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(0) Develop plans for fulfilling approved requirements and priority determinations, and recommend assignments of implementation responsibilities to user agencies.

(c) Assist the user agencies and the General Services Administrator with respect to the Federal Telecommunications System to accomplish their re. spective undertakings in the development and operation of the system.

(d) Allocate, reallocate, and arrange for restoration of communications facilities to authorized users based on approved requirements and priorities.

(e) Develop operational plans and provide operational guidance with respect to all elements of the National Communications System, including: (1) The prescription of standards and practices as to operation, maintenance, and installation ; (2) the maintenance of necessary records to insure effective utilization of the National Communications System; (3) the request of assignments of radio frequencies for the National Communications System; (4) the monitoring of frequency utilization; and (5) the exercise and test of system effectiveness.

(f) Within general policy guidance, carry on long-range planning to insure the National Communications System meets future Government needs, especially in the national security area, and conduct and coordinate research and development in support of the National Communications System to insure that the National Communications System reflects advancements in

the art of communications. The Secretary of Defense may delegate these functions within the Department of Defense subject at all times to his direction, authority, and control. In carrying out his responsibilities for design, development, and operation of the National Communications System, the Secretary will make appropriate arrangements for participation of staff of other agencies.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES The Federal Telecommunications System, established with the approval of the & President under authority of the Federal Property and Administrative Services * Act of 1949, as amended, to provide communications services to certain agencies

in the 50 States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, shall be a part of the National Communications System and shall be implemented and developed in accordance with approved plans and policies developed pursuant to

this memorandum. The Executive Agent and the Administrator of General * Services shall be responsible for establishing arrangements to avoid duplication

in requests for cost, traffic, and other information needed from agencies served by the Federal Telecommunications System.

Nothing contained herein shall affect the responsibilities of the Administrator of General Services under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act 1 of 1949, as amended, with respect to the representation of agencies in negotia

tions with carriers and in proceedings before Federal and State regulatory

bodies; prescription of policies and methods of procurement; and the procureI ment either directly or by delegation of authority to other agencies of public

utility communications services.


All agencies are directed by the President to cooperate with and assist the Special Assistant to the President for Telecommunications, the Executive Agent, and the Administrator of General Services in the performance of the functions set forth above. This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.






Washington, D.C., November 1, 1963. Hon. EDWARD R. MURROW, Director, U.S. Information Agency, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. MURROW: As you know, the Senate has given our subcommittee the task of reviewing the administration of national security in Washington and in the field, and of making suggestions for improvement where appropriate. Our approach to this task is professional and nonpartisan. From the start of our inquiry we have been concerned with certain basic problems of coordinating national security policy and operaAs part of our inquiry, we would greatly appreciate a statement

you on some of the key issues of our study. With your special experience and perspective, I believe that yoù could make a most important contribution to our thinking. We have in mind that your views would be particularly helpful on

1. The present administration has made much use of the interagency task force as a device for the day-to-day handling of complex and critical operations. The interagency task force seems to provide one answer to the problem of coordination, at least for critical issues. But the experience has been mixed. Some have been successful; others have been disappointing. The record is extensive enough so that it should be possible to find out why one works but not another.

We would welcome any comments you may have as the result of your experience on what distinguishes the more successful task force from the less successful, using examples, if possible, although our interest is of course in the procedural and not the substantive aspects of task force operationis.

2. The enormous growth of U.S. oversea programs since 1942 and the division of authority among departments and agencies in Washington has produced Yarge-scale problems of coordination in the field. The historical record indicates a long struggle to put the Ambassador in the driver's seat in U.S. missions abroad.


the following topics:

President Kennedy's letter of May 29, 1961, is the most recent action to confirm the Ambassador's

authority. We would welcome any comments you may have on what distinguishes the more successful country team operation from the

less successful. In general, in other words, we would appreciate your evaluation of what steps might be taken to improve interagency planning and coordination in Washington and in the field.

