Governor's Efficiency and Economy Commission
Governor Adolph Eberhart
Function: The Commission was tasked with presenting a plan for the organization of the state government in the interest of economy and efficiency.
The Governor's Efficiency and Economy Commission was created by Governor Adolph Eberhart late in 1914 to formulate and implement a plan for reorganization of the civil administration of state government, and resulted from a general concern about increased spending, waste, and lack of coordination among government agencies.
The commission, consisting of 30 members, was appointed by the governor, and included judges, legislators, government officials, businessmen, lawyers, and other concerned citizens. Charles P. Craig served as chair and appointed a committee from among the members to study the arrangement of the state's civil administration, and to construct a plan of reorganization based on their findings. The commissioners received no salaries; however, part of the governor's contingent fund provided for the hiring of the commission secretary, John S. Pardee, and a stenographer.
The commission solicited the advice and cooperation of various private corporations, civic groups, state agency officials, attorneys, and others familiar with state civil administration. A statistician from the University of Minnesota, E. Dana Durand, was also consulted.
Standing committees of five members each were appointed to examine the following areas of civil administration: the Administration and Control Committee (finance, purchasing, property, and supplies); the Management and Development Committee (public domain, lands, and engineering and engineering operations); the Direction and Welfare Committee (education, arts, humanities, and social service); the Supervision and Arbitratement Committee (commerce, industry, transportation, and trade); and the Inspection and Correction Committee (sanitation, safety, and protection).
The commission met for several months, and formulated a proposal which was submitted as a bill to the house of representatives in 1915 (House File No. 25). The bill recommended consolidation of state agencies into departments, in the areas of general administration and finance, public domain, labor and commerce, agriculture, and education; reduction in the number of existing boards whose functions could be combined with others; the creation of advisory boards to provide checks on department operations; the adoption of civil service regulations to eliminate "the spoils system;" and a budget system requiring department heads to make and justify estimates on requests for more funds to the governor and the cabinet. The bill was referred to the Efficiency and Economy Committee for discussion; however, it failed to gain support after three months of deliberation, and was never voted upon. The attempt to reorganize the civil administration of state government was continued by the Joint Efficiency and Economy Commission, appointed later in 1915.
Efficiency and Economy Commission
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