Federal Executive Boards

B-147637-O.M.: Published: Oct 24, 1973. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 1974.

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On November 10, 1961, the President issued a memorandum to the heads of departments and agencies expressing his desire to strengthen the coordination of Government activities outside of Washington. He directed the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission to arrange for the establishment of a Board of Federal Executives in each of the ten administrative regions. Each executive department ad agency also was directed to arrange for the personal participation by heads of its field offices and installations in the work of these federal Executive Boards (FEBs). The FEBs were established to increase the effectiveness and economy of Federal agencies by providing means for closer coordination of Federal activities at the regional level. They were not to require additional personnel, and the 1961 Presidential directive contained no provision for financing, their operations.

In a letter dated November 21, 1961, B-147637, the Comptroller General advised the President that our Office would cooperate to the fullest extent possible consistent with our responsibilities to the Congress, but that we would not participate as members of the FEBs or other boards or committees that might be established. By memorandum dated November 30, 1961, GAO officials located in Washington and the field were advised of the Comptroller General's intent to cooperate with the executive branch under the President's program.

Over the years the number of FEBs has increased to 25, and in late 1971, GAO began to expand its participation in their activities. Today our field managers are active FEB members in 18 of the 25 where FEBs are located.

Administrative support for each board, including the salary for its Executive Assistant or Secretariat, is provided by a designated agepncy in each FEB city. Several of the FEBs have established an "operating fund" to help defray the incidental costs associated with their official ongoing activities that are not otherwise absorbed by the designated housekeeping or member agencies. These include expenses such as coffee klatches in connection with board meetings, fees associated with the sponsorship of a junior achievement company, and employee of the year awards.

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