346. Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management (Macomber) to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (Richardson)1

The Management Reform Task Forces which produced Diplomacy for the ’70’s2 placed a great deal of emphasis on the need to stimulate creativity in the Department and Foreign Service, and to improve the atmosphere for openness in the foreign affairs community as a whole. Certain specific recommendations were identified as Action Program Items 464 through 474. For a variety of reasons, we have not been able to make as much progress in this area as in other areas of the Task Force recommendations.

All during 1971 members of my staff worked with the Public Affairs Bureau, with the Open Forum Panel, with S/PC, and other offices in an effort to develop new regulations and guidelines in the general area of expression of individual views both “in-house” and publicly. Some of these efforts were successful, i.e., the “Dissent Channel,”3 and the Policy on Wives of Foreign Service employees. But in other important areas, we simply could not move. Bill Blair will recall much of the background of this, as P was centrally involved in much of the discussion.

I am writing to ask you to take another look at this concern of the Task Forces over the state of creativity and openness in the Department and Foreign Service. My hopes have been re-stimulated by the experience of EUR with its self-initiated series of EUROPOLICY papers, which permits individual employees to present new ideas to their colleagues in a responsible, disciplined, serious channel. We have seen four of these papers so far, all classified; I would expect that eventually EUR may come up with some worthwhile effort which may not need classification. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no leaks, no frivolous demands for “publication,” and no strain on our resources. It seems to me that EUR on its own has implemented at least [Page 768] one of the Task Force recommendations which caused considerable concern last year, without provoking the dire results forecast in some quarters.

Please have the appropriate people in P get in touch with EUR’s Policy Planning Staff, which is running this effort, to make an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages which might be expected if we applied the idea at the Department-wide level.4 Unless there are overwhelming objections to this effort, I hope you can give me some recommendations perhaps by the end of October on where we might place responsibility for development and coordination of this and related programs suggested in Action Program items 464–474, and an idea of the resources we might need to commit in man-hours and money.5

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Management, Management Reform Task Force Papers: Lot 74 D 394, MR: TF IX, Openness. No classification marking. Drafted by Steven, and sent through S/S. A copy was sent to EUR. Printed from a copy that indicates Macomber signed the original.
  2. See Document 312.
  3. Procedures by which officers at posts abroad could submit dissenting views on policy to the Department were specified in Management Reform Bulletin No. 9, February 23, 1971; telegram 201473, November 4, 1971; and airgram A–3559, April 8, 1972. (National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Management, Management Reform Task Papers: Lot 74 D 394, MR: TF IX, Openness)
  4. Handwritten next to this sentence is “not done 1/31/73.”
  5. Handwritten next to this sentence is “not done 1/31/73.”