EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS •There are 15 executive departments in the federal government (cabinet departments). •Each department is headed by a secretary (chosenby the president), except for the department of justice which is run by the attorney general. These heads are part of the President’s cabinet. •Each of the 15 departments has subdivisions orsmaller units that are constituents of the department.A majority of these units perform their work outside of DC. •The Department of State is the oldest, mostprestigious, and smallest department in the executive branch; it has only 25,000 employees. •The Department of Defense is the largestDepartment; it contains 670,000 civilian workers, and 1.4 million in uniform. •One fourth of federal spending is used on the Department of Health and Human Services.
THE CABINET• The cabinet is a group of advisors selected by the president. The formation of the cabinet is not mentioned in the constitution.• The first four members of cabinet were chosen in 1789; Thomas Jefferson (Secretary of State), Alexander Hamilton ( secretary of the treasury), Henry Knox (Secretary of war), and Edmund Randolph (Attorney General).• There are now 15 members of cabinet and they are all the leaders of a department.• The Vice President, among many other major US politicians, attends cabinet meetings.• Each of the President’s appointments for his cabinet must be approved by the senate, although, out of 600 appointments made since 1789, only 12 have been rejected.• Republican presidents usually choose republican advisors and vice- versa• The region that pertains to a specific department is a factor in influencing the President’s appointments. The secretary of housing and urban development usually comes from a major metropolitan area.• Minorities have slowly integrated into the President’s choices. First women in cabinet 1933. First black 1966. First Hispanic 1988.
Independent Agencies• Nearly 150 of them• Located outside of the Cabinet departments• Reasons: – Some are placed outside of departments so they are not influenced by politics. – Some were born by accident – Some are peculiar and sensitive, and can not be thrown into a department
3 Main Kinds of Independent Agencies1. Independent executive agencies Include the majority of agencies Large, multi-million or billion dollar budgets Only difference between these and cabinet departments is the lack of cabinet status2. Independent regulatory commissions Out of the reach of the president Control many aspects of the economy Only a slight majority can belong to the same political party Terms of members are staggered quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial (they have some judicial and legislative powers) They make rules and regulations pertaining to congress rulings They decide disputes on matter congress has given them control over3. Government Corporations In the Executive branch Under direct presidential control
Civil Service• Civil Service is defined as civilian employees who perform the administrative work of government. The president appoints the people who hold the highest ranking jobs in the executive branch; there are approximately 2,500 of those positions. At the top levels of the Executive Office there are jobs in the Cabinet departments, the independent agencies, and in American embassies and other diplomatic stations. All of the other jobs in the federal bureaucracy are covered by some aspect of the civil service system.
Development of The Civil Service• The only thing the Constitution says directly about the staffing of the federal bureaucracy is that the President "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”• Step 1: The Spoils System (the practice of giving offices and other favors of government to political supporters and friends.)• Step 2: The Movement to Reform• Step 3: The Pendleton Act
The Civil Service Now 2003 statistics of Civil Service Employees:• 45% women, 55% men• 69.2% Caucasian, 17% Black, 6.9% Hispanic, 4.7% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.2% Native American• 59% no Bachelors Degree, 41% Bachelors Degree or higher- 88% Blue- Collar, 12% White-Collar
Education• Department of Education ED was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. EDs 4,400 employees and $68 billion budget are dedicated to: – Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds. – Collecting data on Americas schools and disseminating research. – Focusing national attention on key educational issues. – Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.
ED Example• President Obama established a goal that, by 2020, the United States will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. To monitor the countrys progress towards reaching this goal, the U.S. Department of Education created a site called the education dashboard. It contains statistics on national student achievement from Pre-School through College.