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Bureaucracy AP Government

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Mary Beverly

on 2 March 2016

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Transcript of Bureaucracy AP Government

The Bureaucracy
1. power flows from top down
2. experts rather than amateurs perform jobs
3. entrance and promotion is based on ability rather than “who you know”
4. all clients are treated impartially.
A hierarchical authority structure that uses task specialization, operates on the merit principle and behaves with impersonality
What is a bureaucracy?
So what does that mean?
Where is the bureaucracy mentioned
in the Constitution?
Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution gives the president the power to appoint “all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for.”
Article II, Section 3, states that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.”
Myths
Americans dislike bureaucrats.
Bureaucracies are growing bigger each year.
Most federal bureaucrats work in Washington, D.C.
Bureaucracies are ineffective, inefficient, and always mired in red tape.
Realities
Americans are generally satisfied with bureaucrats.
Federal bureaucracy is not getting bigger.
Only about 12 percent of bureaucrats live in Washington DC
Bureaucracies are not any more ineffective or inefficient than private corporations.
Who They Are

Most demographically representative part of gov't
Diversity of jobs mirrors the private sector
JOBS
Hatch Act: prohibits government employees from active participation in partisan politics
May engage in political activities while off duty, but cannot run for partisan elective offices or solicit contributions from the public
Patronage: job given for political reasons (aka spoils system)
“to the victors belong the spoils” – Andrew Jackson
Civil Service: system of hiring and promotion based on merit and nonpartisanship, created by the Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883)
Merit Principle: entrance exams and promotion ratings to find people with talent and skill
Senior Executive Service: an elite cadre of about 9,000 federal government managers established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978; mostly career officials
Office of Personnel Management: the federal office in charge of most of the government’s hiring
General Schedule (GS) rating: a schedule for federal employees ranging from GS 1 to 18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience
Recruiting from the Plum Book
-Lists the very top jobs available for Presidential appointment
-President works to find capable people to fill the positions.
-Some plum jobs (ambassadorships) are patronage.
-Their most important trait is transience.
“government of strangers”
Independent Regulatory Commissions

Independent Regulatory Commission: responsible for some sector, making and enforcing rules. They also judge disputes over these rules
Examples:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

-Headed by a commission of 5-10 people

- Rule making is an important function watched by interest groups and citizens alike

-Concern over “capture” of the agencies
-Agencies act on behalf of the industry they are supposed to regulate, not the public interest
The Cabinet

- Each has its own budget, staff, and policy areas
-Real work of a department is done in the bureaus, which divides the work into more specialized areas (also called service, office, administration, etc)
- 14 of the 15 Cabinet departments headed by a secretary
- Department of Justice headed by Attorney General
- Status as a cabinet department can be controversial
Gov't
Corp


Provide services like private companies and typically charge for them
-Postal Service (largest) and Amtrak
Independent Executive
Agency
Agencies that don’t fit in anywhere else.
Examples:
-General Services Administration (GSA)-NASA
Implementation
What is implementation?
-Translating the goals of a policy into an operating program

It includes:
-Creating and assigning an agency the policy
-Translating policy into rules
-Coordinating resources to achieve the goals
Why the Best-Laid Plans Sometimes Flunk the Implementation Test
1. Program Design
2. Lack of Clarity
Congressional laws are ambiguous and imprecise.
Sometimes the laws conflict with each other.


4. Administrative Routine
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) bring uniformity to complex organizations.
- It is often difficult to change the routines.
3. Lack of Resources
Agencies may be big, but may not have staff to carry out policy goals.
Many different types of resources are needed: personnel, training, supplies, and equipment
May also lack the authority to act
5. Administrative Discretion
- Has the authority to select among various responses.
- Street-level bureaucrats have the most discretion.
- Discretion is greatest where SOPs are not prevalent.
6. Fragmentation
- Some policies are spread among several agencies.
- Some agencies have different rules for the same policy.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
-Generally considered a success
-Had a clear, concise goal
-The implementation was clear
-Those carrying out the law had obvious authority and vigor to do so.
- Movement to “reinvent government”
- Started in the 1980’s
- Government hires private contractors
(Spend about 400 billion a year)
-Theory is competition will result in better service at lower costs
-Not always open to competition
-Leads to less public scrutiny
Privatization
Regulation: use of governmental authority to control or change some practice in the private sector
-Federal agencies check, verify, and inspect many of the products and services we take for granted.
-Federal and state agencies provide many services.
Bureaucracies as Regulators
All regulation contains these elements:
A grant of power and set of directions from Congress
A set of rules and guidelines by the regulatory agency itself
Some means of enforcing compliance with congressional goals and agency regulations
Gov’t regulation of the economy and society has grown in recent decades. (Budget and rules have increased as well)
All regulation contains these elements:
A grant of power and set of directions from Congress
A set of rules and guidelines by the regulatory agency itself
Some means of enforcing compliance with congressional goals and agency regulations
Gov’t regulation of the economy and society has grown in recent decades. (Budget and rules have increased as well)
All regulation contains these elements:
- A grant of power and set of directions from Congress
- A set of rules and guidelines by the regulatory agency itself
- Some means of enforcing compliance with congressional goals and agency regulations
Gov’t regulation of the economy and society has grown in recent decades. (Budget and rules have increased as well)
Deregulation: the lifting of restrictions on business, industry, and professional activities
Presidents Try to Control the Bureaucracy
- Appoint the right people
- Issue executive orders
Carry force of law and are used to implement policies
-Alter an agency’s budget
-Reorganize an agency
Creation of Department of Homeland Security
Congress Tries to Control the Bureaucracy
-Influence appointment of agency heads
Senate confirms presidential nominees
-Alter an agency’s budget
-Hold oversight hearings
-Rewrite legislation or make it more detailed
Iron Triangles: a mutually dependent relationship between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees (AKA subgovernments)
Exist independently of each other
They are tough, but not impossible, to get rid of
Some argue they are being replaced by wider issue networks
Iron Triangles
Focus on more than one policy
Benefit more people than iron triangles

Ex- all those involved with environmental protection
Issue Networks
Someone who “blows the whistle” on a gross governmental inefficiency or illegal actions

1978 Civil Service Reform Act prohibits reprisals against whistleblowers by their superiors
Whistleblowers
1976- Government in the Sunshine Act
required that all multi headed federal agencies hold meetings regularly in public session
Sunshine Laws
Full transcript