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ARCHITECT OF THB CAPITOL
Mr. PACKARD. Please make your recommendations on that. I think the window of opportunity for those kinds of changes is greater now than it has been or probably will be at any other time. And also I think that we need to conclude by saying that it is not our goal, it is not our intention of simply downsizing for the sake of downsizing.
If we can't do it better, if we can't do it more efficiently and do more with the same amount of money or less, then we may not wish to go that way. We are certainly not locked in stone, and no decisions have been made. But we are looking at all of the options. We see some great opportunity to make some changes in the way the Architect operates and with his different departments.
I have several questions to insert for the record. [The questions and responses follow:] ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL—THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL PROGRAM-CORE
RESPONSIBILITIES Question. If you were starting over today, how would you organize your resources? What size of permanent workforce do you need just for your core responsibility?
Response. In my opinion, the “core responsibilities” of the office consist of the following: the maintenance and renovation of historic buildings as well as ordinary office buildings; the design and construction of new buildings; the design and construction of major and minor modifications to existing buildings; the design and construction of major projects such as the Fort Meade project for the Library of Congress; the maintenance and restoration of works of art both free standing and as integral parts of buildings; the protection of the urban design aspects of Capitol Hill; the providing of interior design needs; the providing of landscape architecture for Capitol Grounds; the providing of derivative architectural and engineering needs associated with the above responsibilities.
An important aspect of the fulfilling of responsibilities is that the Congress has established a centralized office, i.e., the Architect of the Capitol, to provide professional services to the House, the Senate, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court. Inherent with such a structure is the organizational efficiency that would be reduced if, for example, each entity provided its own services.
Centralization within the office of the Architect began many years ago when the Congress authorized a single appropriation for our professional, technical, and administrative staff. This arrangement allowed the office the opportunity to provide professional architectural, engineering, and administrative direction and support from my central staff to the Building Superintendents, Chief Engineers, Landscape Architect, and Facilities Managers. That central professional expertise present in the office of the Architect is available for use and application throughout the various entities that comprise the Capitol complex and organizationally, in my judgment, offers the opportunity for efficiency in financial terms as well as consistency in the protection and preservation of the $3.5 billion worth of historic assets.
In that regard, I would organize our resources to take advantage of more centralization. We have already centralized our electronics engineers and technicians and our elevator test crews. The submission of our so-called function budget enables the office operations to be seen in their overall aspects throughout the Capitol Complex rather than viewed in the artificial light of the various separate appropriations.
I would, nevertheless, continue to provide some portion of maintenance services, for example, separately for the Capitol, House, Senate, etc., thus assuring adequate response to the needs of each entity and at the same time taking advantage of the efficiencies associated with centralization such as is done on most university campuses, which we physically resemble.
I would suggest being relieved of responsibility for domestic care of the House and Senate Office Buildings as well as the operation of food service facilities. On that basis, and by some additional centralization of our maintenance activities I believe that a permanent work force of approximately 1,600 employees would probably suffice. That might be further reduced by contracting out certain functions provided, of course, that analysis indicates that arrangement would be a cost saving measure. BUDGET OUTLINE Question. We would like to see a budget outline for a scaled down AOC operation-stripped on the ancillary functions that have grown over the years. Please submit that for the record.
Response. A scaled down budget for the operations under the Architect of the Capitol, stripped of ancillary functions, would total approximately $145,485,000, for all "House" and "Joint” items, and 8% reduction of $12,721,000 from the requested amount of $158,307,000 for all “House” and “Joint” items.
If the amounts for the "Desirable” projects totalling $5,330,000 are not funded, then the required amount for fiscal year 1996 reduces to $140,155,000. Additionally, if the amounts for “Highly Desirable” projects, totalling $10,463,000 are not allowed, the fiscal year 1996 appropriated level would reduce to $129,692,000. Finally, if the “Critical” projects totalling $24,486,000 are not funded, then the requirement for fiscal year 1996 further reduces to $105,206,000.
The following summary illustrates these amounts.