A Common Thread of Service . Organizational Changes


When the war ended, President Truman moved to "strengthen the arm of the Federal Government for better integration of services in the fields of health, education, and welfare."

Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1946, effective July 16, 1946, abolished the three-man Social Security Board, creating in its place, the Social Security Administration, headed by a Commissioner of Social Security. The plan transferred the Children's Bureau (created in 1912), exclusive of its Industrial Division, from the Department of Labor to FSA, where it became part of the Social Security Administration; the U. S. Employees Compensation Commission, formerly an independent organization, to the Office of the Administrator of FSA; functions of the Department of Commerce regarding vital statistics to the FSA Administrator, who delegated them to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service.

Legislation of major importance to the Agency also was passed in 1946: the National Mental Health Act; the Vocational Education Act; the Federal Employees Health Act; the 1946 Amendments to the Social Security Act; and the Hospital Survey and Construction Act.

In 1947, the Administrator directed the establishment of a central library, consolidating the resources of three independent libraries at the Social Security Administration, the Office of Education, and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. This library eventually became the central library of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

By 1948, the retail price of food had risen 114 percent over the 1935-39 base, yet the monthly benefits under social security had not changed since the 1939 amendments had established a base level. On October 1 , 1948, increases in social security benefits were authorized.

Other key pieces of legislation passed in 1948 included bills creating the National Heart Institute and the National Institute of Dental Research. On June 16, 1948, the name of the National Institute of Health was changed to the National Institutes of Health. On June 30, 1948, the President signed the Water Pollution Bill, delegating national water pollution responsibilities to the Public Health Service. Also in 1948, legislation authorized the transfer of the Federal Credit Union program from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to the Social Security Administration.

The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 gave the Federal Security Administrator authority to dispose of surplus Federal propel property to tax-supported or nonprofit educational institutions for health or educational purposes.

During 1949, the Federal Security Agency began the establishment of 10 FSA regional offices to replace the 11 previously operated by the Social Security Administration and consolidated those being operated by other FSA constituents into one common regional office structure. Previous to the consolidation, constituent agencies were maintaining five and, in some cases, six independent regional offices in a single city.

On May 24, 1950, Reorganization Plan No. 19 of 1950 transferred from FSA to the Department of Labor the Bureau of Employees Compensation and the Employees Compensation Appeals Board. Then, the Federal Security Administrator abolished the Office of Special Services, which had administered the two transferred units plus the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Food and Drug Administration. The effect of this action was to elevate OVR and FDA to agency status.