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Government, the largest item of increase being for the Veterans Administration. Some of the factors involved in computing these work loads are purely speculative and the committee is not convinced that the full burden of the increased activity relied upon by the Department to justify the proposed increase in appropriation will materialize during 1946. The committee is pleased to note a reduction in the cost per unit of making disbursements. In 1941 the unit cost was .$0.0589. In 1945 it is $0.05277 and in 1946 it is estimated to be $0.05244. These reductions are small but considering the fact that the Division handles more than 80,000,000 items per annum the gross amount of the saving is worth while. It is to be hoped that the officials of the Department will keep a watchful eye on these costs at all times and effect further economies wherever possible.
Refund of moneys erroneously received and payment of unclaimed moneys. For a number of years annual appropriations in specific amounts under the two foregoing titles have been carried in the bill. The expenditures therefrom arise from circumstances beyond the control of the Department and the amount of the appropriation is in no sense a control over expenditure. _Frequently it has been necessary to appropriate deficiencies. The Budget proposed for 1946 that the two items be taken out of the specific appropriation category and appropriated for on an indefinite basis. While the committee is always reluctant to make indefinite appropriations and prefers to appropriate the exact amounts, it has approved the Budget proposal for these two items in view of the fact that the amounts to be paid cannot be predetermined. The committee does expect to review these items annually and keep a close check on expenditures.
Trust funds.—There are a number of trust accounts carried on the books of the Treasury Department and the committee has reviewed them with view to determining whether or not any could be dispensed with. Its study of the matter prompts it to recommend that the trust fund accounts entitled "Return of proceeds of undelivered Liberty Loan bonds belonging to subscribers whose whereabouts are unknown," "Return of proceeds of assets of Liberty Loan associations of banks and trust companies of New York,” and “Return of proceeds of Government obligations held for rightful owners” be abolished. The first two accounts result from operations during and shortly after World War No. 1. The third account was established in order to care for the proceeds derived from unmatured coupons from Government bonds or other Government obligations which it may be necessary to hold in the Treasury Department awaiting determination of the rightful owners. Any balances now in these accounts and any moneys received hereafter for proper credit thereto will be deposited in the trust fund receipt account “Unclaimed moneys of individuals whose whereabouts are unknown," and all claims for moneys so deposited will be settled for payment from the appropriation “Payment of unclaimed moneys." This procedure will simplify the accounting incident to management of these small funds.
BUREAU OF THE PUBLIC DEBT
Heretofore the annual appropriation act has carried three items for the administration of the public debt:“Salaries and expenses, Bureau of the Public Debt;" "Printing and binding, Bureau of the Public Debt;” and “Expenses of loans." The last item was not a direct
appropriation but a limitation on a permanent indefinite appropriation provided by section 10 of the Second Liberty Bond Act. The purposes for which the three appropriations were made were so interrelated that the distinctions made were purely arbitrary and for appropriating purposes only. The Budget for 1946 proposes a single direct appropriation for activities of the Bureau formerly covered by the three items and provides that the permanent indefinite appropriation shall not be available for expenditure. Amounts formerly allotted from “Expenses of loans” to the general counsel, $30,500; the Treasurer of the United States, $1,076,000; and guard force, Treasury buildings, $173,385, are estimated and appropriated for under these headings for 1946. The committee has approved this procedure and the amount carried in the bill, $84,250,000, is a reduction of $1,250,000 below the Budget estimate and $23,209,575 below appropriations for comparable items for 1945. However, of the 1945 appropriations, $18,754,906 will remain unexpended; so the reduction below actual expenditures for 1945 is $4,454,669.
This item includes the funds necessary to administer the outstanding public-debt issues as well as the expense of borrowings. The outstanding debt on June 30, 1944, was $201,000,000,000 and is expected, according to the President's Budget message, to rise to $292,000,000,000 by June 30, 1946. In 1945 approximately $51,000,000,000 will be borrowed and in 1946 the prophecy is that this amount will be reduced to $40,000,000,000 approximately.
