It is believed that these obstacles have in a great measure been overcome; but in order to bring up the large amount of work that has accumulated and will continue so to do, and to settle the accounts promptly hereafter, as well as to keep up the correspondence incidental to the same, it is believed that an additional force of 160 clerks will be required of which I respectfully recommend the following classification, v class 2; and thirty of class 3. This will make the classification properly proportionate to the whole number employed in the office and will have a salutary effect in increasing the efficiency of the clerical force. Six additional laborers or messengers are also required.
The additional force authorized by the act approved February 7, 1863, consisted of ninety clerks of the first class, or lowest; no second or third class; and four clerks for the fourth, or highest, class, and thirty lady copyists. The want of intermediate grades has operated very injuriously. Many of the most efficient clerks, to whom higher positions have been tendered elsewhere, have resigned, and the office has been deprived of their services at the time when they were not only most valuable, but really indispensable.
Clerks who have been employed one or two years, and have become proficient in their duties, naturally look for promotion.
I also recommend, in view of the largely increased cost of living in this city that the sum of $200 be added to the pay now allowed to each class, the increased pay to commence
, and to continue for so long a time as there may be a necessity therefor.
The additional clerical force asked for, with a sufficient number of officers thoroughly acquainted with the laws and regulations of the Army, will, it is believed, enable this department to dispatch the business relative to the settlement of accounts with that promptness required alike by justice to the interest of the Government and of the officers of this department.
The rooms assigned to this office in the "Winder Building" not affording sufficient accommodation for the clerks and records, it was found necessary to rent additional buildings elsewhere. Several have been obtained, but they are inconvenient, insecure, and generally contracted, and do not afford such accommodations, as are deemed requisite for the proper transaction of the public business. The loss of valuable time in communicating from one branch of the office to the other, and the inconvenience occasioned by the separation of branches that should be contiguous to each other is very great. The building being fitted up by your authority will it is thought, be sufficient to accommodate all the clerks, at present employed, as well as the additional force applied for, except probably those employed in the clothing branch, who are now very well provided for in a building by themselves.
By the law of July 17, 1862, to provide for the more prompt settlement of accounts of disbursing officers, all such officers are required to transmit their money accounts monthly direct to the proper accounting officer of the Treasury. This is now done, and, after a cursory examination by the auditor, they are referred to this office for an examination.
The Quartermaster-General is enabled by this method to give them that rigid administrative scrutiny which is required by the Army Regulations, to charge the disbursements against the appropriations to which they pertain; to advise the auditor of such additional facts as are necessary to facilitate the final settlement of the accounts at the