DOCUMENT BESUME 72 /27 02488 - [A1732741] ARea ~e< - [Public Relations Personnel Costs in 20 rc4eral Agencies and Various Other Costs]. LCD-77-424; E-161939. June 10, 1977. 11 pp. + 2 enclosures (2 pp.). Report to Sen. William L. Scott; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General. Contact: Logistics and Communications Div. Budget Function: General Government: other General Government (806). Organizaticn Concerned: Department of Defense; Department of Agricultare; Civil Service Commission; General Services Administration. congressional Relevance: Sen. William L. Scott. Authority: Food Ztamp Act of 1964, as amended. P.L. 94-419. 44 U.S.C. 1905. 44 U.S.C. 1718. 44 U.S.C. 1301. 7 U.S.C. 417. Much of the data requested on the costs associated with various specific Federal programs is not available in any centralized form. GAO investigated the following areas: the number of Federal employees in public affairs and congressional relations in the 20 largest Government agencies; the amount spent for recruitment by the mil.tary; Gov6rnment audiovisual costs; the development and printiu; costs of the Agricultural Yeerbook bicentennial issue and the farmers' bulletin cost; the cost of the Department of Agriculture's Food Stamp Outreach program for fiscal year 1976; and advertising costs in the Federal Government. Findings/Conclusions: Information submitted by the 20 agencies indicated that total personnel expense.s for public affairs and congressional relations totaled about $82 million in FY 1976. According to the Department of Defense, about $516 million was spent for military recruitment during FY 1976. Limited information is available on Government audiovisual costs, and agency accounting systems are not generally designed to report the information. The total cost for the 1976 Yearbook produced by the Department of Agriculture was about $577,000. The Department also spent about $578,000 on production of the farmers' bulletins in fiscal year 1976. Both the Yearbook and the bulletins are published primarily for delivery to, or distribution for, Mebhers of Congress. The Department of Agriculture reimbursed State agencies $968,604 for costs incurred in the Food Stamp Outreach program iz FP 1976. No current information is available on Government advertising costs. 'SC) COMPTROLXH" GENIRAL Of THC UNITED STATES WASHINTON. O.C RKSTRICTED -- '- - --- 4 ~.t"Ide the General Accounttng Offce -' ' specific app@oval ED B-161939 by the Off-ce oa /J577 it The Honorable William L. Scott United States Senate JUN 10 1977 Dear Senator Scott: By letter dated November 29, 1976, you requested that we obtain information on costs associated vith various Fed- eral programs such as public relations and audiovisual ac- tivities. After meeting with your office, we agreed to obtain: -- The number of Federal employees in public affairs and congressional relations and the salaries for these employees in the 20 largest Gove.:nment agencies. -- The amount spent for recruitment by the military. -- Government audiovisual costs, if available from the General Servicee Administration. -- The development and printing costs of the Agriculture Yearbook bicentennial iss:ue, and the farmers' bulle- tins cost, and the number of copies of both distrib- uted free by the Government. -- The cost of the Department of Agriculture's Food Stamp Outreach program for fiscal year 1976. -- Advertising costs in the Federal Government. Agency-supplied data is presented below. As agreed with your office, we did not verify the accuracy of informa- tion furnished by the various agencies. DATA ON FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WORKING IN PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANB CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS Since there is no Government-wide definition of public affairs, each agency defined public affairs and congressional relations itself to determine which employees to include in each category. We requested that the agencies include support staff as well as professional employees. LCD-77-424 B-161939 Information submitted by the 20 agencies is: FY 1976 FY 1977 (Actual) (Budgeted) Personnel Sala Pesonnel Sao-lary Public affairs 3,496 $62,414,557 3,366 $65,464,085 Congressional relations 950 $19,693,888 934 20,126,275 Enclosure I is an index of the agencies, their personnel and salaries. The number of public affairs and congressional relations employees reported by the agencies and shown in the index varied widely. For example, the Department of Trans- portaticn, which had a $4.3 billion fiscal year 1976 budget, reported 281 public affairs employees for fiscal year 1976 while the Department of Agriculture, with a $11.8 billion budget in fiscal year 1976, reported only 8 employees in public