The amount allotted to the War Finance Division, which is charged with responsibility for additional borrowings, is estimated in the Budget at $8,675,000 for 1946 as compared with $13,612,652 for comparable items in 1945. The remainder of the appropriation is for administrative expenses connected with the outstanding debt. The Budget includes $1,684,336 for travel and communications. Careful attention to these items as suggested heretofore in this report should result in savings which will absorb partially the reduction below the estimate. Inability of the Bureau to recruit personnel has resulted in savings in 1945, and this situation doubtless will continue through 1946. While some backlogs of work are accumulating as a result, these backlogs do not appear to be immediately serious and can be absorbed at a later date when manpower is plentiful.
TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES
Salaries and expenses. The amount carried in the bill, $4,600,000, is a reduction of $200,000 below the Budget and an increase of $841,187 over the amount appropriated for comparable items under this heading in 1945. However, there has been transferred heretofore from the appropriation “Expenses of loans” (which has been dropped from the bill as explained under the heading "Bureau of the Public Debt”) the amount of $1,010,000, which, for 1946, is included with the direct appropriation for the Office of the Treasurer. There is, therefore, an actual reduction of $168,813 below the 1945 appropriation. At the present time the Office of the Treasurer, due to inability to secure personnel, is operating at a much lower rate than was contemplated by 1945 appropriations and there is every indication that this situation will continue through 1946. The cost of operation of this office is being materially reduced by the further utilization of punch-card checks instead of paper checks. The extension of this program should enable the Department to absorb much of the reduction proposed by the committee.
OFFICE OF COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY
The items for Comptroller of the Currency, salaries $233,000, and printing and binding $12,000, are the same as the Budget estimates. These amounts represent only a small part of the funds expended by the Comptroller for operation of his office and the remainder, approximately $4,000,000, is secured from assessment on the national banks which the Comptroller of the Currency supervises. The committee has given consideration to eliminating the two appropriations from the annual act and requiring all expenses of the office to be paid from the assessment fund but has determined to carry them in order to keep an eye on the cost of supervision of banks. The committee believes that consideration should be given to amending the law in order to provide for annual review by Congress of all expenditures of this office.
BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE
The amount carried in the bill, $120,000,000, is a reduction of $1,840,000 below the Budget estimate and a reduction of $2,623,204 below the appropriation on comparable basis for 1945. However, the Salary Stabilization Unit accounts for $1,630,500 of the 1945 appropriation and this unit is not provided for in 1946 as the law which it administers expires on June 30, 1945. The reduction below the 1945 appropriation for continuing functions, therefore, is $992,704. Of the total amount in the estimate, $5,660,265 was earmarked for travel and communications. Careful attention to these items as suggested by the committee heretofore in this report should enable the Department to absorb a substantial part of the cut imposed without in any way hampering necessary activity. At the present time the Bureau is operating with considerably less personnel in the departmental service than was contemplated by the appropriation and if present employment levels are maintained through 1946 the resulting saving coupled with savings on travel and communications should enable the Bureau to operate within the recommended appropriation.
BUREAU OF THE MINT
The committee has approved the estimates for the Bureau of the Mint as submitted. This Bureau has found it necessary to resort to deficiency appropriations in order to be able to produce the amount of coin required during each of the past 6 years. These deficiencies have amounted to as much as 30 percent of the total of original appropria
While some reductions in original estimates have been made by Congress, these reductions have been relatively small as compared with the total deficiencies. The committee is in hope that estimates submitted for future years will be more nearly in line with known requirements of the Bureau.
Surplus-property program.--The amount carried in the bill, $15,000,000, is $5,750,000 less than the Budget estimate and $865,624 less than the amount appropriated for comparable items in 1945. This appropriation is for the expenses of the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department in carrying out the functions assigned to it under the Surplus Property Act of 1944. The disposal program is just beginning to develop and it is not possible to forecast accurately what the need for 1946 will be inasmuch as it is not possible to determine the amount or character of property which eventually will be turned over to the Procurement Division for disposal. Many of the items to be sold are of such character as to be readily usable by civilians and local governmental units while others-such as a quantity of helmets released by the Office of Civilian Defense-are not in demand on the civilian market and present a difficult and probably expensive merchandising problem. This latter category will be large and the best intelligence and ingenuity available must be utilized to recover for the Treasury the largest possible amount.
