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Detailed explanations of the above decreases are set forth below:
The Budget estimate of $429,380 for the White House establishment was allowed by the committee. This estimate is $113,000 less than the 1932 appropriations, due to the omission of $120,000 of nonrecurring items and the inclusion of a new item of $7,000 for painting the exterior of the White House, which is done every two years and was last accomplished during August and September, 1930. The nonrecurring items, included in the appropriations for 1932 and not required for 1933, are as follows: Repair of portraits.
$3,000 Purchase of furniture, furnishings, etc..
6, 000 Reconstruction of pipe tunnel.
16, 000 Installation of ventilating system..
13, 000 Remodeling west terrace..
12, 000 Protecting interests of the United States in oil leases and oil lands.---- 70, 000 Total...
BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
The Budget estimate of $400,000 for the Battle Monuments Commission has been allowed, which is an increase of $95,750 over the current appropriation. The necessity for the amount estimated by the Budget for 1933 is explained in the following excerpt from the hearings:
The plans of the American Battle Monuments Commission, which have already been approved by the Bureau of the Budget and Congress, include the erection in Europe of various chapels, monuments, and other memorial features, at a construction cost of approximately $4,500,000; and Congress has authorized the commission to obligate this sum for building materials and supplies and construction work.
The aggregate of appropriations so far made to the commission for all purposes is $4,600,000, of which $303,501.62 has been expended for items such as overhead expenses, photographing the battlefields, preparing and publishing a guidebook to the American battlefields in Europe, purchasing sites for memorials, historical research work, and other expenses not chargeable to the purposes for which the authorization of $4,500,000 was made. In addition to this, it is estimated that something over $200,000 will be expended during the fiscal years 1932 and 1933 for the items indicated above and for other items such as dedication ceremonies, maintenance of the chapels and monuments and their sites, and for the publication of a revised edition of the guidebook. This leaves something over $400,000 to be appropriated for construction items only before the limit of the authorization is reached.
Based on the present status of the commission's work and on the progress likely to be made during the fiscal years 1932 and 1933, it is estimated that $1,597,823 will be expended between now and June 30, 1933. Of this amount, $1,197,823 is available from previous appropriations, leaving $400,000 to be appropriated for the fiscal year 1933 in order to complete the commission's requirements through that year.
The current estimate of the total construction cost of all memorials when completed is $4,432,600, or $67,400 under the authorization of $4,500,000, and the Budget estimate for the present bill is deemed to be sufficient to complete all construction work, so that no appropriation for the fiscal year 1934 will be required except for maintenance in the event their transfer to the Secretary of War for that purpose shall not have been accomplished.
ARLINGTON MEMORIAL BRIDGE
The Budget estimate of $1,000,000 for continuation of the Arlington Memorial Bridge project has been reduced in the sum of $160,000 through the elimination of the Lee Highway Bridge unit. The latter is an additional span crossing the boundary channel at the north end of Columbia Island and is an integral part of the original Memorial Bridge project, having been included for the purpose of providing a connection with the Virginia State highway system. Since the submission of the Budget, it has been learned that the State of Virginia has no plans involving the construction of the highway connection during the coming year and the item for the bridge has, therefore, been omitted from the bill pending such time as some provision shall have been made for the highway.
The original limit of cost of the project, which has not since been changed, is $14,750,000. The total amount appropriated to date, including the appropriation recommended in the accompanying bill, is $12,840,000, the entire amount of which, it is estimated, will have been expended by the end of the fiscal year 1933.
The main bridge span is now completed, but the paving of the roadway from the west end of the boundary channel to the cemetery entrance will not be completed until some time during the summer of 1932. However, bids have been opened and a contract will soon be awarded for the placement of a temporary 30-foot pavement at one side of the right of way, which will be opened to public traffic on or about April 1. This course has been deemed essential because of the expected large number of bicentennial visitors who will desire to reach Arlington Cemetery over the new bridge.
