Rio raises a good question. Lippman seemed to be proposing that each department at each level of government have an independent group of experts to analyze and provide information to the rest of us. The experts would be pretty darned powerful:
Tenure should be for life, with provision for retirement on a liberal pension, with sabbatical years set aside for advanced study and training, and with dismissal only after a trial by professional colleagues. The conditions which apply to any non-profit-makingintellectual career should apply here. If the work is to be salient, the men who do it must have dignity, security, and, in the upper ranksat least, that freedom of mind which you find only where men are nottoo immediately concerned in practical decision. Access to the materials should be established in the organic act. The bureau should have the right to examine all papers, and to question any official or any outsider. Continuous investigation of this sortwould not at all resemble the sensational legislative inquiry and the spasmodic fishing expedition which are now a common feature of ourgovernment. The bureau should have the right to propose accounting methods to the department, and if the proposal is rejected, or violated after it has been accepted, to appeal under its charter toCongress.
See chapter XXVI of Public Opinion at http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext04/pbpnn10.txt