The Prehistory of ACUS, Part 6: The Second Hoover Commission Calls for an Office of Legal Services and Procedure

This post is the sixth in a nine-part series about the historical antecedents of ACUS.

In 1953, Congress requested a second Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, and President Eisenhower, like Truman before him, appointed Herbert Hoover the Commission’s Chair.

Herbert Hoover (Library of Congress/Harris & Ewing Collection).

In March 1955, the Commission released its report on Legal Services and Procedure, which recommended wide-ranging changes to rulemaking and adjudication, improving the availability of agency guidance materials—and establishing an Office of Legal Services and Procedure:

An Office of Legal Services and Procedure should be established within the Department of Justice to assist agencies in simplifying, clarifying, and making uniform rules of substance and procedure; to insure agency compliance with statutory public information requirements; and to receive and investigate complaints regarding legal procedures and report thereon to the authorities concerned.

“The creation of an office to improve administrative procedures has been a matter of public interest for nearly fifteen years,” the Commission wrote. “After careful consideration of all alternatives, we conclude that such an office should be established at this time for the dual purposes of administering the legal career service and assisting agencies in the improvement of administrative procedures.”

Next week: Part 7, The Department of Justice Gets an Office of Administrative Procedure.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin