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Icon Information on BRG52 - (Commission on Efficiency and Economy)

Series Information
(Commission on Efficiency and Economy)

Series Description

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).

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DateSeries NameDescriptionMSA Citation
  Details1926-1927InventoriesDescription and valuation of buildings and other structures in Druid Hill Park created as part of the commission's inventory of city assets. Occasional floor plans and calculations of construction costs are scattered through the inventory. Types of buildings and structures represented include zoo cages, picnic grove pavilions, offices, tool sheds, fountains, fences, entrance arches, bath and laundry houses, and repair shops. Also included are some working papers for financial statements for various parks.BRG52-1
  Details1926-1927Photographs and Miscellaneous ItemsPhotographs and drawings created to supplement the commission's Inventory of city property. Subjects of the photographs include schools, monuments, fire houses, police stations, libraries, municipal buildings, comfort stations and baths, hospitals, and the city jail. There is one copy of a blueprint showing the topography and contours of the swimming pool in Druid Hill Park.BRG52-2
  Details1931-1932ReportsReports by the fact finding staff of the Commission on Governmental Efficiency and Economy concerning a survey for the standardization of salaries, wages, and the classification of municipal positions. Also included are general correspondence and organizational charts and tables outlining city government agencies. These reports cover the primary components of the Commission's work during Mayor Howard W. Jackson's second term. Subjects of the reports include the Bureau of Audits, Central Payroll Bureau, Bureau of Disbursements, City Register, City Comptroller, Appeal Tax Court and Employees Retirement System.BRG52-3
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