Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968-1969

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Author: Lyndon B. Johnson  | Date: July 23, 1968

403
Memorandum to the Federal Executive Boards on Cost Reduction.
July 23, 1968

Memorandum for the Chairmen of the Federal Executive Boards:

Three years ago, at my direction, a Government-wide program to reduce costs and improve management was initiated. The results of that program show some progress but there are special reasons why we now need to do much more.

The resources available to the Federal Government are never unlimited. There simply is not enough to do all the things that should be done. Cost reduction is a positive force that enables us to accomplish more of our programs within the resources that are available.

On June 28 I signed Public Law 90-364, which requires significant program readjustments. The Federal Government must reduce spending and lending by at least $6 billion below my original estimates for fiscal year 1969. It will also be necessary to restrict hiring until total civilian employment in the Executive Branch is reduced to its June 1966 level.

I have asked the heads of the departments and agencies to make every dollar go further; to make sure every Federal employee is being used in the most effective way possible. The vast majority of the employees of the Federal Government are not in Washington. For the most part, our programs are carried out, and our costs are incurred by employees who are out in the countryside and cities. These field operations provide a great opportunity for cost reduction.

You who are members of the Federal Executive Boards are close to the men and women in these programs and you are in a good position to spearhead positive actions to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

I am pleased with what you have done, working together, to reduce costs. Such things as sharing data processing resources and conference rooms, libraries, reproduction facilities, and motor vehicles all have been instrumental in helping us get more program results out of our resources. Recently you have been improving your ability to act in concert to carry out joint public programs. Greater coordination among agencies in the field is essential to efficient program execution.

More than ever before, the continued strength of this country depends upon our ability to provide for national security, to meet our international obligations, and to pursue important endeavors here at home within budget limitations that will enable us to maintain a sound and healthy economy. To do this your country is depending on you to reduce expenditures by finding better and less costly ways to accomplish what we have to do.

We will continue to follow with great interest your achievements as reported by your Cost Reduction Committees.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON

NOTE: For a statement by the President on August 25, 1965, to Cabinet members and agency heads initiating the Government-wide planning and budgeting system, see 1965 volume, this series, Book II, Item 447.

Public Law 90-364 (82 Stat. 251), which the President referred to, is the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968. For the President’s statement on signing the measure, and for his memorandum on the need for reduced Federal expenditures, see Items 343, 344.
The memorandum was released at Austin, Texas.

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Chicago: Lyndon B. Johnson, "403 Memorandum to the Federal Executive Boards on Cost Reduction.," Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968-1969 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968-1969 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1369 Original Sources, accessed January 21, 2020, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4SNV6UNG35DLXXJ.

MLA: Johnson, Lyndon B. "403 Memorandum to the Federal Executive Boards on Cost Reduction." Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968-1969, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968-1969 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1369, Original Sources. 21 Jan. 2020. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4SNV6UNG35DLXXJ.

Harvard: Johnson, LB, '403 Memorandum to the Federal Executive Boards on Cost Reduction.' in Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968-1969. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968-1969 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1369. Original Sources, retrieved 21 January 2020, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4SNV6UNG35DLXXJ.