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nondescript type) As has been amply proved by more than a century of use, this type has nothing in common experience or human reason to commend it. In the management of affairs there are conditions under which decentralization is desirable-at least, in which the principle has worked with fair satisfaction. The circumstances which favor decentralization are those favorable to the location and enforcement of administrative responsibility for carrying on different public service functions through independent executives. Even in this event, it is found desirable to centralize certain proprietary functions. For example, the State of New York has seen fit to incorporate separately the department of education to carry on a class of functions. It has not been found desirable, however, to maintain a separate organization for obtaining funds, either by tax levies or borrowing for public school purposes. The city of Philadelphia likewise has recently set up the department of education as an independent establishment, but makes the controller and the treasurer of the city ex-officio auditor and treasurer of the school district. This is a common arrangement as between counties and cities included within them. The city of New York and the five counties (New York, Bronx, Queens, Kings and Richmond), all use the same machinery for practically all the proprietary functions. They are separately organized for administering public service functions. The state uses the machinery of the city of New York for carrying on the proprietary functions incident to the support of the public service commission for the first district, though there is neither executive nor board control over the public service function.

Principles Governing Determination as to Whether Executive Control Should Be Centralized

The principles governing determination as to whether executive control should be centralized are these:

1. Executive control should be centralized in every instance where it will make for increased efficiency and economy

2. Executive control should be centralized with respect to all functions whether proprietary or for public service when they are interdependent or decentralization will lead to confusion of responsibility, conflict of authority, and delay

3. Executive control should be decentralized wherever and to the the extent that independence of action in the very nature of things is advantageous, i. e., where there is no interdependence of working relations and no advantage can be gained through subordination to a common executive, though they may be under the same legislative control.

Application of General Principles to Functional Groups

Before concrete appraisal of the existing organization for administration may be made, these general principles must be applied to the functional groups. When so applied the following conclusions may be drawn with respect to the question as to whether central control makes for efficiency :

1. There should be central executive or administrative control over the functions of money-raising wherever and to the extent that the same revenue-paying or money-lending constituency is to be dealt with

Thus it is advantageous for the state to collect the automobile tax, whereas it is advantageous to have the local government collect the real estate tax. In each case one agency collects for all political jurisdictions, and renders an accounting. In Massachusetts, a central state bureau is maintained for administering the law governing city, county and town borrowing, since each must deal in the same market and each gains an advantage from the experience and better facilities offered by a central agency.

2. Central control over employment and improvement of the personnel of the public service should be established whenever and to whatever extent justice to a class of employees and individual efficiency may be promoted through the use of a common agency

Whatever the arrangement for executive control over public service functions of the state-whether centralized or decentralized-it is an advantage both to the executive and the public which is served to provide a common agency for determining the fitness and qualification of persons seeking employment, for providing common labor conditions affecting promotions, transfers, discipline, health, compensation, sick leave, vacations, retirement pensions, etc.

3. The purchase and custody of supplies, equipment and properties should be centrally controlled wherever and to whatever extent better trading conditions can be established and equal or better facilities for distribution and use may be obtained

Generally speaking, trade conditions may be established better through central executive control than where purchases are left to a great number and variety of related institutions and agencies. The exception is where the using agencies are widely scattered and the market is a nearby local one (as in the case of fresh vegetables); or where the transportation cost is more than the saving through better prices obtained. Quite often, however, the infrequency, the emergency, the irregularity of demand are such as to put the officer in charge of work at a disadvantage if he must

rely on a central purchasing agency. The same principle holds good with custodianship. With respect to properties and equipment in use, only one treatment is possible-the user must also act as custodian. In each of these cases, however, it is of advantage to have central accounting and inspection control extend over the entire jurisdiction of the chief executive. When there is no chief executive, then the only central control practicable is through the independent auditor or some staff agency of the legislative body.

4. Central control over disbursements is advantageous whether operated under a centralized or decentralized system of administration

There is the same reason for central control over disbursements as there is for central custodianship of funds. There is this added advantage, that the custodian and the persons making the payment should have no interest in either the public service functions or the other proprietary functions. This does not mean that the custodian and paymaster should be independent of the executive who is held responsible for doing things. On the contrary, assuming that there is an independent auditor, he should not be independent of the executive. This is a necessary part of proprietary functions. In case of labor it is also intimately related to management of the public service. There is every reason for making the treasurer a part of a commonly-controlled central executive organization; but he should be detached from the public service group.

