Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was created as an agency of the PHS by section 501 of the PHSA. That section also created within SAMHSA the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the Center for Mental Health Services. The statute establishes an administrator, to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and it permits the administrator, with the approval of the secretary, to appoint a deputy administrator. The statute permits, but does not require, the appointment within SAMHSA of an associate administrator for alcohol prevention and treatment policy, and it requires the appointment of an associate administrator for women’s services. The statute does not require that there be a direct reporting relationship between the administrator and the secretary.

The statute specifies that the directors of each of the three main centers within SAMHSA shall administer a precise set of activities within his or her bailiwick. The statute also places the authority for some programs and activities within SAMHSA in the secretary, In this respect, SAMHSA is similar to NIH in that the statute is inconsistent about program activities in terms of whether those activities are placed in the secretary to be delegated to a particular official or at his discretion, or whether the statute vests the activity directly in a named official. To the extent that the statute names a particular statutorily created official to carry out certain activities, the secretary’s discretion to reorganize those activities is limited.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) was established in HHS in 1980 by section 104(i) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA; also known as “Superfund”). That section requires that the administrator of the agency shall report directly to the surgeon general, but since all of his functions and authority were transferred to the secretary by the 1966 Reorganization Plan, the direct reporting relationship is to the secretary. Subsequent statutory enactments assigning various functions relating to toxic substances to the secretary (e.g., the requirement in 10 U.S.C.A. ­§ 2704 to develop certain toxicological profiles) have required that the sec-



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