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isted. This statement considered the whole appropriation for
The District budget has been prepared and submitted to Con-
The grand divisions of the budget are as follows:
With the budget enacted into law in the form outlined, there
1 For subheads, those specially interested are referred to Mr. Tweedale.
were not absolutely needed or that would tend to wasteful expenditure, for, under the plan outlined, appropriations are considered, not separately, but as an integral part of a common whole; and therefore the affairs of the government are changed so that no longer is the matter of making requests mere guess work, but it is reduced to a mathematical deduction based upon facts which are required to be produced, and, therefore, it is impossible to slight those functions that pertain to the physical welfare of the city for those that are not so important or material, as by the analytical process required in the preparation of the budget such inequalities will be clearly shown.
Moreover, with the budget prepared in the form outlined by reason of the combination under general captions of all those general functions which should be considered together, there is given that Congressional and administrative control which is necessary to intelligently provide the means for carrying on the various functions of the government and the management of its business. It further provides the means of financial control over the expenditures by providing those general accounts which will be required to be opened in the fiscal office of the government, and which will require that subsidiary accounts be opened in the various offices where expenditures are made for the functions under the general account, with the result that the subsidiary accounting must close into the general account. For these reasons and many others which time prohibits the consideration of, this budget has been recommended as a means of properly managing the business affairs of this government.
In the past, the government of the District of Columbia has been criticised, and unjustly so, because of the fact that the appropriation bill had been so written that an appropriation made apparently for one object included many objects that were properly classified under such functions of government, with the result that the figures taken therefrom were entirely erroneous, and when used for comparative purposes unjustly and falsely represented the objects of comparison. It would seem wise on this account alone, if that was the only one, that a change should be made in the classification of the budget. It is believed that, when the budget of this government is intelligently arranged,
public interest will be aroused in order that it may be deter-
As I have stated, the business of the District government is
Municipal Research---A New Instrument
RUFUS E. MILES, CINCINNATI,
The movement which has become known under the name of municipal research ” has now stood the test of nearly four years of actual experience. Though not yet fully developed, it is no longer a paper program or parlor reform. Its advocates may fairly claim a hearing on the basis of achievement, and, on the other hand, may fairly be expected to give answer as to its justification and place in the social order. This paper is an attempt to present municipal research in perspective.
There is no need to dwell either upon the importance of efficiency in municipal service or upon the fact of its failure to measure up to a satisfactory standard. When we recall that over one-fourth of the total population of the United States lives in cities of over twenty-five thousand inhabitants which spend annually hundreds of millions of dollars, the magnitude of the interests involved, whether measured in terms of dollars or social welfare, is at once apparent. The failure of municipal government to meet public demands has been too often proved to require further evidence to establish the fact. It is not over the fact of municipal mismanagement that differences arise, but over the amialysis of it and the remedy.
It is only in comparatively recent years, indeed, that a really serious effort has been made at scientific analysis from direct
observation. The main elements which this anAnalysis of
alysis now reveals may be expressed in a few Misgovernment
general propositions, some of which are perhaps self-evident, but have not always been clearly in mind:
1. A popular form of government is not popular government, unless the people actually participate effectively and intelligently in the process of governing. A popular form of government allows, but does not produce popular government. Automatic
government is as impossible as perpetual motion; government demands intelligence as motion demands energy.
2. Popular participation in government, being exercised mainly through the ballot in the election of officials and representatives, is effective only in so far as these officials and representatives manage the public business in the public interest.
3. Public officials cannot be expected to administer the public business solely in the public interest when conditions make it directly contrary to their personal interests to do so; i. 2.a. So long as their appointment to and continuance in office
is controlled by special interests, and is also dependent
upon the political fortunes of these interests. b. So long as the methods of conducting the public business
are such as to allow numerous opportunities for favoritism, laxity, and graft without observation or detection, owing to the fact that public officials and those who seek the favors are virtually the only persons who are in
formed upon the current details of public business. c. So long as public officials are subjected to a continual
pressure to grant special favors to those for whom they hold their offices, while on the other hand, they receive from the general public little active support for sound public policy, credit for efficiency, or condemnation for
inefficiency. d. So long as there are no scientific standards of efficiency
in the administration of public business, and no system
for applying such standards if they existed. 4. Therefore a popular participation which is virtually confined to the periodical choice of officials (assuming this choice to be a free choice, which in many cases it is not) without an organized method for following and influencing public business, is not and cannot be expected to be effective.
5. Popular participation cannot be intelligent unless the people systematically receive unbiased and accurate information upon public business.
6. With the complexity of modern city administration, and the pressure of present-day industrial life, few citizens are able to maintain any considerable familiarity with the routine of public business, even if qualified to do so.