127. Memorandum From the Acting Director of the Office of Management Operations (Malone) to the Under Secretary of State for Management (Read)1


  • Effect of Leach Amendment on Position Ceiling

The “Leach Amendment”, contained in Section 311 of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978,2 provides that the total number of civilian employees in the Executive Branch from September 30, 1979 through September 30, 1981, shall not exceed the number of such employees on September 30, 1977. Having just become aware of this proviso, I have obtained a copy of the text (Tab A)3 and have sought the views of Jim Barie in OMB concerning its interpretation.

Barie has informed me that the Administration’s position is one of enthusiastic support for Section 311 of the Act. Since Section 311 [Page 507] applied to the Executive Branch as a whole, there is some flexibility in its application. Overall, the Executive Branch will have to come down by 40,000 positions. For State, the 1977 ceiling will be achieved by a two-percent reduction from our OMB FY 79 ceiling of 22,960 full-time employees (or 24,308 full- and part-time employees). Thus, the ceiling which OMB will impose upon us to comply with the law will be 22,500 full-time employees (or 23,800 full- and part-time employees). State should aim to achieve this reduction by the end of FY 79. Barie said there would be no inclination to relieve us of this requirement.

In other words we will be expected to meet by the end of FY 79 the position ceiling which OMB had originally expected us to meet by the end of FY 80.

I have asked Barie whether we would be receiving an official notification to this effect from OMB. He said that we would not, but that it would all be sorted out in the budget review process. He said that this matter would probably be discussed next Tuesday4 at the hearings scheduled here to deal with salaries and expenses and employment.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Under Secretary for Management (M), 1978–1979, Box 4, Chron October 12–13, 1978. No classification marking. The Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management became the Under Secretary of State for Management on October 1, 1978.
  2. P.L. 95–454. Section 311 describes the temporary limitations on employment.
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. October 17.