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President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization

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The Presidential historical materials of the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note) and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify personal and private materials (including materials outside the date span covered by the act) as well as nonhistorical items. These materials have been returned to the individual who has primary proprietary interest.

Materials covered by the Act have been archivally processed and are described in this register. Items which are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (GSA Form 7279 or NA Form 14021) with a description of each restricted document has been inserted at the beginning of each folder from which materials have been removed. A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restriction. Certain classified documents may be declassified under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to a Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear feet of materials:   49
  • Approximate number of pages:   98,000

Scope and Content Note

The President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization (PACEO) was appointed by the President on April 15, 1969. Its mission was to conduct a review of the organization of the executive branch and to recommend changes which would alleviate problems arising from overlapping jurisdictions and improve the effectiveness of the government departments in carrying out the administration's domestic programs. The Council's first five members, also appointed on April 5, 1969, were the Chairman Roy L. Ash, John B. Connally, Frederick R. Kappel, Richard M. Paget, and George Baker; they were later joined by Walter Thayer, appointed June 2, 1969, who also held the post of Special Consultant to the President with the responsibility to assist in establishing the Council. Murray Comarow was the Council's first executive director, and Andrew Rouse his deputy and later successor. The Council first convened on April 10, 1969. It met formally one or two full days a month, conducted 1500 interviews, met with the President five times, and prepared for him fourteen memoranda between July 19, 1969 and November 19, 1970, as follows:

  1. Advising the President of the Council's Upcoming Agenda (July 19, 1969)
  2. The Executive Office of the President (August 20, 1969)
  3. Proposed Organization of the Executive Office of the President (October 17, 1969)
  4. Oceanography and Atmospheric Programs Organization (January 16, 1970)
  5. Proposed Reorganization of the Federal Organized Crime Strike Force Program (January 16, 1970)
  6. Overseas Organization of the Federal Government to Deal with Traffic in Narcotics (January 16, 1970)
  7. Report on Selected Activities in the Executive Office of the President (January 20, 1970)
  8. Federal Organization for Environmental Protection (April 29, 1970)
  9. The Establishment of a Department of Natural Resources (May 12, 1970)
  10. Federal Organization to Control Drug Abuse (June 25, 1970)
  11. The Independent Regulatory Agencies (July 10, 1970)
  12. Organization for Foreign Economic Affairs (August 17, 1970)
  13. The Executive Office of the President--An Overview (October 26, 1970)
  14. Organization for Social and Economic Programs (November 19, 1970)

Three of these reports were eventually made public: "The Establishment of a Department of Natural Resources" and "Organization for Social and Economic Programs" (published together, Government Printing Office, February 1971); and "The Independent Regulatory Framework, Report on Selected Independent Regulatory Agencies" (Government Printing Office, January 1971). In addition, the Council published "President's Departmental Reorganization--A Reference Compilation" (Government Printing Office, March 1971). Despite discussion among administration members that the Council should prepare and perhaps publish a "Final Report," such a report was apparently never in fact prepared.

President Nixon accepted the resignation of the Council on May 7, 1971.

The Council's files are arranged in seven series. Three of these series, Memoranda for the President, Meetings Files, and Subject Categories--which three together comprise about 60% of the file group's volume and are its core--follow the strict arrangement scheme imposed on them by the Council's records officers. The Memoranda for the President series, which holds the Council's final, finished products, together with drafts, reports and staff comments, and the Meetings Files series, which holds such things as agendas, minutes of meetings, and lists of attendees, are arranged chronologically. The Subject Categories series is comprised of six subseries, holding the records of the six Council study groups. Arrangement within each subseries follows a numerical scheme which divided materials into types, beginning with the memoranda for the President and including correspondence, transcripts of interviews, and background reports and memoranda.

Two other series, Chronological and Administrative Files and Andrew M. Rouse Files, do not follow the same arrangement scheme. The Chronological and Administrative File, which is arranged partly chronologically, partly by subject, covers administrative details of the Council's work, such as acquiring staff and equipment, responding to offers of assistance and advice, arranging meetings, and caring for Council financial and legal matters. The Andrew M. Rouse Files are the office files of the Council's deputy director and, in its late phase, director. It is arranged in two subseries. First is a Meetings File, which duplicates some of the material in the main Meetings File, described above, and a Subject File, which covers primarily the work of the two study groups with which Rouse worked most closely--those for the Executive Office of the President and Natural Resources. The subseries is arranged in an approximate alphabetical order which keeps the materials covering these two study groups each respectively together. The subseries also contains four folders of office files of Dwight Ink, an official of the Bureau of the Budget who worked with the Council.