affairs. Department of Agriculture A previous GAO report on public affairs costs (B-161939, Sept. 30, 1975) explained the Department of Agriculture's philosophies that distinguishes public affairs from public information activities. At that time, Agriculture had 21 offices (which varied from 1 to 123 employees) which dis- seminated information to the public. Agriculture refers to these offices as public information, not public affairs ac- tivities, because these offices explain agriculture programs to the pLblic. Therefore, public information activities em- ployees are not included in Agriculture's public affairs costs. Department of Defense For both fiscal years 1976 and 1977 the Department of Defense reported over $20 million for public affairs costs. This figure included employee benefits as well as straight salary costs. Public Law 94-419 imposes a $24 million ceiling on the Defense Department's Fp:blic affairs expenditures. In view of the small difference between the 1976 expenditure and the legal limitation we asked the Defense Department for total public affairs costs for fiscal year 1976. The Defense Department reported that total public affairs expenditures-- prcgrams and people--exceeded $23 million. 2 B-161939 Our previous report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "Expenditures for Public Affairs Activities" did not (B-161939, July 30, 1973), reported that Defense activities in include operating costs for all promotionrecord all person- public affairs expenditures, nor did it nel costs for such activities. We reviewed selected activi- ties which were at least partly promotional and found that military ceremonial bands, costs for special aerial teams, In- exhibits, the Defense Forces service museums, service-related College of the Armed formation School, and Industrial affairs costs. seminars were not reported by Defense as public its We recommended that the Defense Department reexamine since many costs position on what it considered public affairs definition activities mentioned in our report met the Defense We also sug- of public information and community relations. the types gested that the Foreign Relations Committee clarify under the of Defense activities it expected to be reported limitation. that they In commenting on our report, Defense statedthese for other believe their decision to not report costs as puilic af- activities to the Foreign Relations Committee that the. fairs costs is proper. Defense further explained of the De- Congressional Appropriations Committees are awaresuggested fense definition of public affairs but have not broadening its scope. Others The Civil Service Commission and General Serrices Admin- istration also reported few employees in these categories. included We asked officials in these agencies if theyto had these offi- all employees in their figures. According relations em- cials, all public affairs and congressional ployees had been reported. As a matter of interest to you, there is no requirement costs-- that agencies specifically identify public affairs exists in the programs and people--so no central location Government where this information can be obtained. Total Government public affairs costs have previously been obtained by special studies or one-time reporting with the criteria for To our methods and definitions established by each report. was re- knowledge, the last special study for public affairsin 1970, which quested by the Office of Management and Budget $153 million in fiscal showed public affairs obligations to be 3 B-161939 year 1969. These costs included supplies, materials, and equipment, as well as personnel services and travel costs. MILITARY RECRUITMENT COSTS According to the Department of Defense, about $516 mil- lion was spent fo.L ilitary recruiting during fiscal year 1976. This amount. &ncludes recruiting costs for both active duty and reserve forces. A Defense official stated that the recruitment expendi- tures were: Expenditure Active forces recruitment (millions) Military salaries for recruiters and headquarters-level employees who monitor the recruitment program $182.6 Salaries for civilian support 25.9 Recruiting support, such as travel, printing, auto leasing, utilities 71.4 Leasing facilities for recruiting stations 25.1 Costs for recruitment advertising 68.8 Enlistment bonuses presently offered by the Army and the Marine Corps 68.5 Travel and per diem costs for recruiter aides, who are sent to their home neighborhoods for a few weeks to assist recruiting 6.2 $448.5 Reserve forces recruitment Military salaries 36.4 Civilian salaries 8.7 Recruiting support, including leasing facilities 22.6 $ 67.7 Total $516.2 4 B-161939 AUDIOVISUAL COSTS Audiovisual activities are defined in this report as those functions