BALTIMORE CITY ARCHIVES
(Commission on Efficiency and Economy)
This commission was appointed by Mayor Howard W. Jackson, shortly after he took office in 1923, to survey the organization and functions of the city government. Its purpose was to introduce business methods into the management of the city, to eliminate waste and useless jobs, and to streamline the operation of the municipal government.
During its four-year existence the commission, composed of accountants, auditors, and cost experts from Baltimore's largest businesses, examined and analyzed every municipal office and made numerous recommendations concerning the efficiency and economy of their operation. Major accomplishments of the commission included: consolidation of individual agency payroll departments into a central payroll bureau; creation of the department of public works, a bureau of audits, central purchasing and warehousing operations, and a retirement system; and the preparation of the first complete inventory and evaluation of all city assets, including property.
William F. Broening, Jackson's successor, did not cooperate with the commission, an appointed body, and it was forced to terminate its activities in 1927. It was succeeded by the Commission on Governmental Efficiency and Economy, an independent organization incorporated in 1929 when the Baltimore Association of Commerce and the Real Estate Board of Baltimore became concerned with the need for a permanent, non-partisan organization to continue the analytical work of the original commission.
For additional information concerning the commission see Frederick Philip Stieff, The Government of a Great American City (Baltimore: H.G. Roebuck and Son, 1935).