Organization And Authority

Initially, ONDCP had approximately 127 staff positions and 40 additional members detailed from other federal agencies. ONDCP's Fiscal Year (FY) 1992 appropriation of $105 million included $86 million to be transferred to support the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). The HIDTA funding provides $50 million for federal law-enforcement agencies and $36 million for state and local drug-control activities. President Clinton drastically reduced the size of the ONDCP staff soon after his election, from 146 to 25. With the appointment of General Barry R. McCaffrey President Clinton intended to bring the number of staff back up to its original capacity. Additionally, President Clinton wished to appropriate money from the Department of Defense.

The director is responsible for a Special Forfeiture Fund, funded by the department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund, ''to supplement program resources used to fight the war on drugs.'' For FY 1992, this fund included over $50 million for transfer to federal program agencies.

Additionally, ONDCP reviews and recommends funding priorities for the annual budget requests for over fifty federal agencies and accounts involved in the drug program (more than $12 billion in FY 1993).

ONDCP's authority to provide direction to diverse federal departments and agencies is based on a program-management structure known as the National Drug Control Program. The ONDCP program and budget authority coexists with the line authority of the cabinet departments and with the president's annual budget process (directed by the Office of Management and Budget). The structure for the parallel drug-control system is created by designating National Drug Control Program agencies, defined as ''any department or agency and all dedicated units thereof, with responsibilities under the National Drug Control Strategy.'' The designated federal departments and agencies have special program and budget responsibilities to the director of ONDCP.

ONDCP's broad coordination authority over budgets and program activity also presents extraordinary opportunities for conflict with the existing line authority in the departments and agencies. Simultaneously, ONDCP receives congressional and press criticism regarding lack of influence over the operating activities.

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