U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations
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The U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) was an independent, bipartisan agency in the United States federal government formed to study and consider the federal government’s intergovernmental relationships. It was established in 1959 by under Public Law 86-380 and operated until 1996.
ACIR was a successor to the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, popularly known as the Kestenbaum Commission, a temporary commission that operated from 1953 to 1955.
ACIR was directed by a 26-member commission that consisted of six members of the U.S. Congress appointed by the leadership of the House and Senate, four state governors, three members of state legislatures, four mayors, three county officials, three private citizens and three representatives of the executive branch of the federal government. The citizen and executive branch representatives were appointed directly by the President. The state, county, and municipal officials were appointed by the President from nominations submitted by national organizations of state and local governments.
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History of the ACIR
Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government was established by Public Law 80-162 (61 Stat 246) to “study and investigate the present organization and method of operation of the executive branch of the government for the purpose of limiting expenditures and eliminating duplication, and consolidating, abolishing and defining executive services, functions and activities.” The Commission was commonly called the “Hoover Commission.”
In their concluding report (House Doc. 81-197; Y 3.Or 3:2 Or 3) the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government recommended that a permanent agency “be created with primary responsibility for study, information and guidance in the field of Federal-State relations.”
Congress created a temporary Commission known as the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (Public Law 83-109; 67 Stat. 145). This Commission was commonly known as the “Kestenbaum Commission.”
Commission on Intergovernmental Relations issued its final report (Serial Set # 11873 v.34; House Doc. 84-198; Y 3. In 8/7: R29).
House Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee conducted a comprehensive study of the recommendations of the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations resulting in Public Law 86-380.
ACIR was established by the 86th Congress (Public Law 86-380; 73 Stat 703) as a “permanent, bipartisan body of 26 members, to give continuing study to the relationship among local, state, and national levels of government.”
The Act provided that the Commission would:
Bring together representatives of the Federal, State, and local governments for consideration of common problems;
Provide a forum for discussing the administration and coordination of Federal grant and other programs requiring intergovernmental cooperation;
Give critical attention to the conditions and controls involved in the administration of Federal grant programs;
Make available technical assistance to the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government in the review of proposed legislation to determine its overall effect on the Federal system;
Encourage discussion and study at an early stage of emerging public problems that are likely to require intergovernmental cooperation;
Recommend, within the framework of the Constitution, the most desirable allocation of governmental functions, responsibilities, and revenues among the several levels of government; and
Recommend methods of coordinating and simplifying tax laws and administrative practices to achieve a more orderly and less competitive fiscal relationship between the levels of government and to reduce the burden of compliance for taxpayers.
Funds were appropriated for ACIR in the Treasury, Postal Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-52; 109 Stat. 468). For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1996, $784,000 was appropriated, “of which $450,000 shall be available only for the purposes of the prompt and orderly termination of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.”
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Notes from the Federal Register
“Effective November 15, 1995, the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) was terminated by the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Appropriations Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-52, 109 Stat. 468.” (05/08/2002)
“The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) will hold a meeting on Tuesday, July 23, 1996, beginning at 10:00 AM and concluding at 2:00 PM in the Hall of the States, Room #383/385, 444 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC.” (07/10/1996)
“The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 26, 1996, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and concluding no later than 4:00 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room #2154, Independence Ave. and South Capitol St., SW Washington, DC 20250.” (03/18/1996)
“Due to scheduling conflicts and other issues prohibiting the
participation of several commissioners, the Advisory Commission on
Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) has postponed the scheduled March 8
public hearing on the preliminary report.” (03/05/1996)
“The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 8, 1996, beginning at 9:00 AM and concluding no later than 4:00 PM in the Jefferson Auditorium, USDA, 14th and Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250.” (02/27/1996)
Notice of Availability of the ACIR Preliminary Report on The Role of Federal Mandates in Intergovernmental Relations, January 1996
“As required by Section 302(c) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4), the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) (42 U.S.C. 4271) hereby announces the availability of the Preliminary Report on The Role of Federal Mandates in Intergovernmental Relations.” (01/17/1996)
“The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) is issuing criteria for investigating and reviewing existing federal mandates and formulating recommendations to modify, suspend, or terminate specific mandates on State, local, or tribal governments. These criteria were approved by the Commission on June 28, 1995.” (07/06/1995)
“The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) is soliciting public comments on its proposed criteria for investigating and reviewing existing federal mandates and formulating recommendations to modify, suspend, or terminate specific mandates on State, local, or Tribal governments.” (05/23/1995)
“The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (42 U.S.C.
4271) has been directed by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
enacted on March 22, 1995, to make recommendations to the President and
Congress regarding: [Subject matter follows.]” (03/27/1995)