This group covers government establishments primarily engaged in providing general support for government, which include personnel, auditing, procurement services, and building management services, and other general government establishments, which cannot be classified in other industries. Public finance is classified in SIC 9311: Public Finance, Taxation, and Monetary Policy.
921190 (All Other General Government)
The general government not elsewhere classified (NEC) division includes several offices and agencies associated with civil rights, civil service, accounting, personnel, purchasing, and supply. Three of the largest of these offices, all on the federal level, are the General Accounting Office (GAO), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the General Services Administration (GSA).
The GSA establishes policy for and provides economical and efficient management of government property and records. It oversees the construction and operation of buildings; purchasing and distribution of services and supplies; disposal and use of property; management of general transportation, traffic, and communications; and management of automatic data processing resources. Established in 1949, this massive federal bureaucracy ballooned into about 20 separate Washington, D.C., units and programs, and 11 regional offices with thousands of workers by the mid 1990s. The administrator of the GSA is supported by his deputy and chief of staff. Offices under GSA control range from the Office of Child Care and Development Programs to the Office of Business, Industry, and Governmental Affairs and the Office of Emerging Technology. The 1999 estimated budget for the GSA was $328 million dollars.
The OPM administers recruiting, examining, training, and promotion programs for federal workers. Its duty is to ensure that the federal government provides applicants and employees personnel services designed to develop and encourage the effectiveness of employees. The OPM also provides benefits to retired employees and their survivors. Established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the OPM inherited many of the responsibilities of the old Civil Service Commission. It is comprised of a director who oversees several offices, an Advisory committee, six functional groups (e.g. retirement and career entry), and five regional offices. OPM's estimated 1999 budget was $48 million.
The GAO is the investigation arm of Congress. Established in 1921 by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, it examines matters relating to the receipt and disbursement of public money. It supports Congress primarily by auditing and evaluating government programs and activities, usually at the request of house committees and members. The GAO is charged with finding inefficiency, waste, fraud, and illegality in government programs and bringing them to the attention of Congress. It also develops and prescribes accounting and fiscal policies, and provides legal counsel and services to Congress related to money and expenditures. The 1999 budget for the GAO was $354 million.
The Commission on Civil Rights, a smaller federal entity, collects and studies information on discrimination or denials of equal protection of the laws because of immutable physical characteristics, religion, or national origin. It was created in 1957 under the Civil Rights Act, and consists of 16 different offices, divisions, and units.
In addition to the GSA, OPM, GAO, and a few other separate entities, there are numerous branches and divisions of large federal offices that conduct activities similar to the major offices. Likewise, numerous and varied counterpart offices and agencies operate in state and local governments. Although general government NEC offices account for a significant portion of overall government employment, prospects for job growth are slim given public pressure to eliminate new government spending.
At the state and local level, cumulative government expenditures on construction, equipment, land, and maintenance of existing structures came to $158.9 billion in 1996. State and local governments employed about 940,000 people in NEC administrative and otherwise unallocable positions during that year.
"Federal Government Budget by Agency." The Political Reference Almanac, March 1999. Published online at PoliSci.com, http://www.polisci.com/economy/agency.htm .
Office of the Federal Register. The United States Government Manual 1996-1997. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1996.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1999. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1999.
U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1996.