I am enclosing a copy of our initial staff report entitled "Basic Issues,” together with the subcommittee's hearings to date, which indicate the kinds of problems we have been examining.

It would be most helpful to us if we could have your statement by December 1, together with any materials you might wish to include with it, so that we can benefit from its study during this part of our inquiry, and include it in our formal record. With appreciation for your help in this matter, Sincerely yours,

HENRY M. JACKSON, Chairman, Subcommittee on National Security Staffing and


NOTE.—A similar letter was addressed to the Honorable William P. Bundy.


Washington, D.C., December 2, 1963. Hon. HENRY M. JACKSON, Chairman, Subcommittee on National Security Staffing and Opera

tions, U.S. Senate. DEAR SENATOR JACKSON : I am happy to respond to your request of November 7, as originally embodied in your letter to Mr. Murrow of November 1.

You ask specifically for our views on what distinguishes the success: ful interagency task force from the less successful, and the successful country team from the less successful.

In your initial staff report “Basic Issues,” of January 18, 1963, the term "interagency task force” is used to encompass a variety of interdepartmental committees, ranging from groups dealing at the highest level with a single highly critical issue to those constituted to engage broader problems over a continuing time.

For the purposes of my comments, I should like to separate the temporary ad hoc task force from the continuing group, whether it be known as task force, working group, or interagency committee.


In my opinion, the ad hoc task force is a successful procedural device when it meets the following criteria:

(1) The issue at hand has a degree of criticality requiring attention at the decisionmaking level. It follows that representation from all agencies and departments concerned must be at a high level. This does not preclude the use of interagency subgroups for integrated staff work at one or even two lower levels.

(2) The ad hoc task force must exist only so long and meet only so often as the unfolding situation requires. When conditions permit, it should be disbanded as quickly and definitively as it was formed, and its responsibilities returned to normal channels.

(3) The task, the authorities, and the limitations of the task force must be defined with precision, as well as the line of report up and the line of execution down. Failure to define the task, authorities, and limitations may lead to indirection. Imprecision in the line of report up may delay critical decisions. Failure in execution may negate sound decisions.

The less successful task force is, conversely, the one lacking these characteristics in whole or in part.

I would cite the Berlin Task Force as an example of both the successful and less successful aspects.

The Berlin Task Force was convened at a critical time, and met the criteria described above. However, when the critical phase of the confrontation was passed, it was not disbanded. Because it continued to exist in name, agency and departmental officials continued to be specifically assigned to the task force after it ceased to be a full-time job. (At one time USIA had two high-ranking officers assigned full time to the Berlin Task Force, later one, and subsequently the work became a part-time responsibility of our desk officer for German and Austrian affairs.) More important, there was confusion over where responsibility for Berlin rested, with the task force or the appropriate area and country offices. In my opinion, the Berlin Task Force should have been formally dissolved and its responsibilities returned to the regular organization.

From our point of view there are two clear conclusions: the device of ad hoc task forces should be used sparingly, and such arrangements should be dissolved formally as soon as conditions permit.


The characteristics of the successful continuing interagency committee, whether formalized by Executive order or ad hoc, are similar to the task force but vary in degree:

(1) By definition, its work involves a longer time frame. Not all of its policy determinations nor actions have the same degree of urgency, and can be studied and resolved at a more deliberate pace. A high official can chair or participate in several such groups without undue sacrifice to his other duties. More of the basic work can and should be undertaken at staff levels for final action at a higher level.

(2) A high level of participation is desirable, but not essential. High-level chairmanship, not lower than an Assistant Secretary of State or the equivalent, is nevertheless essential. A chairman at that level is able to effect a response from other agencies and departments, even though the latter's participants in the group itself may not be able to speak with final authority. An example of this is the Latin American Policy Committee, which has been a singularly effective body since it was set up.

I am generally opposed to interagency committees below that level (unless they function as a subgroup to a higher level committee) for two reasons: (a) issues capable of resolution or coordination at that

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