Access to Mount Vernon Boulevard from Washington over the new bridge to Columbia Island has been in effect on Saturday afternoons and all day Sundays for some time. During the remainder of the week the bridge has been kept closed so as not to interfere with landscaping operations still under way on that portion of the highway between Washington and Alexandria. These will be completed not later than March 15, after which the bridge and the boulevard will both be open to traffic daily during daylight hours. Early in April it is expected to complete the installation of the boulevard lighting system, when both the bridge and the highway will be continuously open 24 hours every day.
That portion of the boulevard between Alexandria and Mount Vernon has been continuously open for several weeks past.
Work still remaining to be done on the Memorial Bridge project includes the development of the plaza on Columbia Island; the filling, grading, and landscape work on Columbia Island; the widening and carrying through of Constitution Avenue; the widening of Twentythird Street; the decorative statuary work on Columbia Island; the Memorial Avenue into Arlington Cemetery, and the monumental entrance to the cemetery.
Notwithstanding certain modifications of the original plan, such as the addition of the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway underpass at the east end of the bridge, the commission expects to complete the project within the original authorization. This will be made possible, partly because of the recent drop in building costs and partly because of the modification or elimination of some of the decorative features, such as the columns on Columbia Island, statuary on the bridge, etc.
The committee has included language under which the entire cost of reconstructing and paving that portion of Constitution Avenue between Virginia Avenue and the bridge will be borne by the Bridge Commission. This provision was included for the reason that the portion of Constitution Avenue referred to is an integral part of the Lincoln Memorial, which is purely a Federal project. The remainder of Constitution Avenue will be improved out of regular District of Columbia appropriations, the same as other local streets, subject to the usual 40 per cent assessment against abutting properties. Since all such abutting property is, or will be, in Government owner. ship, it follows that the Bridge Commission will bear 40 per cent of the cost of Constitution Avenue east of Virginia Avenue, excepting street intersections.
BOARD OF MEDIATION
The Budget reduction of $18,320 for administrative expenses of the Board of Mediation has been accepted and a further reduction of $17,230 has been made by the committee. This sum was arrived by deducting $10,000 from the estimate for Washington personnel, $5,730 from the travel item, and $1,500 from communication service. In view of the comparatively peaceful situation now prevailing generally in the railroad industry, the committee believes that the board will be able to perform all necessary functions under the reduced amount. Expenditures under arbitration boards and emergency boards, the amount of which is speculative in character are provided for in the bill through reappropriating the unexpended balances.
BOARD OF TAX APPEALS
Salaries and expenses: The Budget reduction of $13,640 has been accepted and the committee has made a further reduction of $5,000, upon the report of the chairman of the board that, since the submission of the Budget, a vacancy has occurred in one of the higher paid positions on the staff, which the board does not intend to fill, so that the amount originally estimated for this position will not be needed.
Printing and binding: To the Budget reduction of $5,000 for this item, the committee has added a further reduction of $5,000 upon the recommendation of the chairman of the board, who reports that under a recently adopted plan of releasing some of its opinions in typewritten memorandum form, a saving in printing costs will be effected.
BUREAU OF EFFICIENCY
The Budget estimate for the Bureau of Efficiency was granted. The estimate is $330 under the current appropriation, being the estimated amount which will be saved as the result of the administrative order reducing the per diem allowance for subsistence to employees traveling on official business from $6 to $5.
In view of the many calls likely to be made upon this bureau in connection with investigations and studies looking to the reorganization of the executive branch of the Government, the committee did not deem it wise to reduce the appropriation below the Budget estimates.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Salaries, Washington and field: These are carried as separate items in the bill, but for a number of years the appropriation has carried language giving the commission complete interchangeability between the items. Consequently, it is necessary to consider the two in combination. The Budget has decreased the items a total of $85,560, of which $41,290 has been applied to the Washington office and $44,270 to the field. This decrease is made up of the following items: Discontinuation of transcription of records ...
