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Committee on the Structure of State Government records

Identifier: RG028_006

Scope and Content

Includes reoprts, meeting records, inventory of state agencies and commissions, correspondence, press clippings, public ocmment, research office files, report drafts, an implementation file, hearing and conference tapes, legislation material, and reference files.


  • Creation: 1976-1977

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Historical Note

In November 1975, Gov. Grasso asked John H. Filer, Chairman of Aetna Life and Casualty, to serve as chairman of a committee to "study the overall functions of state government and its agencies as well as their relationships with commissions and committees." Other members, appointed early in December, were James Wade, Hartford lawyer; Ruth Sims, of the League of Women Voters; and James Fesler, Professor of Political Science at Yale. A small staff, headed by Harold Hovey, had offices in the Aetna building. The Committee was supported by private and business contributions.

The Committee, which had been requested to make its recommendations by the end of 1976, held its first meeting on December 18, 1975, and met thereafter once or twice a month. The staff first conducted a survey or "inventory" of the existing state agencies and commissions, and requested opinions and comment from their heads. Studies were made of the government structure of other states, and the reports of previous similar committees in Connecticut were examined.

A "discussion draft" incorporating the Committee's preliminary views was published in October 1976, followed by a strenuous effort to publicize it widely, to explain it to the people and the legislature, and to solicit comments and criticisms on it. Several public hearings were held.

The final report titled, "Better organization for better government," was submitted to Gov. Grasso on December 20, 1976. Its recommendations were succinctly described and the proposed new structure was outlined in some detail. In essence, it suggested the consolidation of some 210 agencies and commissions into fifteen major departments, plus an expanded Office of the Governor and a new Office of Policy and Management.

Holding the view that earlier reorganization efforts had fallen short because of failure to press hard enough for implementation, Mr. Filer and the Committee and staff members continued active efforts to sell their program to the public and the legislature. Public interest and support were stimulated through the efforts of a separate group of private and business people calling themselves Citizens for Better Government Through Reorganization. Draft legislation was prepared for the General Assembly and testimony was given before the Government Operations and Policy Committee. After a number of amendments were made, the major bill, S.S.B. 357, was passed by both houses in May and signed by the Governor on June 2, 1977 (P.A. 77-614, separately published as Vol. III of Public and Special Acts, January Session, 1977).


15 cubic feet

RG 028:006, Committee on the Structure of State Government (Filer Committee)
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Conneecticut State Library staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository