B-125742, DEC. 30, 1955

B-125742: Dec 30, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT IS CONTEMPLATING THE ASSIGNMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO ATTEND A COURSE ON MANAGEMENT PRESENTED BY THE AMERICAN MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION. THE EMPLOYEE SELECTED FOR SUCH ASSIGNMENT HAS BEEN GRANTED A SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND THE COURSE AND THE TRAINING COSTS ARE PRESUMED TO CONSIST TO THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY AND TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH ATTENDANCE. STATED: "THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS FACING A MAJOR CRISIS WHICH REQUIRES A GREAT MANAGEMENT SKILL TO MEET. ARE ALMOST A GENERATION OUT OF DATE. "THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS MEETING THIS CRISIS THROUGH SEVERAL MAJOR STEPS WHICH REQUIRE GREAT MANAGEMENT SKILL INCLUDING (A) A THOROUGH REORGANIZATION.

B-125742, DEC. 30, 1955

TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

IN LETTER DATED OCTOBER 10, 1955, YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT IS CONTEMPLATING THE ASSIGNMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO ATTEND A COURSE ON MANAGEMENT PRESENTED BY THE AMERICAN MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, AND REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE MAY BE USED TO DEFRAY CERTAIN EXPENSES ATTACHED TO SUCH AN ASSIGNMENT. THE EMPLOYEE SELECTED FOR SUCH ASSIGNMENT HAS BEEN GRANTED A SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND THE COURSE AND THE TRAINING COSTS ARE PRESUMED TO CONSIST TO THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY AND TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH ATTENDANCE. THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, IN SUBMITTING THE NOMINATION OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR A SCHOLARSHIP TO THE COURSE, STATED:

"THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS FACING A MAJOR CRISIS WHICH REQUIRES A GREAT MANAGEMENT SKILL TO MEET. MANY CAUSES CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CRISIS INCLUDING (A) THE PRESSURES OF SHARPLY RISING PARK VISITATION WHICH HAS MORE THAN DOUBLED IN EIGHT YEARS, RISING FROM 21 MILLION VISITORS IN 1946 TO 48 MILLION IN 1954; (B) OUTMODED PARK FACILITIES WHICH, IN MANY CASES, ARE ALMOST A GENERATION OUT OF DATE; (C) RISING PUBLIC DEMAND TO REMEDY THIS DETERIORATING SITUATION, RECENTLY DESCRIBED IN STRONG ARTICLES IN THE READER'S DIGEST, THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, AND MANY OTHER PERIODICALS AND NEWSPAPERS.

"THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS MEETING THIS CRISIS THROUGH SEVERAL MAJOR STEPS WHICH REQUIRE GREAT MANAGEMENT SKILL INCLUDING (A) A THOROUGH REORGANIZATION, VERY RECENTLY PUT INTO EFFECT; (B) CONTINUING MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM; (C) A FRESH, TEN-YEAR PROGRAM OF PARK DEVELOPMENT, NOW IN PREPARATION, AND NAMED MISSION 66, WHICH IT IS EXPECTED WILL RECEIVE NATION-WIDE ATTENTION.

"ESPECIALLY AT THIS TIME THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE NEEDS THE BENEFIT THAT CAN BE GAINED FROM SENDING ONE OF ITS TOP OFFICIALS TO THE MANAGEMENT COURSE OF THE AMERICAN MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION. NOW, MORE THAN AT ANY OTHER FORESEEABLE TIME, SUCH TRAINING WILL BENEFIT OUR ENTIRE ORGANIZATION AT A CRUCIAL TURNING POINT IN OUR GROWTH.

"MR. RONALD F. LEE IS SUCH A TOP-LEVEL OFFICIAL. HE IS IN FULL CHARGE OF ONE OF FIVE MAJOR DIVISIONS OF THE ORGANIZATION. HE IS A KEY MEMBER OF THE DIRECTOR'S "SQUAD," WHICH MEETS WITH THE DIRECTOR EVERY MORNING ON TOP MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS. HE IS A KEY MEMBER OF THE DIRECTOR'S MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE WHICH CONSIDERS BROAD MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS. HE IS IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH ALL PHASES OF THE ORGANIZATION'S WORK.'

YOUR DEPARTMENT HAS DETERMINED THAT ATTENDANCE OF A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AT THE MANAGEMENT COURSE IS ESSENTIAL TO THE CARRYING OUT OF THE MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SERVICE AND THAT THE EMPLOYEE SELECTED IS A TOP OFFICIAL ON THE DIRECTOR'S STAFF AND CAN BRING TO THE STAFF FULL BENEFIT OF THE COURSE IN THE SOLUTION OF MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS ARISING IN THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TODAY IS FACED WITH THE TASK OF IMPROVING, ENLARGING, AND MODERNIZING PARK AREAS AND FACILITIES TO ACCOMMODATE THE MARKED INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF VISITORS AT SUCH PARKS IN RECENT YEARS. THE CONDITION, HOWEVER, IS NOT ONE THAT HAS ARISEN OVERNIGHT BUT RATHER HAS DEVELOPED OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS. IT IS A CONTINUING CONDITION AND ONE WHICH PROBABLY WILL BECOME MORE SERIOUS AS TIME GOES BY UNLOSS REMEDIAL STEPS ARE TAKEN. WE AGREE THAT THE ATTENDANCE AT THE MANAGEMENT COURSE WELL MIGHT ENABLE THE SERVICE TO IMPROVE ITS MANAGEMENT OF THE PARKS; YET, WE FEEL, AFTER READING THE ENCLOSURES ACCOMPANYING THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 10, THAT YOUR PROBLEM WOULD BE ALLEVIATED BY AN INCREASE IN FACILITIES AND FUNDS. THE BEST POSSIBLE MANAGEMENT CANNOT REPLACE THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL ROADS, CAMP SITES, AND FACILITIES NOR ELIMINATE THE NECESSITY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF EXISTING FACILITIES IN NATIONAL PARKS.

IN OUR DECISION OF JUNE 30, 1955, B-124277, 34 COMP. GEN. 719, WE CONCLUDED THAT ATTENDANCE AT THE SAME MANAGEMENT COURSE BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICES COMMISSION WAS NOT ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE COMMISSION WAS MADE. SIMILARLY, IN THE CASE YOUR HAVE PRESENTED, WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT THE IMMEDIATE ATTENDANCE AT SUCH A COURSE IS NOT SO ESSENTIAL AS TO OBVIATE THE NECESSITY FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT'S PROCURING SPECIAL AUTHORITY FROM THE CONGRESS FOR EXPENSES OF TRAINING PERSONNEL AT PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS AS HAS BEEN DONE BY CERTAIN OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE PRINCIPLES ENUNCIATED IN OUR DECISION OF JUNE 30, 1955, TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, ALSO APPLY IN THE CASE YOU HAVE PRESENTED.