The President'sCommission to Study Capital Budgeting

Summary of the Activities and Process of the Commission

    The White House announced the formation of the President's Commission to Study Capital Budgeting on February 25, 1997, and also announced Jon S. Corzine, Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee at Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Kathleen Brown, Senior Vice President and National Sales Marketing Director of the Investment Management Services Group at the Bank of America, as Co-Chairs. The Commission was formally established by Executive Order 13037 on March 3, 1997. The Executive Order announced the purposes of the Commission, placed it in the Department of the Treasury, and made the Commission subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act. This meant that meetings were required to be announced in the Federal Register and were open to the public, and the Commission's documents were available to the public. The White House announced the remaining members of the Commission on November 6, 1997. Except for the first organizational meeting, meetings of the Commission were transcribed.

    The primary purpose of the first meeting of the Commission, which was held December 13, 1997, in Washington DC, was to discuss organizational issues and how the Commission would carry out its work. Gene Sperling, Chairman of White House National Economic Council, met with the Commission to share his views of the importance of the Commission's work. The Executive Order said that the report of the Commission was to be submitted to the NEC.

    In this meeting it was announced that the Executive Director of the Commission would be Barry Anderson, Assistant Director for Budget Review in the Office of Management and Budget.

    The Commission was very interested in seeking the views of all interested groups and individuals about capital budgeting. The Commission advised the Congress and the public about its study in various ways:

    When Mr. Anderson left OMB in April 1998, he resigned as Executive Director and the Commission interviewed several candidates to select a replacement. At its May meeting the Commission announced that its new Executive Director would be Dick Emery, Mr. Anderson's successor at OMB. In July the Commission hired Robert Litan, Director of Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution, to write its report.

    The Commission met nine times. The primary purpose of the December meeting was to organize the Commission's work. The meetings in January, March, April, May, and June were to take testimony on the issues before the Commission. In its July, September, and November meetings, the Commission discussed in more detail the content of its report and reviewed drafts of its report. Mr. Litan met with the Commission at these meetings to discuss issues and to receive guidance on the content of the report. He presented a first draft for discussion at the September meeting, and a revised draft at the November meeting.

    The Commission presented its report to the White House National Economic Council on March 23, 1999, at which time its Report of the President's Commission to Study Capital Budgeting was released to the public. The Report, testimony, staff papers, and other information are available on the Commission's website at:

President's Commission to Study Capital Budgeting