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2. Budgets and final accounts.

3. Local laws, instruction and other administrative papers, important contracts, police measures.

4. Statistical material.

5. Historical works.

6. Various publications not to be brought under 1, 4, 5. Within each group the material is arranged alphabetically by cities, so that under the name of each city may be found the books or other articles dealing with that special group of the city's activities. All representatives of the cities or of the associations of cities have the right to make use of the library. The director may also grant this privilege to representatives of city boards or to private persons for the purpose of study.

No charge is made except in cases where the collection of voluminous material is demanded. Provision is also made for loaning the material to the parties mentioned, but not in so far as it is needed at the bureau itself. The aim is to make the library the chief center for the scientific study of city affairs. It is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and offers to the investigator the latest, the best, and the most complete material for study in the activities of German cities that can be found anywhere.

With this library as a source, the central bureau offers to furnish information to the members of the Stadtetag, to smaller municipalities, to local boards and to private persons. If the desired information requires a considerable amount of work a charge may be made by the director, otherwise the information is furnished without cost. It does not pretend to be able to answer any question that may be asked. In legal questions, especially, it attempts only to refer to similar cases, if there have been such in other cities, or to point out the best material bearing on the subject. It is, however, in a position to furnish information on a host of questions likely to perplex the minds of city legislators. If an expression of opinion from other members of the Stadtetag is desired, the central bureau sounds the question around and prepares the answer according to the reports received. This demand for information has two good effects. It may help the seeker over a difficult problem and it

makes it possible for the bureau to keep alive to the prevailing situation and to grow in depth and breadth of knowledge. In the first year of the bureau's existence, one hundred and thirtytwo requests for information were made, and in forty per cent of these cases charges were made.

A word in conclusion-If you start this work, get the right person to run it.

The success of this work depends upon the people who do it. As a success, all great work depends upon a personality. It is not the iron, or stone, or glass or beautiful pictures which make or makes a college a civilization. It is the personality of the people and not the material things. You always can make fine bindings, but it is mighty hard to find a man. I urge upon you, if you start work of this sort, to get the right men. Get men with economical training and men who are willing to devote a lifetime to this special work. Otherwise, don't get anybody! Don't allow the thing to exist! Don't let a politician get hold of it! Get the right men and the right women, or don't get anybody. This is a work which requires special training, not only in the library school, but especially in economics and the general field of sociology and law. It is highly specialized work and cannot be done without special training.

We are very fortunate in Wisconsin in having numbers of young men in our University who are taking up the classes which are connected with this work, who are now going out to all departments of all sorts in the country.

The Bureau of the Census as an Agent of Municipal Reform


Chief Statistician, Bureau of the Census

I have been requested to state for the benefit of this conference how the schedules prepared by the Bureau of the Census are reinforcing the modern demand for increasing efficiency of municipal governments; or, in other words, how the work of the Bureau is acting as an agent in municipal reform.

I will begin my statement by saying that the work of the Bureau is advancing the cause of improved municipal government because its reports provide for cities what the best accounts and reports furnish the administration of the most successful private enterprises. Those enterprises have accounts with all their sources of income and all their objects of expenditure. Expenditures are classified according to function, and the accounts provide the means for ascertaining and stating the cost of each and every activity or class of business operation. The same classification is used one year that is employed in preceding years, so as to provide a means for utilizing the experience of one year as a test of the results of business operations in the next. In like manner, if a corporation or firm operates a number of different enterprises, the accounts of all are so kept as to enable the record of the expenses of any one to be of service to all the others.


The introduction of analytical statistical accounts of this character has proved of great administrative assistance to all the most successful private enterprises of the day. In some lines of manufactures accounts have become important factors in converting old refuse and waste into principal sources of profit, and changing losing into paying ventures.

One result of the introduction of analytical and statistical accounts into private business was to create a popular demand for the introduction and use of similar accounts by municipal and other governments. This demand first became prominent in the domain of municipal accounts since city governments came closer to the lives, and also to the pockets, of the people than any other class of governments. The demand for more efficient municipal government was the principal factor leading to the organization of the National Municipal League, and those connected with this body early perceived the relation between good municipal accounts and efficient municipal govern


The old accounting of American cities was conducted with one principal or primary object-that of showing that the treasurer had not stolen any money. The auditors whom city councils appointed to examine the accounts of the treasurer once were content to show that no city money had been converted to private use by the treasurer. City officials were not awakened to the fact that accounts should be kept not only as a check upon the action of the treasurer, but as a check upon and guide for the action of all city officials. Private business is wrecked infinitely more by bad management than by peculation of employees. The losses resulting from carelessness and incompetency are everywhere vastly greater than those arising from defalcation of trusted servants. The good administrative officer recognizes that he must keep accounts to guard the business more from his own possible laches than from dishonesty of his subordinates; and hence those accounts should afford the means of testing the efficiency of the work, not only of the treasurer and fiscal officers, and of every administrative officer, but of their trusted agents-from the highest to the lowest.

Here we come to the ideal use of accounts in modern business; to the old use of accounts as a means of testing the honesty of fiscal officers, we now add their employment as means of testing and measuring the efficiency of the work of all. To make municipal accounts and reports accomplish these latter results


Accounts as a
Measure of

has been the aim of the National Municipal League since the subject began to attract attention. To secure the introduction of accounts and reports that would measure the relative efficiency of all the various branches of municipal government, the League early prepared in a tentative form outlines of a uniform classification of revenues and expenditures. This classification was made the basis of the census schedules for preparing reports of the financial transactions and the financial condition of cities having a population of over 30,000 and I am asked to set before you the effect of the use of these schedules during the last seven years.

At the beginning of this seven year period a great mass of city officials looked upon the scheme for uniform accounts and reports as an iridescent dream of the visionary. Only a half dozen, more or less, of cities, large and small, could see enough in the scheme to make even a tentative use of the same in the reports of their fiscal officers, and these cities were of such varying sizes that the experience of one could be of but minor significance or assistance to the others. At that time if, for his own guidance, a city official wished to use the experience of another city upon any given subject, he had to secure the needed information not from printed reports but from personal correspondence with the officials who could compile the data for him. The growing desire for this information, however, had begun to become significant before the Bureau of the Census entered upon its work of compiling financial statistics. The Comptroller of St. Louis, Mo.-one of the ablest of our city fiscal officers-the Honorable James Y. Player, has informed me that five years ago the special inquiries of this kind by other city officers were sufficient to utilize the services of one clerk in his office all the time. With the advent of the Census publications, requests of this kind have practically come to an end. The census financial statistics of cities provide the basis for making the experience of one city the test and measure of the economy, wastefulness, or efficiency of the administration of our larger cities. I say the basis of such a test and measure, since if the census figures are employed further than as a basis for such purposes they may become sources of mischief and wrong rather than of good.

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