Reorganization Act, 1939

   The need to improve the efficiency and management of the federal government was an increasing concern in the 1930s with the growth of government agencies in the New Deal and regular charges of waste and inefficiency. In 1936 President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed a Committee on Administrative Management to examine the issue, and it reported in 1937. The report called for the creation of six executive assistants and a permanent National Resources Planning Board to assist the president; executive control of accounts and budget proposals; and additional cabinet posts, together with civil service reform. Linked by many people to the president’s attempt at “court packing,” critics viewed the measure as another step toward excessive presidential authority. In 1938 the Executive Reorganization Bill was defeated in both houses of Congress. An amended bill, excluding civil service reform and the creation of new departments, was passed in 1939. Following the passage of this legislation, Roosevelt was able to establish a Federal Security Agency, Federal Works Agency, Federal Loan Agency, and Executive Office of the President to consolidate management of government.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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