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The Federal Bureaucracy
Transcript of The Federal Bureaucracy
The Cabinet Departments
The 15 cabinet departments are led by a Secretary
- chosen for expertise in area
- appointed by President, confirmed by Senate
- must be vetted (review credentials)
- can be fired by President (no approval)
- diverse group (age, gender, race, and sometimes party)
The Cabinet Departments
implements foreign policy
it staffs embassies, or offices of ambassadors in foreign countries
represents US at United Nations
manages the Nation's money
collect and control taxes
borrow and print $
manage armed forces
maintain forts, bases, canals
conduct military intelligence
attorney for US
run FBI, maintain federal prisons
investigate federal law violations
Independent Executive Agencies: similar to cabinet departments, but without status.
Independent Regulatory Agencies: created by Congress. Appointed by President (Senate confirms)
- Quasi-judicial and Quasi-legislative -- issue regulations and enforce penalties.
Government Corporations are businesses that the federal government runs.
Deregulation or Regulation?
The Spoils System
practice of politicians rewarding their followers with government jobs.
(originated when Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson entered office and fired 1000's of federal workers and replaced them with their own political supporters.)
The spoils system fostered inefficiency and corruption.
It took a tragedy to kick-start reform.
Bureaucrats are staff members, or civil servants, of the federal bureaucracy.
The federal bureaucracy is organized into:
Most belong to the executive branch, though some report to Congress.
FACT: when the nation began, the government employed 2,120 people. Today, nearly 3 MILLION people work for the federal government.
Each department has many levels of authority held by officials. It's basically a giant pyramid of people and their held power.
protects public lands and parks
DNR and Native American programs
help farmers (subsidies)
food stamps and school lunch program
business US and abroad
census, weather, patents, weights and measures
Tide and current report
protect American workers (minimum wage, unemployment, job training)
9) Health and Human Services
implements national health policy
Social Security and Medicare
Food, drug, and cosmetic laws (work with FDA)
10) Housing and Urban Development
ensures equal housing
improve roads, sewers
interstates, RR, airports, mass transit regulation and safety standards
plans energy policy (gass and electric sales, conservation programs)
federal assistance programs for public and private schools
14) Veterans Affairs
hospital care and education for veterans and families
15) Homeland Security
Controls the Coast Guard, Border Patrol (immigration), FBI, CIA, Disaster relief (FEMA), Secret Service
Why a need to regulate?
Examples: NASA and CIA
TVA FDIC USPS AMTRAK PBS
lobbyists' pressure the govt.
Agencies and industries can develop a close relationship because of the "revolving door." (changing from government job to lobbyist)
Inefficiency: people didn't have specific skills needed for the job
Corruption: people used their jobs for personal gain.
President James A. Garfield was shot by an enraged Charles Guiteau after he ignored his requests for a job in diplomatic service. He died 80 days later.
Federal bureaucrats help make policy. They write rules and regulations, and set standards to implement laws.
FACT: One study shows that on average, the bureaucracy formulates 20 rules to carry out each law.
Ways they help in creating policy:
Bureaucrats provide advice, settle disputes, and aid lawmakers by giving technical information they might not otherwise have.
Independent Agencies and Corporations
bureaucrats chosen on MERIT (written exam, meet certain criteria -- training, education, prior experience)
Reform and the Civil Service
The Bureaucracy at Work: Policy
Chester Arthur, the new president, pushed hard for reform, and Congress passed the
Pendleton Service Act
Some chosen based on
choose someone based on merit (name request)
instead of just looking at the list of applicants
Bureaucracy: a systematic structure that handles the everyday business of an organization
How the Executive Branch and Bureaucracy are organized
FTC - trade FDA - food and drugs
FCC - media CSPC - product recalls
FEC - campaigns OHSA - health and safety at work
EPA - Environment Federal Reserve - monetary policy (inflation and interest)
How much power should bureaucracy have?
depends on discretionary authority (what can I do with my power before hitting law saying "I can't"?)
Efficient -- clear chain of command, one person is boss with final decision
Effective -- set procedures and rules, certain specific functions, defined responsibilities
Why have a Bureaucracy??
1) Administrative Procedure Act (1946)
2) Freedom of Information Act (1966)
3) National Environmental Policy (1969)
4) Privacy Act (1974)
5) Open Meeting Law (1976)
before adopting new rule, agency must notify, hold hearing, and request comments.
citizens have right to inspect gov't records
must issue impact statement before actions involving environment
govt files about people (social security, taxes) are confidential
agency meetings must be open to the public (except military and trade secret)
The impact of Regulations
Waste - slow, costs more $
Red tape - too many rules and procedures
conflict - meet 1 criteria, messes with another
duplication - lots of forms and steps
imperialism - act without regard to others
Who influences the Bureaucracy?
government employees can't engage in political activities while on duty
Senate approves budget and appointments
oversight - committee testimony and hearings
President appoints and can fire cabinet
creates cabinet departments
creates and approves budget
LINKAGE INSTITUTIONS/ISSUE NETWORKS
(Interest Groups, Media, Congressional staff)
elections, parties, media, interest groups
form based on specific issues
Judicial review of actions
Congress, Bureaucracy, Interest Group