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The Fourth Branch of Government The Bureaucracy. What is it? The bureaucracy is a set of complex hierarchical departments, agencies, commissions, and.

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Presentation on theme: "The Fourth Branch of Government The Bureaucracy. What is it? The bureaucracy is a set of complex hierarchical departments, agencies, commissions, and."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Fourth Branch of Government The Bureaucracy

2 What is it? The bureaucracy is a set of complex hierarchical departments, agencies, commissions, and their staffs that exist to help a chief executive officer carry out his/her duties. May be private organizations or governmental units

3 What is it? It links the 3 branches of gov’t together by implementing and administering federal laws and programs Is it too large? Too complex? Effective in carrying out laws? – Discuss Bureaucracy essays

4 The Roots of Federal Bureaucracy In 1789: – Only 3 departments existed (Foreign Affairs, War, and Treasury) From 1816 – 1861: – Bureaucracy grew as demands on existing departments increased and new departments were created. Post Office had to expand as the population expanded westward President Jackson removed the Post Office from the treasury department (leading to the spoils system, which was a form of patronage)

5 The Roots of Federal Bureaucracy Civil War grew the bureaucracy – As the nation geared up for war, thousands of new jobs were created – Department of Agriculture (you need well-fed troops) – not given full cabinet-level status for 20 years – Pension Office – pay benefits to veterans – Department of Justice

6 The Roots of Federal Bureaucracy From the Spoils System to Merit System – Spoils system intensified throughout Reconstruction – Rutherford B. Hayes favored the idea of replacing Spoils system with a merit system – Congress failed to pass the legislation – James Garfield: “My day is frittered away with the personal seeking of people when it ought to be given to the great problems which concern the whole country” Assassinated by a frustrated job seeker

7 The Roots of Federal Bureaucracy From the Spoils System to Merit System (continued) – Public reaction to Garfield’s assassination prompted Congress to pass the Civil Service Reform Act (aka Pendleton Act) Established the principle of federal employment on the basis of open, competitive exams and created a bipartisan 3-member Civil Service Commission Later laws extended the coverage of this act to over 90% of all federal employees – New system became known as the merit system

8 The Roots of Federal Bureaucracy Regulating the Economy – As big businesses grew (especially railroads), and unfair business practices increased, Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Mainly a reaction to public outcry over exorbitant rates charged by railroads ICC became the first independent regulatory commission (an agency outside a major executive department) – Begins a shift in the bureaucracy from service to regulation

9 The Roots of Federal Bureaucracy Regulating the Economy (continued) – Theodore Roosevelt expanded the bureaucracy’s regulatory powers of the economy by creating the Department of Commerce and Labor (employee- employer relations) – Progressives wanted more regulation to put a stop to bad working conditions and to control monopolistic corporations – 16 th Amendment (1913) provided a huge infusion of funds to support new federal agencies, services, and programs

10 The Roots of Federal Bureaucracy Growth of Government in the 20 th Century – FDR created hundreds of new agencies to regulate business practices and various aspects of the national economy – Prior to Great Depression, most Americans believed in a hands-off approach to the economy, now they considered it the government’s job to get it moving again – WWII impacted the US economy (more jobs) After the war, new programs (GI Bill led to more regulation) – During the Civil Rights Movement (EEOC, HUD, Dept. of transportation)

11 The Modern Bureaucracy Government Gets $ from taxpayers Driven by reelection Who is in charge? Little reason for gov’t employees to take risks or go beyond their assigned job task Business Gets $ from customers Driven by profit motive Employees answer to boss More likely to reward ambition

12 Who are Bureaucrats? Career gov’t employees who work in the executive branch More than 2.7 million federal workers – 1/3 work in US Postal Service Most positions are filled by competitive exams Mid-level to upper range positions require applicants to submit resumes which determine a ranking – It can take 6 – 9 months to fill a vacancy 10% of federal workforce fall into 3 categories

13 3 Categories of workforce not covered by civil service system: 1.Appointive policy-making positions – presidential appointees 2.Independent Regulatory commissioners – appointed by president but are removed from his direct political influence 3.Low-level, non-policy patronage positions – usually secretarial assistants to policy makers

14 What Jobs Make Up the Bureaucracy? Forest rangers, FBI, computer programmers, security guards, librarians, administrators, engineers, plumbers, lawyers, doctors, postal carriers, zoologists, etc. Most are NOT in Washington, D.C. Social Security Administration has numerous offices

15 Government Jobs Typically, they pay less than comparable positions in the private sector – Ex: Private contractor vs. military – With a portion of the cost of the war in Iraq going to private contractors, one commentator likened the practice to “a school district hiring taxi drivers to pick kids up and drive them home when a school bus route runs right past their door”

