139. Briefing Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management (Read) to Acting Secretary of State Christopher 1


  • Status of the Proposed Reorganization of USIA and CU

I. Reorganization Plan to be Submitted October 6

Staff work in the Executive Branch on the reorganization of CU and USIA which the President called for on August 262 has nearly been completed. As you know, plans call for the consolidation of USIA (including the VOA) and CU into a new agency with an “ACDA-like” relationship to State. Acting OMB Director McIntyre is sending a memorandum to the President this afternoon3 asking him to resolve the remaining issues which are noted below, and he is expected to do so in the next 24 hours. The reorganization plan is scheduled to go up to the Congress on October 6 and to be accompanied by a Presidential message explaining it. Hearings will probably be held in the next session of Congress, and the plan could take effect at some time in March 1978 (60 legislative days after submission).

II. Remaining Issues

1. Mission: The Presidential message contains a clear and satisfactory statement of mission.4 State and USIA have argued that the Plan itself should also contain the same statement of mission, since it will be the Agency’s basic document in the coming period and it should be self-sufficient even when detached from the Message. The President’s Reorganization Project people object on technical grounds that such statements do not belong in reorganization plans and that there is no precedent for their inclusion.

2. Relationship to State: The Message and the Plan contain clear language that the Director of the new Agency will be “under the direc[Page 555]tion of the Secretary of State”—which is the ACDA model. In an attempt to make this more specific, we are still contesting two points cited below. Our preferred language will go to the President in McIntyre’s Option Paper with contrary recommendations from the NSC and compromise positions suggested by the PRP.

(a) Guidance. We have urged inclusion of language requiring the Secretary to provide the Director of the new Agency with guidance “in program, policy, and budgetary planning and to work towards a consolidation of the inspection of the activities and programs of the Agency under the Inspector General of the Foreign Service.” USIA agreed to these terms but the PRP and NSC opposed them as unnecessary and politically dangerous (apparently Dante Fascell opposes granting too much supervisory authority to the Secretary). The PRP suggests that we take care of this problem by exercising an active role with respect to the new Agency and also perhaps through a subsequent Presidential memorandum.

(b) Reporting. As in the ACDA model, the Director will be the principal adviser on matters within the Agency’s scope to the President, the NSC and the Secretary of State. The Plan then goes on to state that “the Director shall report to the President and the Secretary of State.” I have opposed this reference to reporting as I think it invites separate reporting channels which might be taken advantage of in the future.

3. Name: Two names are still in contention: “The Agency for International Communication” and “The United States Communications and Cultural Exchange Agency.” We have not indicated a preference.

III. Integrity of the Educational and Cultural Exchange Program

The Presidential message contains a plain statement that the integrity of the educational and cultural exchange program will be maintained. The Message and Plan also state the President’s intention to nominate an Associate Director to be responsible for direction of the educational and cultural exchange programs, and this official will be subject to Senate approval. Although we had urged inclusion of additional hortatory language on “integrity” in the Plan, the PRP people found it inappropriate, and I have not contested this further. The integrity issue is obviously fundamental because it will be the basis for any opposition to the Plan itself.

IV. Personnel Statement

The President has repeated several times the view that employees must not be hurt or lose positions by virtue of his reorganization plans and that any reductions can be taken care of by normal attrition. I discussed this matter with the Secretary twice before he left for New York and we have developed a statement, which has been given to [Page 556] AFSA in advance for its information, which I will be submitting to you tomorrow for issuance at the time that the Message and Plan go forward.5

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Under Secretary for Management (M), 1977–1978, Box 5, Chron October 1977. No classification marking. Printed from an unsigned copy.
  2. Not found.
  3. Not found.
  4. For the text of Carter’s October 11 message to Congress transmitting Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1977 establishing the International Communication Agency and the text of the plan, see Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book II, pp. 1765–1771. He transmitted amendments to the plan on November 1 and 3; see ibid., pp. 1963–1965.
  5. Tabs 1–3, the draft Presidential message, plan, and personnel statement, were not found attached.