated system of property identification, and the Bureau of Federal Supply is now cooperating in this endeavor. Nevertheless, a declaration of congressional policy insisting upon a Federal commodity catalog is necessary to insure conformity of some of the old-line civilian agencies and to insure continued military cooperation.
I believe that my statement is in accord with the policy therein set forth.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. And it is also in accord with section 107 of H. Ř. 2781, which seeks to carry out the declaration of congressional policy as recommended in the Hoover Commission report?
Admiral Ring. I believe it is in accord with the principle of section 107, yes, specifically with regard to (ii) of 107, which reads: To establish and maintain such uniform Federal supply catalog system to identify and classify personal property under the control of Federal agencies as may be appropriate.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. In your opinion the language of the bill which sets out this policy does not conflict with the coordinated policy which has been evolved in the last few years by the Military Establishment, the Munitions Board and the Federal Bureau of Suuply; that is, there is no contradiction in section 107 on that point, is there?
Admiral Ring. I would have to qualify my answer, Mr. Chairman, by calling to your attention something which I read in my initial statement, which is to the effect that upon completion of the Munitions Board's catalog program, the future respective responsibilities of the Agency and the Bureau of Federal Supply would, in the absence of legislative direction, be determined by agreement between the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Treasury.
We do not know what the future will bring. Section 107, upon this bill becoming law, would establish under its provisions, the responsibility of the Administrator, and possibly establish it prior to the completion of the Munitions Board Catalog Agency work.
I would personally like to see us complete that program which we now have under way, with the full cooperation of the military and other governmental agencies. Let us finish that and then determine the future of the agency. I think you will be able to go ahead faster by continuing the system which is now going, then immediately determine, if you will, what the future may be, that is, to whom the National Cataloging Agency will report in the future. I would like to see the present efforts continued for the time being.
Mr. HARVEY. This is becoming a bit complicated, and I am sure you will permit me to ask you a question or two. We had discussion in the testimony this morning, I believe from Congressman Anderson, in which he said the work on this catalog program and I am not sure he was referring to this particular Munitions Board catalog effort-would probably take 4 to 6 years to complete. Was it the Munitions Board catalog program to which he was referring this morning?
Admiral Ring. Both Congressman Anderson and I are referring to the same agency, and the speed that the agency is expected to make is the speed that the Congressman spoke of.
Mr. HARVEY. In other words, it will take about 4 to 6 years to complete the work and the activities and responsibilities of this Board in this connection?
Admiral RING. We hope to be completely finished with the socalled development phase of the catalog program by June 30, 1952, which will be roughly a little more than 3 years from now. That will only be the cataloging effort, and as new items come in, of course, will have to maintain the cataloging activities.
Mr. HARVEY. I understand that it will probably never be entirely complete, because there will be constant changes.
Admiral Ring. Yes.
Mr. HARVEY. Would it then be your opinion that this legislation, as presented in H. R. 2781, is premature!
Admiral Ring. You have asked me a very difficult question, Mr. Harvey, and I am not prepared to state that it is premature. It is possible, under section 107, for the Administrator to permit a continuation of the efforts that we are all making now, and I hope they can be effectuated. I am not saying that the enactment of this bill into law, with section 107, will interfere at all with the cataloging efforts.
Mr. HARVEY. Except, if I have correctly interpreted what you have tried to present, you do not think that we should establish anything by directive, or through legislation, that would cause conflict
or overlapping agencies to start out to do the same thing you are already in the process of completing. Is that right? Admiral Ring. That is my feeling; yes.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Let me develop that point a little further. As I understand it now there is a voluntary committee, composed of representatives of the Army, the Navy, the Bureau of the Budget, and the Treasury Department that is working on this matter, with representatives from the Federal Bureau of Supply, and on a purely voluntary, cooperative basis.
Admiral RING. No.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Will you explain to us just who is doing the job of cataloging and which agencies are cooperating?
Admiral Ring. My only reason for saying it is wrong, Mr. Chairman, is that I do not regard the job as voluntary when the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Defense and the Director of the Budget have directed something to be done.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Yes.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Let me revise my question to say that the work is being done under administrative orders rather than congressional direction.
Admiral RING. That is correct.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Now we seek to change it from administrative into congressional or legislative directive.
Admiral Ring. Yes.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Now that we have brought up that point I think we should have in the record an explanation of who is doing the job of cataloging, identification, and standardization. Can you tell me at this point how many people the Navy has working on this pro
Admiral Ring. The whole program of cataloging?
Admiral Ring. You are going to catch me there. I can give you the number of personnel required in the National Military Establishment for full-scale catalog operations. Under the Munitions Board Catalog Agency the estimate is as follows—and parenthetically we have not yet reached full-scale operation.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I understand.
Admiral Ring. The Department of Army, 576; the Department of Navy, 960; the Department of Air Force, 367; Munitions Board Catalog Agency staff, 176; or a total of 2,079.
Full complement will be reached by all three Departments and the Munitions Board Catalog Agency staff not later than January 1, 1950.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. All right. As I understand it, the Federal Bureau of Supply also is sitting in on a consultative basis, you might say, or on a liaison basis, in this cataloging effort?
Admiral Ring. It is a working basis, Mr. Chairman. The fact that it is limited to a very small number of people does not change my opinion of the position occupied by Mr. MacLeod, who will testify a little later, and Mr. Totten, who are full-time members of the
Munitions Board Catalog Agency executive group. Then there is participation down the line in the technicians group of the Bureau of Federal Supply-I should have those details with me—but I am not sure about the number of people. I do know that Mr. Totten and Mr. MacLeod sit in with the executive group of the cataloging agency.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. At this point, may I ask if Mr. MacLeod is in the room?
Admiral Ring. He is better prepared than I on that question. STATEMENT OF WILLIS S. MacLEOD, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, STANDARDS
BRANCH, BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY Mr. HOLIFIELD. I want to interrupt questions of you, Admiral Ring, because I want this information in the record along with the discussion of this point, to ask Mr. MacLeod how many people you have in the Federal Bureau of Supply working on this job?
Mr. MacLEOD. We have actively employed four people.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Four people against 2,079 in the military establishments. You also have some technicians.
Mr. MACLEOD. There are some who are on part-time assignment. We have some technicians who are doing work on a part-time basis, which is extracurricular to their regular assigned duties. But I would say that we have on a full-time basis one and a half people I do not think it would be more than that—who are technicians from the Specifications Division and who are given assignments to assist on a particular problem that is under way in this Munitions Board effort.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. They are sitting in with these people on this cataloging effort, on the final justifications, final agreements on items and in approving of the results.
Mr. MACLEOD. Yes. We have the status of a voting power in the executive group, in the cataloging agency. We are just members in all the others, along with the military, as Admiral Ring has told you.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Now up to date has there been any conflict on the part of your group in reaching decisions with the larger group?
Mr. MACLEOD. No; we have no trouble in that respect. Mr. HOLIFIELD. If you did object to the nomenclature or description of some article, you could only make that known in the way of advising
Mr. MACLEOD. No; we have an equal voting power. We have two votes; each Department in the military has two, or a total of eight votes in the Executive group on matters of policy and procedure.
Now of course, you understand that there might be instances when the civil establishment representatives will of necessity disagree with the military because there is a difference in the problem to be solved. Under those circumstances, because of the peculiar nature of their supply problem, we agree to conditions arising where they have to comply with certain requirements in the utilization of special equipment. We have an established procedure that is satisfactory to everyone, so there is really no disagreement. There are certain areas, because of the technical differences in military requirements and uses,
your views ?