16 Agencies Four general types: 1.Cabinet departments 2.Government corporations 3.Independent executive agencies 4.Independent regulatory commisions

17 Cabinet Departments 60% of federal workforce Cabinet leaders are called “secretaries” – Except for Dept. of Justice (attorney general) Most departments are sub-divided into bureaus, divisions, sections, etc. – Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior

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19 Government Corporations Most recent additions to the bureaucracy Businesses established by Congress to perform functions that could be provided by private businesses (Amtrak, FDIC, TVA) – TVA provides electricity at reduced rate to millions of Americans in Appalachia; this area failed to attract private utility companies to provide service there

20 Independent Executive Agencies Closely resemble Cabinet departments but have narrower areas of responsibility Appointed by President They perform services rather than regulatory functions – NASA – EPA

21 Independent Regulatory Commissions The intent is that they would develop expertise and provide continuity of policy with respect to economic issues National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Federal Reserve Board, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

22 Political Involvement of Gov’t Workers During the 1930s, many Americans feared that members of the civil service would play major roles in the gov’t (perhaps to much of one) – Congress enacted the Political Activities Act (1939) – better known as the Hatch Act (prohibits civil servants from taking activist roles in partisan campaigns) – Was the Hatch act too extreme? Violation of 1 st Amendment?

23 Political Involvement of Gov’t Workers Federal Employees Political Activities Act (1993) – allows employees to run for public office in nonpartisan elections, contribute money, and campaign in elections

24 How the Bureaucracy Works When Congress creates any kind of department, it is actually delegating some of its powers listed in Article I, Section 8 How agencies execute congressional wishes is called implementation, the process by which a law or policy is put into operation

25 How the Bureaucracy Works Iron Triangles demonstrate the relationship between agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees to implement policy

26 Example of Iron Triangle Department of Veterans’ Affairs House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs American Legion; Veterans of Foreign Wars

27 Issue Networks Many political scientists prefer to examine issue networks (loose and informal relationship that exist among a large number of actors who work in broad policy areas) Similar to Iron Triangles, except they include external influences – Lawyers, consultants, academics, public relations specialists, even the courts Unlike Iron Triangles, Issue Networks are constantly changing

28 Interagency Councils As a result of the increasing complexity of many policy domains, many alliances have also been created within the bureaucracy An example is interagency councils (working groups that bring together representatives of several departments and agencies to facilitate the coordination of policy making and implementation) – The US Interagency Council of the Homeless (1987) works to coordinate the activities of more than 50 agencies and programs

29 Making Policy The end goal is policy making! Many policy decisions are left up to individual employees (lawyers decide who to prosecute, IRS agents make decisions in personal audits) Administrative discretion – the ability to make choices concerning the best way to implement congressional or executive intentions – Exercised through ruling making and administrative adjudication

30 Rule Making Quasi-legislative administrative process that results in regulations and has the characteristics of a legislative act. Establishing regulations There is a procedure to be followed (this can take weeks, months, or even years)

31 Administrative Adjudication Quasi-judicial process in which a bureaucratic agency settles disputes between 2 parties in a manner similar to the courts Used if persons or businesses are not in compliance with a federal law – Federal Trade Commission determines what constitutes unfair trade practices – EEOC and SSA

32 Making Agencies Accountable Who should the bureaucracy answer to? There is a system of checks and balances in place…

33 Executive Control Presidential Appointments With the approval of Congress, can reorganize the bureaucracy Make changes in an agency’s annual budget requests Executive Orders – rules or regulations issued by the president that have the effect of law

34 Congressional Control Can create or abolish departments and agencies Transfer agency functions (Dept. of Homeland Security) Senate confirmation of presidential appointments Constitutional powers: – Investigatory powers (FEMA) – “Police patrol” and “fire-alarm” oversight – Appropriations (“power of the purse”) – Tracking money (GAO and OMB)

35 Judicial Control Ensures that agencies abide by due process laws Litigation, or the threat of litigation, exerts strong influence on bureaucrats

36 FRQ Discussions – NO WRITING! 1.Iron triangles, or subgovernments, often form around a specific policy area to shape and administer relevant policies. Select ONE of the following policy areas and complete the tasks below Agriculture The environment Product safety Oil A.Identify the participants in the iron triangle B.Describe something each participant would receive from each of the other participants in the triangle.

37 FRQ Discussions – NO WRITING! 1.In the first half of U.S. history, bureaucracies tended to act in a client-oriented role. However, since the early 1900s, the bureaucracy has become more of a regulator. A.Identify TWO agencies that serve in a regulatory capacity, and give an example of a regulation they have made. B.Describe ONE complaint made about the federal bureaucracy acting in the role of a regulator.


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