November 8, 1968
Honorable Board of Supervisors
383, Hall of Administration
500 W. Temple
Los Angeles, California 90012
ADVISORY COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES
In recent meetings your Board has discussed the role of certain advisory commissions and committees in County government. This letter is to inform you that the Economy and Efficiency Committee wholeheartedly supports a program directed towards a periodic screening of each County advisory commission or committee, including our own.
In a report on the over-all organization of County government, presented to your Board in May, 1966, we reviewed the operation of these advisory commissions and committees. The report pointed out that, in addition to 57 separate operating departments, you must also supervise over 70 such advisory groups with a membership of approximately S30 appointees. "Such a staggering burden of responsibility," the report observed, "is reminiscent of the popular spiritual, ‘He’s Got The Whole World in His Hands.’"
Steps should be taken, the report stated, to reduce this awesome span of control. We, therefore, recommended that advisory groups receive the same scrutiny by your Board as line department operations. "All too often," the report concluded, "this is not done. Consequently, committees are formed; languish for lack of objective and direction, and ultimately wither away unnoticed, having made no real contribution and representing a sheer waste of time and money in the total operations. To serve effectively these groups must receive direction from your Board and their activities must be reviewed periodically by your Board to ascertain the worth of their contribution and the advisability of their continuance."
We believe these committees should be reviewed with the following criteria in mind:
1. What has the committee accomplished?
2. What is the cost in membership fees, staff services and use of County facilities?
3. Do the activities of the committee overlap with those of other committees?
As you know, the Audit Committees of both the 1967 and 1968 Grand Juries recommended that the Chief Administrative 0ffice conduct this type of review.
We agree that the Chief Administrative Office should provide you with the pertinent information on each commission or committee, as you have asked it to do regarding the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. However, since the responsibility for establishing these advisory groups and appointing their members rests solely with the Board of Supervisors; the decision to abolish or combine present agencies should also remain solely with your Board.
We, therefore, urge you to continue your current screening of advisory commissions and committees. We are certain a periodic review of all such groups will produce operating economies.
Very truly yours,
ROBERT MITCHELL, Chairman
Los Angeles County Citizens
Economy and Efficiency Committee