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Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 The Bureaucracy Chapter 14.

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1 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 The Bureaucracy Chapter 14

2 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 The Role of the Bureaucracy Laws effective only when government agency enforces them. Agency: –Basic organizational unit of federal government. Also known as office or bureau. Department: –Organizational unit into which many agencies of the federal government are grouped. Government corporations: –Independent organization created by Congress to fulfill functions related to business.

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5 The Role of the Bureaucracy Administrative Discretion –Power to interpret a legislative mandate. –Congress can enact general rules, but cannot anticipate every circumstance, nor can it apply these rules to every individual case.

6 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 The Bureaucracy Problem Impossibility of Tasks Performance difficult to measure. Awkward tendency to expand. Slow to change. Often mired in red tape. Taken together these factors create what is know as the bureaucracy problem.

7 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 American Bureaucracies: Particularly Political While most are career civil servants, top positions belong to political appointees. Government more responsive to elections. But, it makes civil service jobs less attractive to bright young people.

8 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Mountain of Patronage Patronage –Jobs, contracts, or favors given to political friends and allies. Spoils System –A system of government employment in which workers are hired on the basis of party loyalty. –Suited the needs of political parties. –Use the system to enlist campaign workers, supporters and contributions.

9 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Advantages and Disadvantages of the Spoils System Positive: Helped immigrants adjust to the realities of urban life in the U.S. –Irish immigrants good at using politics to get ahead. Negative: Contributed to the negative image of American bureaucracies. –View that bureaucrats are wasteful and not credible.

10 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Erosion of the Spoils System Mugwamps –A group of civil-service reformers organized in the 1880s who maintained that government officials should be chosen on a merit basis. Pendleton Act –Legislation passed in 1883 creating the Civil Service Commission. Civil Service –A system in which government employees are chosen according to their educational qualifications, performance on examinations, and work experience. Hatch Act –barred federal employees from political campaigning and solicitation.

11 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Political Appointees Today Estimated number of top-level agency appointees grew from less than 500 in 1960 to nearly 2500 in 1998. Adding White House staff, the total number of high- ranking patronage positions is estimated close to 3000. No other industrialized democracy gives its leader as much patronage power. Yet these appointees may not know their own organizations very well. In and outers: Political appointees who com in, go out, and come back in again with each change in administration.

12 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Political Appointees Today Rapid changes in personnel create a government that lacks the continuity necessary for sustained policy focus. Denial of most top-level positions to nonpolitical civil servants makes the civil service a less attractive career for intelligent, ambitious young people. Japan – civil service a sought after career.

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15 The President and the Bureaucracy President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” President must execute the laws. –Do so by overseeing the federal bureaucracy –Cabinet –Appoints members to independent agencies –Acts through the OMB

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17 The Cabinet Inner cabinet –The four original departments of (State, Defense, Treasury, and Justice) whose secretaries, typically have the closest ties to the president. Major function of the outer cabinet is to provide interest-group access to the executive branch of government.

18 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Independent Regulatory Agencies Independent regulatory agencies are those that have quasi-judicial regulatory responsibilities. Generally headed by a several-member board or commission appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Most independent regulatory agencies were established by Congress in response to public pressure to protect workers and consumers from negligent or abusive business practices.

19 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Independent Regulatory Agencies Most aggressively pursued their reform mandates. When public’s demand for reform fades, who is left? Interest groups. Many agencies find their most interested constituents to be members of the very community they are expected to regulate.

20 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Office of Management and Budget OMB is an agency responsible for coordinating the work of departments and agencies of the executive branch. Once considered professionals focused on efficiency and frugality. Today more political. Utilized effectively by presidents to control other agencies. –End runs: effort by agencies to avoid OMB controls by appealing to allies in Congress. –Congressional Budget Office created by Congress in 1974 to check the OMB’s growing power.

21 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Congress and the Bureaucracy Agencies have many bosses in Congress. –Senate confirmation –Agency reorganization –Legislative detail –Budgetary control –Legislative oversight

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23 Iron Triangles and Issue Networks Iron triangles –Close, stable connection among agencies, interest groups and congressional committees. Issue networks –Loose, competitive relationships among policy experts, interest groups, congressional committees and government agencies.

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25 Elections and the Bureaucracy Reformers have tried to separate politics from the bureaucracy. Agency autonomy has kept some less politically charged. Electoral pressures have also played a positive role. –May force them to balance competing interests by striking compromises.

26 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Bureaucratic Secrecy Inside knowledge is power. Secrecy can cover mistakes. Electoral pressures have curtailed the amount of secrecy in American government. Sunshine law –A 1976 law requiring that federal government meetings be held in public.

27 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Bureaucratic Coercion Do bureaucracies abuse their powers? Example: IRS Agencies are held accountable by the public and by Congress. Congressional oversight. If bureaucratic agencies make life difficult for the voting public, these agencies are more likely to be taken to task by elected officials.

28 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Agency Expansion Agencies generally try to expand. Congress may limit such expansion due to cost. Bush administration has forced some bureaucrats to compete with private companies for their jobs. –Has generated some protest. –Believed they were already under-funded and understaffed and not able to compete for these reasons.

29 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Administrator Caution Most federal agencies are more likely to err on the side of caution. Afraid of making a major mistake that gains it too much attention.

30 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Compromised Capacity Agencies’ effectiveness may be limited by the compromise nature of the legislation they are supposed to enforce. Ex: politics of charter schools

31 Pearson-Longman copyright 2005 Muddling Through Do not perform as badly as we think. Actual experiences of clients has been far better than their expectations. Internet has had a positive impact. B- grade overall Must muddle through when so many interests must be balanced. Ex: Forest Service


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