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Fiorina, Peterson, Johnson, and Mayer New American Democracy, Sixth Edition Chapter 14 The Bureaucracy © 2009, Pearson Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Fiorina, Peterson, Johnson, and Mayer New American Democracy, Sixth Edition Chapter 14 The Bureaucracy © 2009, Pearson Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fiorina, Peterson, Johnson, and Mayer New American Democracy, Sixth Edition Chapter 14 The Bureaucracy © 2009, Pearson Education

2 The Role of the Bureaucracy Laws effective only when a 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 © 2009, Pearson Education The Bureaucracy Problem Impossibility of tasks Difficulty measuring performance Expansionary tendencies Slow to change Red tape Taken together these factors create what is known as the bureaucracy problem

7 © 2009, Pearson Education 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 © 2009, Pearson Education Difficult Beginnings Lack a noble heritage In other countries, government departments evolved out of the household of the king or emperor American Revolution fought against King George’s bureaucrats

9 © 2009, Pearson Education Mountains 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

10 © 2009, Pearson Education 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

11 © 2009, Pearson Education 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 (1883) –Legislation 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

12 © 2009, Pearson Education Political Appointees Today Estimated number of top-level agency appointees grew from less than 500 in 1960 to nearly 3,400 in the Bush administration –No other industrialized democracy gives its leader as much patronage power A new president more likely enlist many new people with innovative ideas –Yet these appointees may not know their own organizations very well –Newly-appointed may not be as critical of president’s plans In-and-outers: Political appointees who come in, go out, and come back in again with each change in administration

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15 The President and the Bureaucracy The president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” The president must execute the laws –Does 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 (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

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19 Independent Regulatory Agencies Independent regulatory agencies are those that have quasi-judicial regulatory responsibilities They are 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

20 © 2009, Pearson Education 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

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22 Office of Management and Budget Originally the Bureau of the Budget OMB is an agency responsible for –Development of the president’s budget, –Setting personnel policy, and –Reviewing every piece of proposed legislation that the executive branch submits. In the past, considered a professional group of technicians Today more political –Utilized effectively by presidents to control other agencies CBO checks the OMB’s power

23 © 2009, Pearson Education Congress and the Bureaucracy Agencies have many bosses in Congress Senate confirmation –Senatorial courtesy –Recess appointments Agency reorganization Legislative detail Budgetary control –Earmark Legislative oversight

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25 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

26 © 2009, Pearson Education 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

27 © 2009, Pearson Education 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

28 © 2009, Pearson Education Bureaucratic Coercion Do bureaucracies abuse their powers? Example: IRS Today, 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

29 © 2009, Pearson Education Agency Expansion Agencies generally try to increase their budgets Congress may limit such expansion due to cost The Bush administration has forced some bureaucrats to compete with private companies for their jobs –Has generated some protest –Believed agencies were under-funded and understaffed and not able to compete for these reasons

30 © 2009, Pearson Education 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 national attention

31 © 2009, Pearson Education Compromised Capacity Agencies’ effectiveness may be limited by the compromise nature of the legislation they are supposed to enforce Example: politics of charter schools

32 © 2009, Pearson Education 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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