The last two series, Reference File and Printed Material, contain background materials on reorganization proposals, past and present, and on government programs.

Materials related to the Council's records are located in the Subject Files of the White House Central Files (FG 250, The President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization), and in the staff member and office files, in both the White House Central Files and the White House Special Files, of administration figures such as H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Peter Flanigan, Kenneth Cole, Egil Krogh, Ray Price, and John Whitaker, who participated in the Council's work. In addition, Roy Ash has a small staff member file in the White House Central Files.

Attached as an appendix to this finding aid are four documents from this file group and from the Council file (FG 250) in the White House Central Files, Subject Files. They are (1) PACEO, Table of Organization (Tentative), June 18, 1969; (2) PACEO Press Release, July 15, 1969; (3) President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization, Staff, ca. July 1969; and (4) Staff, May 1, 1970.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-5
Series:   Memoranda for the President | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1971
Description:   Memoranda for the President, with accompanying drafts, appendices, briefing materials, staff reports and comments. Arranged chronologically.

Boxes:   6-11
Series:   Meetings Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1954, 1969-1971
Description:   Agendas, minutes, lists of attendees, drafts of memoranda for the President, memoranda, correspondence, notes and briefing materials relating to the meetings of the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization. Arranged chronologically.

Boxes:   12-14
Series:   Chronological and Administrative File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1971
Description:   Memoranda, correspondence, notes and press releases concerning the administration of the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization. Topics covered include acquiring staff and equipment, delineating areas of study, responding to offers of assistance and advice, preparing meeting agenda and arranging Council meetings, arranging meetings with the President and with interviewees, requesting advice and aid of government agencies, drafting Council memoranda to the President, responding to inquiries from members of Congress, managing Council finances, and contracting for consulting services. Arranged in part chronologically and in part by subject.

Boxes:   15-34
Series:   Andrew M. Rouse Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1947 (1969)-1971
Description:   This series is divided into two subseries:

Meetings Files (boxes 15-20) include memoranda, staff papers, charts, lists, partial transcripts of interviews, drafts of Presidential statements, and a speech draft. This subseries partially duplicates the materials in the Meeting Files series. Arranged chronologically.

Subject Files (boxes 21-34) include correspondence, memoranda, notes, reports, press releases, clippings, transcripts of hearings, texts of proposed bills and briefing materials concerning the work of the Council, and particularly of the study groups concerned with natural resources and the Executive Office of the President, with which Rouse worked most closely. Also included, at the end of the subseries, are the office files of Dwight Ink, which contain responses by corporate officials, heads of trade organizations and professional associations, and other interested parties, to Peter Flanigan's letter of March 22, 1971, inviting comments on proposed changes in the organization of independent regulatory commissions. At the end of the subseries is the misnamed "Final Report of the Council," which represents instead Rouse's final attempt to prepare a final report; it includes the fourteen memoranda for the President which the Council prepared, together with appendices. Arranged in an approximate alphabetical order.

Boxes:   35-95
Series:   Subject Categories | Folder Title List
Spans:   1967 (1969)-1971
Description:   This series is divided into six subseries, each representing the work of one of the Council's study groups. Each subseries was carefully arranged by the Council staff into a letter and number coded scheme. A similar arrangement pattern is followed in each case: first is the memorandum to the President produced by the study group; next are drafts of the memorandum; then follow printed material and other background information, correspondence and partial transcripts of interviews conducted by the study group, and finally reports, staff papers, speeches, transcripts of testimony and other similar materials used by the study group.

The six subseries are as follows:

  • Executive Office of the President (EOP) (boxes 35-41)
  • Law Enforcement (LEN) (boxes 42-51)
  • Natural Resources (NRE) (boxes 52-60)
  • Regulatory Agencies (REG) (boxes 61-70)
  • Foreign Economic Policy (FECOM) (boxes 71-72)
  • Social Programs (SP) (boxes 73-95)

All are arranged according to Council created subject-number schemes.

Boxes:   96-104
Series:   Reference File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1964 (1969)-1971
Description:   Reports, briefing materials, agency handbooks, staff papers, catalogs, a bibliography, and a computer printout concerning present and former reorganization proposals. The "Chronology Information" folder contains a partial chronological history of the Council. Arranged approximately around Council study group areas of interest.

Boxes:   105-118
Series:   Printed Material | Folder Title List
Spans:   1959 (1967)-1971
Description:   Reports, catalogs, booklets, journals, magazines, texts of laws and directories relating to government programs. This material is unarranged.

Folder Title List

Available as a searchable Adobe Acrobat PDFpdf file.


  • Adobe Acrobat PDFAppendix:   Documents Relating to PACEO's Administrative History


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