$43, 200 Discontinuation of tests of applicants for designation for appointment to the U. S. Military and Naval Academies.
7, 200 Transferred to appropriation for postmaster examinations.
11, 530 Reduction of force, absorption of lapses, from delay in filling vacancies, etc..
23, 630 Total.---
-- 85, 560 The tests of applicants for designation to the service academies are being discontinued for the reason that the Executive order of December 17, 1907, provided that such tests were conditioned upon their not adding to the expenses of the commission. Initially, they did not increase the expenses of the commission, but now that they are incurring a substantial cost, the commission feels that it should not continue to spend money for them without more authority than is contained in the Executive order.
In addition to the Budget reduction, the office and field forces, the committee has incorporated in the bill a further reduction of $80,000 ($50,000 in the Washington office and $30,000 in the field force). This reduction has been made because the committee believes the general policy of nonfilling of vacancies in the Government service for the remainder of the current fiscal year and all of 1933 will result in fewer examinations. The committee believes that a careful study by the Bureau of Efficiency of the operations of the Civil Service Commission would yield fruitful results in the way of administrative economies, and, to that end, has requested the Bureau of Efficiency to make such a study.
Expert examiners: The Budget reduction in this item from $2,000 to $1,000 has been approved.
Postmaster examinations: The Budget increase of $11,530 in this appropriation is due entirely to a transfer of employees from the general roll. These employees are doing postmaster examination work at the present time but are being paid from the general appropriation. Consequently, they are being transferred resulting in the indicated increase in this appropriation and a corresponding decrease in the other.
Travel expenses: The Budget reduction of $9,000 in this item has been accepted. It will be effected partly by the reduction in per diem allowance.
Contingent expenses: The committee has accepted the Budget cut of $3,000 for contingent expenses and has imposed a further reduction of $2,000 on account of what it believes is an excessive allotment for communication service.
Rent: This item, amounting to $24,592, has been eliminated because of its transfer to the office of Public Buildings and Public Parks.
Printing and binding: The Budget estimate of $54,000 for printing and binding has been approved, being a decrease of $4,000 under the current appropriation.
FINE ARTS COMMISSION
The Budget estimates for the Fine Arts Commission, $9,475 for salaries and expenses, and $300 for printing and binding, are in the same amount as for the current fiscal year and have been allowed by the committee. The attention of the commission during the past year has been directed to the many Federal building projects and other developments, such as the park between the Capitol and the Union Station, the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, and others. Submissions under the Shipstead-Luce Act, giving the commission a limited control over private buildings in the District of Columbia, are on the increase. The total number since the date of the approval of the act, May 16, 1930, is 64.
EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION
Salaries and expenses: To the Budget reduction of $24,054, the committee has added a further reduction of $32,900 of which $30,034 is the amount of the administrative savings in the 1932 appropriation for this item which the committee believes can also be effected in 1933. The additional committee cut of $2,866 represents a reduction from the Budget breakdown of $72,866 in the total of "other expenditures” to an even $70,000.
Printing and binding: The Budget estimate of $8,000 for this item is in the same amount as the current law, and has been allowed by the committee.
Employees' compensation fund: This fund provides disability compensation, awards, and other benefits to Federal employees and their surviving dependents as a result of death of disabilities resulting from their employment. The number of beneficiaries and the total disbursements are still on the increase and will continue on the upward trend for some years to come, or until such time as the rate of death of the beneficiaries is sufficient to balance the new claims. It is believed possible by the commission that annual disbursements may amount to as much as $10,000,000 before the peak is reached. The Budget estimate for this fund of $4,450,000, which has been included in the accompanying bill is an increase of $250,000 above the current law.
This commission also administers the act providing compensation for the disability or death of persons in private employment in the District of Columbia, and the longshoremen and harbor workers' compensation act.