5. Whether provision is made for a responsible chief executive over proprietary and service functions, or control is to be exercised through a number of independent executives, each service group should be under a common executive head

There are some groups which bear such a close relation to each other that they may not be separated to advantage. The services organized for military protection constitute such a group. Cooperation between the different arms of the service is essential to efficiency. It is also desirable to have the military service under the same chief executive that is responsible for civil services, for the reason that lack of coordination may prove destructive to the government itself. It is only in case of military necessity that the war organization should be placed in charge of civil service functions and in any case, except under conditions of revolution and overthrow of the existing government, it is desirable to maintain a separate organization under a common executive for carrying on the proprietary functions. An extension of this principle is one of the large questions now before the English government. The same question is before the federal government, and outside of military circles there are almost no differences of opinion.

To any of the public service groups, indicated above (p. 90), the same reasoning applies. There should be coordination through group executive control of the public service activities that have for their purpose public education and the promotion of art and science; a consistent, effective, public health program depends on such group coordination, the interests of laborers which are to be served by agencies of the state should be coordinated so as to prevent conflicting and overlapping jurisdiction, and to promote efficiency through common consideration of a group of relations, each of which should be supplementary to the other. With respect to the care and education of the dependent, defective and delinquent classes, and the institutional care of the sick, decision as to whether there should be a common executive control or each should constitute a separately organized administrative group depends very largely on whether there is a responsible chief executive over all the public service functions and a correlation may be established and made effective through some kind of executive council or cabinet. There can be no doubt that there are problems common to them all; and that these should be considered before decision is reached with respect to matters of executive and legislative policy.

6. In case a system is adopted which provides for a responsible executive, then the chief executive should be provided

with the following machinery:

a. An executive officer or personnel for receiving reports, issuing orders, and handling the routine work of the chief executive.

b. An executive council or cabinet made up of specialized vice-governors or heads of functionally related administrative groups who will serve as "line" advisers.

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‘Staff ” agencies so organized and related to the chief executive that he may refer any question, for inquiry and report, to a detached expert or professional personnel who may also be relied on for preparation or review of the budget and other proposals which are to go before the legislature.


It is a curious commentary on our respect for logic that the article of the constitution which confers the executive power upon the governor is followed by one which deprives him of a large part of it by creating a number of high executive officers elected by popular vote and almost wholly independent of him in the conduct of executive busi

ness. As Governor Hughes remarked in his second inaugural, after two years experience in the office: "While the governor represents the highest executive power in the state, there is frequently observed a popular misapprehension as to its scope. There is a wide domain over which he has no control, or slight control."

The fact is that while the constitution provides for an officer who is called the "governor," only as a matter of declaration of principle may he be said to be endowed with "executive power." The first constitution provides: "The supreme executive power and authority of this state shall be vested in a governor "; subsequent constitutions contain the declaration that "executive power shall be vested in the governor."

Yet there are several elected officers who exercise within their

prescribed spheres most important executive powers. To the comptroller and the treasurer are confided powers with respect to financial matters. The attorney general is charged with duties appropriate to the enforcement of public rights through legal machinery. The state engineer and surveyor has important powers with regard to canal improvement and the only member of the canal board accountable to the governor is the superintendent of public works who has a limited authority.

Our constitution makers have certainly been guilty of gross inconsistency. Article V is a historical accumulation, not a reasoned product of administrative science. There is no consistent scheme for defining departmental limits. The powers and duties of five important officers dignified by constitutional mention, the secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer, attorney general, and engineer and surveyor, are left wholly undefined. If it be said that such powers and duties are clearly implied in the names of the officers, the obvious reply is that the legislature in distributing public business does not follow any such implications. It may be pertinently added that the duties of the superintendent of prisons, whose functions are set forth in great detail, are as positively defined by title as are those of the secretary of state. If the important functions. of collecting and supervising the funds of the state are to be distributed. at will by the legislature, not merely between the treasurer and the comptroller, but among as many boards and commissions as the legislature. sees fit to create, then there is certainly no reason why the duties of the superintendent of public works may not be left with safety to legislative action.

Weighty as are the objections against such disparity of treatment in defining the functions of the several officers, still more weighty objections may be brought against the principle of demarcation which the constitution applies in deciding what offices are worthy of constitutional mention and what are to be left to the legislature. Dignity and magni

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