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Better illustrate how its programs reach out geographically to all areas of the country. Demonstrate how the project system is being used, and can be further used, in advancing science while at the same time supporting a growing number of institutions.
Select a theme each year for program emphasis-hopefully one understandable and of appeal to the lay public.
Emphasize programs of the Foundation more closely coupled with national problems, e.g., ecology.
Increase its contacts with officials of mission agencies to improve the understanding of the interrelationship of Foundation activities with the pro
grams and interests of mission agencies. Question 2. Has the application of Planning-Programming-Budgeting methods and techniques had measurable effects on the management of organization of Federal science activities in your field of interest? Please elaborate.
Answer 2. Although we believe that PPG has contributed significantly to improved public policy decisions, I doubt that the total effect is susceptible to adequate measurement.
Before discussing specific applications of PPB, the assumptions under which the question is approached should be stated :
Choices have to be made among projects and among research areas, and there must be a determination of priorities on the basis of the best available information.
It is often very difficult to determine in advance exactly what benefits, economic and otherwise, will develop from a particular area of research. This is particularly true for basic research. Thus, while it is useful to calculate benefits insofar as possible, we should be wary of making fine distinctions on the basis of information that is subject to great uncertainty.
Benefits that are received in the future are not as valuable as the same benefits received today. Thus, care should be taken before we make major investments now which will not have a payoff for many years when the same investment might be deferred until a later time and the period between investment and payoff telescoped.
When the Government invests in science, it is building institutions as well
as buying future goods and services. Within this framework, PPB can be applied to research and development in several ways. First, for example, work is underway to develop methods of com. paring research programs with each other. Attached is a document prepared in the Budget Bureau called the Research and Development Overview. This simply lays out how much is being spent in a number of major research areas, who the recipients are, the rough objectives, and an estimate of the time stream of the benefits. No attempt is made to put any value on the benefits. This is not because some such data are not available, but simply because it is so uncertain that it is better to leave it out than run the risk of misleading the reader.
The basic purpose of the overview is to show present allocations in terms of selected factors so that Federal decision makers have at least some basis of allocation of the national research budget. However, the overview may contribute in addition by raising more relevant questions than would occur without it. For example, is the mix of R&D too heavily weighted towards “development" as compared with “research?” Are there areas of social concern that are not receiving any R&D funds, though they are susceptible to research? How much do we want to invest in R&D for future generations when the current generation will be relatively poorer? By what extent are we subsidizing professional areas and performing institutions compared to others and is this allocation wise? Where possible to calculate, does the investment provide an adequate return?
Another example of the application of PPB to research and development is in a mission-oriented context, where it is possible to trade off research and development against other possible expenditures in the same program area. For example, the Department of Transportation spends money on immediate transportation needs and also on research and development for future transportation. While it is somewhat useful to compare its research expenditures with those of HUD or OEO, as is done on page 4 of the Overview, it is also useful to con
sider them strictly within a DOT context. For example, it would be irrational for DOT to freeze the state of the art of transportation technology and invest vast sums in present techniques without exploring improvements, but that fact tells very little about how much should be allocated to that activity.
In this context, the PPB system is used to try to identify areas of research that might have a particularly high payoff in terms of more efficient or effective performance of a given mission. Thus, for example, for several years research in cheaper tunneling techniques has been sponsored by DOT and other departments because the economic payoff of cheaper tunneling in connection with construction of urban transit facilities would be very large. There would be direct benefits in terms of cheaper construction of those projects which are actually built anyway; savings in terms of avoidance of disruption from projects which are now built above ground because it is not economically feasible to build them below at the present time; and savings in terms of making certain projects feasible which are now totally infeasible.
Another good example of the use of program analysis in a totally different context is the study done by the Institute for Defense Analyses on proposed crime research programs. The study faced the question of allocating a law enforcement and criminal justice research budget, given all the difficulties and uncertainties of the field, and developed a possible structure and allocation for the problem.
Question 3. In the latter part of the previous Administration a resources planning staff was established in the Office of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget for the purpose of analyzing longer-range budgetary commitments and improving the basis for determination of priorities. Is this staff still functioning? What progress has it made? How deep a breakdown within government functions is this staff concerned with?
Answer 3. In June 1969, the Bureau's Resources Planning Staff and Fiscal Analysis Staff were combined to form the Planning and Analysis Staff. The combined staff is responsible for analyzing both the short-range and the longerrange outlook for Federal revenues and outlays and for analyzing longer-range budgetary commitments. The staff has been exceedingly active. It has produced near-term and long-term projections of Federal revenues and outlays for use by the Director and the President in developing budget plans for 1971 and beyond, and it has been the focal point of the Bureau's work on post-Vietnam planning studies, which are important sources of guidance to the President on the establishment of priorities. In all its work thus far the staff has analyzed in specific program detail those budget commitments required under existing law which will lead to significant future year outlays. On a more aggregative basis, the major functional categories of the budget and major ongoing programs therein have also been analyzed. For example, within the functional category of "Health & Welfare” the Social Security program would be studied in detail.
Question 4. With respect to the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization: When will it become operational? What is its budget for the present fiscal year? What areas will receive priority attention? What other areas of Federal science besides those relating to the proposed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency will be studied? Have any target dates for reporting been set?
Answer 4. The Council was formed by President Nixon on April 4, 1969, and proceeded to recruit staff and work out a general approach to its task. It is now staffed and operational. Its approved budget is $500,000 for the current fiscal year, but a request for an additional $500,000 is expected to be submitted to the Congress.
The organization studies which are under way are at various stages of completion. These include, for example, studies of the Executive Office of the President, the social agencies, and the Federal structure for dealing with organized crime. Study plans have been drafted for many other subject areas, and the Council intends to consider the organizational issues related to Federal science efforts. However, these have not yet been specifically defined. Each report will be made to the President as it is completed.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OVERVIEW-Continued
When benefits realized (estimated
1970 year 1970 Major performers, by
0 to 5
5 to 15
90 Treatment and cure of disease. 10
National Institutes of
Health Service and Mental
40 Improvement of mental health.
Consumer Protection and
Nonprofit. 94 University.
Office of Education.
50 Improve environment (68 percent)..
Office of Economic Oppor
Housing and Urban Devel
Department of Transporta
10 Better transportation.