134. Editorial Note

On June 18, 1974, the Deputy Director of the Policy Planning Staff, Samuel Lewis, forwarded a paper prepared by the Staff on the progress and future of the Policy Analysis and Resource Allocation programming system (PARA) to Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management L. Dean Brown. (For the origins of the PARA system, see footnote 3, Document 115.) The paper concluded that the Department continued to require a systematic, rather than piecemeal, response to its substantive and managerial weaknesses and, cumulatively, PARA had produced “substantial” successes. The system had compelled the geo [Page 461] graphic bureaus to accept the “requirement that each diplomatic post prepare or update annually a country policy paper” that identified specific U.S. objectives, set forth a strategy for attaining them, and involved the Inspector General’s office and other agencies in the policy review process. The Policy Planning Staff viewed these accomplishments as a “good foundation,” especially now that the “policy initiative has once again returned to the Department” with Secretary Kissinger’s appointment, but noted that further progress depended upon convincing “those in the system that there is utility in what they’re doing.”

“Based on our PARA experience,” the Policy Planning Staff recommended “the Department concentrate its management reform efforts in two crucial areas.

“—First, we believe it is important that the Department at all levels articulate much more systematically U.S. global, regional and functional policy interests, priorities and objectives. What broad policy guidance now exists is spotty and incomplete, often out-of-date, sometimes inconsistent and scattered throughout numerous documents. Surely, we can do better in providing a broad, timely and coherent framework for the foreign affairs community.

“—Second, we should redouble our efforts to develop procedures which will ensure that the resources of the Department—and, insofar as possible, eventually of other foreign policy agencies too—are related in the most effective way possible to policy objectives and programs. OMB thinks we can and should be doing a far better job in managing our own resources. We agree. Until we do, we will have an uphill battle in justifying requests for additional funds and personnel, to say nothing of persuading other agencies to follow our advice in allocating their own resources.” (National Archives, RG 59, Administrative Correspondence Files, General Correspondence Files of the Deputy Under Secretary for Management 1968–75: Lot 78 D 295, M Chron June 1974)