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Government - Unit 3, Chapter 15: Government at Work: The Bureaucracy
Transcript of Government - Unit 3, Chapter 15: Government at Work: The Bureaucracy
Government at Work: The Bureaucracy
The Executive Departments
The Executive Office of the President
Bureaucracy: a large, complex administrative structure that handles the everyday business of an organization...basically it is the most effective and efficient way to organize people who do work.
There are three key features of Bureaucracy...
Hierarchical Authority: organizations structure is in the shape of a pyramid which represents the chain of command.
Job Specialization: each person who works for the organization has certain defined duties and responsibilities.
Formalized Rules: the bureaucracy does its work according to a set of established regulations and procedures.
These three features make bureaucracy the most effective way for people to work together on large and complex tasks.
The federal bureaucracy is all of the agencies, people, and procedures through which the Federal Government operates.
The Constitution makes the President the chief administrator of the Federal Government, "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."
The National Security Council is part of the Executive Office. This is a group of advisers that advise the President on domestic, foreign, and military matters that relate to the nation's security.
The Executive Office of the President is a complex organization of several separate agencies staffed by most of the President's closest advisers and assistants.
Examples of bureaucracies: Roman Catholic Church, McDonald's, the place you work, sports franchises, colleges and universities.
The Federal Bureaucracy
The Office of Homeland Security is another Executive Office of the President. This organization keeps the President aware of the ongoing efforts to protect the country against terrorism.
Probably the most important bureaucratic departments are the Executive Departments or the Cabinet.
The Cabinet is made up of the heads, or secretary's, of many different departments like the State Department, Defense Department, Justice Department, Department of Education and others.
The head of these departments are called Secretary's, except for the Department of Justice which is called the Attorney General...the Attorney General is the chief enforcement officer of the United States.
The State Department advises the President on foreign policy, negotiates agreements with foreign countries, and represents the U.S. abroad and in international organizations.
The Defense Department provides military forces to deter war and protect the nation's security.
The Department of the Treasury produces coins and bills, collects taxes, borrows money and manages public debt.
The Energy Department transmits and sells hydroelectric power, conducts nuclear weapons research and production, and promotes renewable energy, fossil fuels, and nuclear energy.
There are also independent executive and regulatory agencies.
The Securities and Exchange Commission or the SEC regulates the financial markets.
The Federal Communications Commission or the FCC regulates interstate and foreign communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.
There are many other agencies that perform other tasks.
There are also Government Corporations such as AmTrak, FDIC, and the U.S. Postal Service. These are Government owned businesses.
The people who work for the Government in an agency, department, or corporation are part of the Civil Service.
Out of all the jobs in the Executive Office the most important would be the President's chief of staff. This person is one of the closest advisers to the President and they direct all the operations of the White House staff.
Big picture theme: the President has a lot of people that advise him, he doesn't make these decisions all on his own but he does bare the ultimate responsibility for them.
The President gets to appoint whomever he wants for these positions but they all must be confirmed by the Senate.