The researcher's digest: September

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  • Researchers Digest: September Birth certificates and what to do about them; pot pourri of research reports showing that the mrnd of a researcher is full of a number of things.

    Prove You Were Born! Now that almost anyone, from an

    executive to a housewife, is liable to find himself or herself converted over night into a national defense worker, a heretofore inconsiderable piece of paper, the birth certificate, assumes a new and monumental importance. How to prove to the satisfaction of spy- and sabotage-conscious person- nelists that one was really born, and in this country t o boot? The terrific amount of paper work involved in the search for this form of proof has led to a recent relaxing of the requirement that the certificate always be produced, but even so i t is indispensable to one who would be in the armed forces and in many other defense connections be- sides. Well, then, comes the Division of Administrative Maaagement and Re- search of the State of Minnesota to the rescue of harried officials who must help piece together proof of birth for the citizen who may have lost evidence of his origin in the San Francisco fire of 1906. The purpose of Mreting War- time Demands for Birth Certificafioiis is to suggest ways of furnishing accurate birth certifications in less time and with a minimum of cost. Basis of the report is an intensive investigation carried on in the Minnesota Vital Statistics Bu- reau, plus opinions and comments from various other state registrars. There are large charts presenting proposed methods of channeling work, plus model forms for expediting business and some businesslike explanatory text.

    The agency which produced the re- port is something of an experiment in state government. Financed by a grant from the Spellman Fund of New York, i t operates as a division of the

    Department of Administration, which is headed by the State Business hfana- ger of Minnesota. Function of the di- vision, according to L. M. Guinan, its director, is to assist the business mana- ger through a constant analysis and re-examination of routine procedural methods in the various state depart- ments, and through the study of state governmental functions and services, looking to the development of long range planning.

    This n That Summer is a lean time for research

    publications, for even in wartime part of the reading audience is a p t to be a t the beach or longing for a cold shower. Here, however, is a winnow- ing of the topics that currently concern researchers, judging from the published evidence :

    The Pennsylvania Government Ad- ministration Service has put out a Manual of Procedure for Police Civil Service Commissions in Pennsylvania, a result of a new merit system law that will change selection methods consider- ably in boroughs and townships of the first class:

    Taxpayers, Inc., of New Haven re- ports that New Haven voters have just fifty-seven varieties of offices to fill on election day, that the New Haven charter is neither fish, nor fowl, nor good red meat, for it resembles not one of the four recognizable forms of city government, that, in sum, voters had better think about remodeling;

    The City of Cincinnati, through its city manager, has just presented to the Finance Committee of the City Council an exhaustive analysis of relative costs of relief administered by the City Relief

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  • 446 NATIONAL MUNICIPAL REVIEW [September

    Department as compared with the state of Ohio as a whole and with the indus- trial counties;

    The St. Louis Governmental Research Institute has designed a large double- page chart showing state administra- tive organization and has surrounded i t with a couple of pages of textual explanation in the July 14 issue of Dollars and Scnse in Gozwnmeizt;

    The San Francisco Bureau of &v- ernmental Research, adhering to its pol- icy of reporting only upon municipal news in its mimeographed memos, has lately been talking about such subjects as the ubiquitous Hetch Hetchy water supply tangle, civilian defense bonds, a refunding plan for the Golden Gate Bridge, and a street railway lease plan;

    The Philadelphia Bureau of Munici- pal Research, in Citizens Business, has been concerned with highlights of 1941 city finances, removals in the exempt class of civil servants, city planning needs, the reduction of provisional ap- pointments, urban blight, and all-out salvaging of tin cans:

    Buffalos Municipal Research Bureau is interested, in Just a Moment, in a division of real estate, 1942 elections, and local finances:

    The Detroit Bureau writes a letter to the shade of a man who was mayor fifty years ago, explaining how the city has grown and what a headache i t all is ; Kansas Citys Civic Research Insti-

    tute has done a lot of writing about housing conditions, which are over- crowded and substandard;

    The Rochester Bureau of Municipal Research expounds a t length on re-

    classification in the local fire bureau ; The Providence Bureau goes in for a

    review of public property control ; The Schenectady Bureau issues a

    series dealing with organization and operation of the bureau itself; Des Moinerr Bureau writes under the

    heading Bugs in the Police and Fire Pension Systems.

    Research Bureau Reports Received -

    Administration State Administrative Organization in

    Missouri. St. Louis Governmental Re- search Institute, Dollars and Sense in Government, July 14, 1942. 4 pp.

    Personnel Manual of Procedure for Police Civil

    Service Commissions in Pennsylvania Boroughs and Townships of the First Class. Pennsylvania Government Ad- ministration Service, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1942. 60 PP.

    Public Welfare Caseload and Expenditures for Gem

    era1 Relief by Counties for the State of Ohio, 1937 through May 1942. Cincin- nati Department of Public Relief, 1942. 20 pp.

    Vital Statistics Meeting Wartime Demands for Birth

    Certifications. Minnesota Division of Administrative Management and Re- search, St. Paul, 1942. 50 pp.

    Buy United States War Bonds and Stamps