which produce and distribute audiovisual products such as motion picture films, still photos, tele- vision services, and audio services. The General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget have limited Information on Government audiovisual costs. Neither agency has information on annual operating costs requested by your office. An Office of Man- agement and Budget official stated that the agencies' annual operating costs cannot be obtained because the agency account- ing systems are not designed to report the information. However, the Office of Management and Budget provided some information on audiovisual costs which they obtained from studies completed in 1974 and 1977. The first study was prepared by the Office of Telecommunications Policy and reported cost data for fiscal year 1972 from the 15 largest users of audiovisual media in the Federal Government. The second study, prepared by the Office of Management and Bua- get, shows costs for fiscal year 1976 and includes informa- tion on 19 Federal agencies. Both reporcs contain information on the cost of obtain- ing audiovisual services from outside sources and the volume of in-house and contract production for different audiovisual media. We extracted data on 15 agencies from both reports so you may compare audiovisual production for fiscal years 1972 and 1976. In-house audiovisual production, contract production, and contract costs for the 15 audiovisual users are: Is~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ B-161939 Inhouse Contract Running Running ' Time (min.) Time (min.) Contract cost 1972 1976 1972 1976b I972 1976 Television produc- tions 22,338 126,212 651 47,105 $ 309,000 $11,377,356 Motion pic- ture pro- ductions 7,453 9,249 1',192 22,100 17,555,000 16,999,361 Mixed media produc- tions (a) 273,404 (a) 101,219 1,4'4,900 2,899,413 Total $19,308,000 $31,276,130 a/Mixed media running time not reported in fiscal year 1972 data report. In addition to these contract costs, tne Office of Tele- communications Policy reported in January 1974 that the ac- quisition value of equipment owned by the 15 agencies included in their study was $431 million as of June 30, 1972. In a December 1975 report, the General Services Adminis- tration estimated the total Government investment in audio- visual facilities equipment and inventories to be $1 billion and annual operating costs to be $500 million. We could not obtain this report's backup information and therefore cannot comment on the accuracy of these estimated costs. Our current audit plans include reviewing the utiliza- tion and effectiveness of audiovisual activities managed by agencies and the feasibility of consolidating audiovisual activities in certain geographic areas. AGRICULTURE YEARBOOK AND FARMERS' BULLETINS COSTS The Department of Agriculture produces both the Agricul- ture Yearbook and farmers' bulletins. The Agriculture Year- book is published yearly and is part two of the annual report of the Secretary of Agriculture. The 1976 Agriculture Year- book, "The Face of Rural America," is a hard cover publication 284 pages long. In contrast to prior yearbooks which con- tained reports and papers on various agricultural subjects, 6 .B-161939 the 1976 yearbook mainly contained photographs of American agriculture. Farmers' bulletins are reprints of articles on different agricultural subjects written mainly by Agriculture employees. Farmers' bulletins cover many subjects, such as home and garden bulletins, or leaflets such as "How to Raise Straw- berries," "Foundations For Farm Buildings," and "Home Canning of Fruits and Vegetables." TbA bulletins vary from one to several pages long and are produced in single page or pamphlet form. Both the Agriculture Yearbdok and farmers' bulletins are published primarily for delivery to, or distribution for, Mem- bers of Congress. Agriculture Ycarbook The cost of the 1976 yearbook consists of both the ma- terials development cost and the printing cost. Total cost is approximately $577,000. Agriculture o.'ficials stated that the development cost of the 1976 yearbook was $56,000, which is the salary cost for the 3 employees who put together the yearbook material. According to these officials, the reason why only employee salaries were considered development costs was that the year- book is a collection of materials that have previously been produced by the Department or donated by land grant colleges. The Agriculture Department stated it would have reproduced this data even if no yearbook were published. Printing cost was the major production cost of the 1976 yearbook. Actual yearbook printing was procured from a com- mercial printer by the Government Printing Office. According to Government Printing Office records, 286,763 yearbooks were