The committee realizes the magnitude of the task and is fully aware of the fact that a large-scale organization will be necessary to handle it. However, it is imperative that the cost of disposition of surpluses be held to a minimum in order that the Treasury may realize the maximum return. The committee, therefore, believes it good policy to await more accurate data as to quantity and character of commodities to be sold before increasing appropriations for the purpose. Departmental officials should watch the costs of this program closely and make every effort to avoid unnecessary expenditures.
Purchase of standard forms.-Inconformity with the Budget recommendation the bill carries authority to the Procurement Division to purchase standard forms and blank-book work from the Public Printer for stocking in field warehouses to be resold to agencies of the Government. At the present time each agency is required to order all such work directly from the Public Printer and the new provision of law is only to enable the Procurement Division to stock forms for those agencies which do not have warehouse facilities in the field. It is not intended to interfere with the present authority
. of the Public Printer over such items.
The accompanying bill carries a grand total of $1,057,049,290 for the Department and field. This sum represents a reduction of $8,486, 430 under the Budget estimate. It represents a decrease of $55,185,232 below the total of the appropriations for the fiscal year 1945.
However, the total cost of overtime and other additional compensation to postal employees under various temporary laws for which no estimates are included in the Budget for 1946 amounted to $95,731,813 so the amount recommended is $40,546,581 more, on a comparable basis, than the appropriations for 1945.
POSTAL RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES
The postal revenues for the fiscal year 1944 were $37,768,028 more than expenditures, and it is anticipated that the revenues in 1945 will exceed expenditures by $117,643,897 while estimates for 1946 indicate a possible revenue surplus of $265,214,280. However, this latter figure does not take into account the cost of overtime and other additional compensation statutes which expire on June 30, 1945. If these laws
are reenacted they will cost in the neighborhood of $110,000,000 which will reduce the surplus by that amount. If they are not reenacted it will be necessary to appropriate for additional clerks, carriers, etc., to offset the shorter workweek which would be in effect: so, in any event, the postal surplus for 1946 will be considerably less than the present estimate. This surplus is, of course, brought about by the abnormal amount of mail incident to wartime civilian activity as well as mailings to members of the armed forces.
ITEMIZED COMPARISON BETWEEN APPROPRIATIONS, ESTIMATES, AND
RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE BILL
The following table shows comparatively the amount appropriated for 1945 under each heading for all purposes other than overtime or other wartime additional compensation, the amount of the Budget estimate, which contemplates a 48-hour workweek but which does not include any fund for payment of overtime or other additional compensation, and the amount recommended in the bill which is on the same basis as the Budget estimate. In the text of this report comparisons between appropriations and estimates are based on the figures in this table.
Office of the Postmaster General.
Bureau of Accounts..
35, 889 682, 000 540, 340 842, 400 469, 000 121, 596 287, 440
57,813 304, 612
141, 900 1, 770,000
37, 300 728,000 556, 500 898, 000 467, 680 128, 200 293, 600
58, 200 523, 700
136, 900 1,800,000
36,000 693.600 550,000 860.000 441, 800 113,000 290.000
58, 200 375,000
OFFICE OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL
Travel expenses, Postmaster General and Assistant
3,000 75,000 55, 000
3,000 75.000 55,000
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF INSPECTOR
Clerks, division headquarters.
3, 143, 500
975.000 990,000 55,000
950,000 950,000 55, 000
OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT
Compensation to postmasters..
57, 827, 197
696, 000 10,000,000 2, 576, 723 1, 166, 074
69, 773, 000
10, 50S, 000 302,000,000 3,000,000
600.000 11, 492, 000 3, 295, 000
59, 773, 000 10,071, 000 302,000,000 2, 900,000
500,000 11, 492.000 3, 200,000