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Brownlow Committee

The President's Committee on Administrative Management, commonly known as the Brownlow Committee or Brownlow Commission, was a committee that in 1937 recommended sweeping changes to the executive branch of the United States government. The recommendations made by the committee resulted in the creation of the Executive Office of the President. It had three members; they were Louis Brownlow, Charles Merriam, and Luther Gulick. The staff work was managed by James P. Harris, Director of Research for the committee.

Some of the most important recommendations from the council include creating aides to the President in order to deal with the administrative tasks assigned to the President. It also suggested that the President should have direct control over the administrative departments. In its third suggestion, the committee said that the managerial agencies - The Civil Service Administration, the Bureau of the Budget, and the National Resources Board - should be part of the Executive Office.

The Reorganization Act of 1939 incorporated only two of the recommendations in the 53-page report delivered by the committee. However, the Act provided to President Franklin D. Roosevelt the authority to make changes so that most of the various agencies and government corporations were organized within various cabinet-level departments, greatly improving accountability among the various agencies.

The most important results of the actions taken by Roosevelt were the creation of the Executive Office of the President and the creation of a group of six executive level assistants.

Other similar commissions

Hoover Commission two commissions in 1947-1949 and 1953-1955.

The Grace Commission 1982-1984

National Partnership for Reinventing Government 1993-1998

Project on National Security Reform 2006–present


Fesler, James W. (Aug 1987), "The Brownlow Committee Fifty Years Later", Public Administration Review (Public Administration Review, Vol. 47, No. 4) 47 (4): 291–296, JSTOR 975308, doi:10.2307/975308 

See also

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