printed costing $520,807. This includes freight costs. The yearbooks were printed for the Department of Agriculture, the Superintendent of Documents, and other Government agencies. The number of copies and billed costs were: 7 B-161939 Number of Billed cost Billed to copies (note a) Depar'ment of Agriculture: .opies for the Congress 233,450 $442,434 Copies for Agriculture 30,000 41,682 Superintendent of Documents: Copies for sales 15,000 24,434 Copies for Depository Libraries 1,175 1,937 Copies for International Exchange 135 205 Other agencies 7,003 10,115 Total 286,763 $520,807 a/This includes freight costs. The Superintendent of Documents and the other agencies paid less per copy of the yearbook than the Department of Agriculture. This is because of differences in freight costs and a cheaper printing add-on rate, which the contractor charges for printing additional copies. The majority of yearbooks were distributed to recipients free of charge. As shown, 271,763 yearbooks were distributed to: Congress: Senate (100 members and 3 Senate officers--550 copies each) 56,650 House of Representatives (435 members, 4 delegates, and 3 House officers--400 copies each) 176,800 233,450 Department of Agriculture '30,000 Superintendent of Documents 1,310 Other agencies 7,003 Total free copies 271,763 8 B-161939 Yearbook distribution to the Congress and copies retained by the Department of Agriculture is permitted by 44 U.'S.C. 1301, which allows printing up to about 470,000 yearbooks for the Congress and 30,000 yearbooks for the Department of Agri- culture. The minimum number of copies for the Congress for fiscal year 1977 must be no less than 232,250. The copies made available to Members of Congress are for distribution to constituents. The copies retained by the De- partment of Agriculture are distributed to the press, visiting dignitaries, and various department bureaus, who in turn dis- tribute the yearbook to land grant colleges, Department of Agriculture and Future Farmers of America libraries, and other recipients. The Superintendent of Documents distributed 1,310 year- books free of charge, as required by law. Depository li- braries and the Library of Congress received 1,175 and 135 respectively. The Superintendent of Documents is required by 44 U.S.C. 1905 to distribute copies of Government pFbli- cations to designated depository libraries throughout the country, and 44 U.S.C. 1718 directs that copies of Govern- ment publications be furnished to the Library of Congress for official use in the District of Columbia and for publica- tions exchange with other nations. Yearbooks printed for other agencies were for distribu- tion overseas or internal use. The United States Information Agency had 5,000 copies printed for distribution overseas to give key contacts in other countries a pictorial view of American agriculture. The Department of Interior required 1,113 yearbooks, which were distributed to various depart- ment offices and bureaus. Many other agencies had small quantities of the yearbook printed for their internal use. Only 15,000 yearbooks were not given away or used internally by agencies. These were printed for sale by the Superintendent of Documents. These yearbooks are sold at the Government Printing Office bookstores cr by mail by the Superintendent of Documents for $7.30 per copy. FARMERS BUTLETINS Funds are appropriated annually to the Department of Agriculture for production of farmers' bulletins. As author- ized by 7 U.S.C. 417, four-fifths of the bulletins are to be made available to, or sent out for, Members of Congress. 9 B-161939 According to Department of Agric ilture officials, in fiscal year 1976 the Department spent about $578,000 on bulletin production, however, this cost does not include distribution and mailing costs, which we were unable to obtain. The farmers' bulletins are distributed free by the Agri- culture Department for the Congress, in response to letters requesting information and through the Department Extension Service and Visitors Center. During fiscal year 1976, 9.3 million farmers' bulletins were distributed. Although four-fifths of these were available to the Congress, only 3.3 million were delivered to or sent out for Members of Congress. According to Agriculture officials, 3.3 million represented the total publications requested by the Congress. The remaining 6 million publications were made available for distribution to the public through: -- The Department's Extension Service, where County agents and State universities give the publications to in- dividuals requesting information. -- The Department's Visitors Center, where the general public can obtain publications in person. -- Responding to letters from individuals. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COST FOR THE OUTREACH PROGRAM The Food Stamp Outreach Program was authorized as part of the Food Stamp Act of 1964 as amended. The act states "* * * the State agency shall undertake effective action, including the use of services provided by other federally funded agencies and organizations, to inform low-income households concerning the availability and benefits of the food stamp pro- gram and insure the participation of eligible households * * *." To achieve the Outreach Program's purposes, the State agencies initiate and monitor efforts to reach all poten- tially eligible households and provide eligible households with reasonable and convenient access to the program. In fiscal year 1976 all States, plus the Distrigt of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and, the Virgin Islands participated in the Outreach Program. 10 B-161939 The Outreach P-ogram's cost is divided between the Federal Government and participating States. The act states "* * * the Secretary is authorized to pay to each State agency an amount equal to 30 per centur of all administrative costs including * * * the out- reach * * * requirements of Section 10 of this Act * * * According to Department of Agriculture officil$s, the Depart- ment reimbursed State agencies $968,604 for costs the State agencies incurred during fiscal year 1976. These payments partially reimbursed State agencies for the salaries of pro- gram coordinators and employees working on Outreach. We asked Agriculture officials how they control the funds given to the States in the Outreach Program. We were told that the States must submit to Agriculture a semiannual plan of Outreach activities and a semiannual performance report. Agricu'ture also performs an annual financial man- agement review of each State's use of funds. FEDERAL ADVERTISING COSTS The information you requested is not readily available and would require gathering data from each Gove'nnent agency and bureau. To answer a similar congressional inquiry in 1975, we obtained, from 31 agencies (see enclosure II), their total advertising cost. We trust this data will meet your needs. These 31 agencies spent $141.6 million for advertising by private agencies in fiscal year 1974 and estimated that $145.5 million would be spent in fiscal year 1975. In addi- tion, the agencies spent $47.5 million for in-house advertis- ing during fiscal year 1974 and estimated $53.3 million in costs for in-house advertising for fiscal year 1975. There- fore, these 31 agencies spent about $189 million and $199 million for fiscal years 1974 and 1975. Sincery yours, Comptroller General of the United States Enclosures - 2 11 ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I rrNoo 0O ow- i a a a a a a cc - L.. 6 EO la Ul C 0 M C MN*Cr MM *O-4 fo- C 0 C C v n N C v* .4 Ci Ng goAn '0 NC W *i9 IVa.o W M M iNw I- W M OWIl fM j 0 IV 0 M m N wo 00 f-Ia oc~* N 0 ~ ~c elI inn u - -4 M '0 j in >1 IY1 O 140'10VI · C(P~n O cI, 4 D 6 7; 0 0% Q~ N - N Ch 1%COM N0% … NM%. '1N … : C a i in 1% r- % * N i M% CM = 1 .I '0 .4 C r~… W =1Ct .0041 N If- C 0 4'fiW 4c' @019 *0NW 0 % 0 r 0 * ncm01c 0 U WI e V w Q . 1 a 0 0 0 0 0 CD a C -OW N 0e% 4%N a 0%z '0 .0*1 at t- at 0a 010 '0 * 09 N Ii I r ~ 41~ O r 4'0U9 N~~0 nIN % N E0 O WN . 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I 1- CS 41 go1S 6 a C ~C ' 4N 0 6 ODM Ir D. U-4 O~~~~~~~~~Ic C 0N sa a 00880 QuW la DO -ENCLOSURE II ENCLOSURE II AGENCIES QUESTIONED IN 1975 ABOUT ADVERTISING COSTS 1. Department of Agriculture 2. Department of Commerce 3. Department of Defense 4. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 5. Department of Housing and Urban Development 6. Department of the Interior 7. Department of Justice 8. Department of Labor 9. Department of State 10. Department of Transportation 11. Department of the Treasury 12. ACTION 13. American Revolution Bicentennial Administration 14. Commission on Civil Rights 15. Consumer Product Safety Commission 16. Council on Environmental Quality 17. Energy Research and Development Administration 18. Environmental Protection Agency 19. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 20. Federal Communications Commission 21. Federal Energy Administration 22. Interstate Commerce Commission 23. National Aeronautics and Space Administration 24. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 25. Selective Service Commission 26. Small Business Administration 27. Smithsonian Institution 28. United States Civil Service Commission 29. United States Information Agency 30. United States Postal Service 31. Veterans Administration 2
Public Relations Personnel Costs in 20 Federal Agencies and Various Other Costs
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-06-10.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)