Civil service and independent agencies


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Civil service and independent agencies

  2. 2. The Civil Service  Civil Service: civilian employees who perform administrative work for the government  A Civil servant is a person in the public sector employed for a government department or agency  The Constitution says very little when is comes to the staffing of the federal bureaucracy, the only direct reference is in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2  “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate……in the Heads of Departments.” (Art. II, Sec. 2, Cl. 2)  Vocabulary:  Spoils system  Patronage  Register  bipartisan
  3. 3. Development of the Civil Service  Civil service reformers have worked to reduce corruption and political influence and promote merit in federal employment  In the Beginning:  George Washington (1789) knew that the success of the new government would mostly depend on those he appointed to office  Result he favored members of his own party
  4. 4. Development of the Civil Service (Continued)  The Spoils System: the practice of giving offices and other favors of government to political supporters and friends.  President Andrew Jackson has been called the father of the spoils system because he dismissed over 200 presidential appointees and 2,000 office holders with Jacksonian Democrats  Patronage: also the practice of giving jobs to supporters.  Calling Jackson the father of the spoils system seems somewhat unfair because patronage was widely in use at the state and local levels long before Jackson's presidency.
  5. 5. Reforming the Civil Service  Many believed that the spoils system was a way to build and hold power, so reform took place  Pendleton Act (Civil Service Act of 1883)  Had the following:  A Civil Service Commission would be formed to administer tests to qualified applicants for government jobs  Competitive exams would be used to hire some government workers  Government employees would no longer be forced to make campaign contributions to political parties  Its main purpose was to make merit and set the basis for hiring, promoting, and other personnel activities in the federal work force  The Law set up two categories of employment in the executive branch, the classified and unclassified services
  6. 6. The Civil Service Today  Today 90% of all the men and women who work for the executive branch agencies are covered by the merit system  Because the goal of eliminating the spoils system was successful in the early years of the last century, a new purpose emerged: recruiting and keeping the best available people in the federal work force  Goal has succeeded because:  Today most federal employees are hired through a competitive process  Employees are paid and promoted on the basis of written evaluations by their superiors  Generally protected from disciplinary actions or dismissal for partisan reasons  The Office of Personal Management (1978) is now the Federal Government’s central personnel agency, it is an independent agency in the executive branch  Registers: lists of those applications who pass its tests and are qualified for employment  Merit System Protection Board an independent agency that enforces the merit principle in the federal bureaucracy  Bipartisan: includes members from both parties
  7. 7. Independent Agencies  Until the 1880s, nearly all that the Federal Government did was done through its cabinet departments. Since then, Congress has created a large number of additional agencies  What are independent agencies? An agency in the United States government that is created by an act of Congress and is independent of the executive departments  Why are independent agencies separated from the executive departments? They do no fit well within any cabinet departments. Congress has given some agencies an independent status to protect them from partisan and pressure politics.  Vocabulary:  independent agencies  independent executive agencies  independent regulatory commissions  quasi-legislative  quasi-judicial  government corporation
  8. 8. Understanding Independent Agencies  There are three groups:  independent executive agencies: agencies headed by a single administrator with regional subunits but lacking cabinet status  independent regulatory commissions: agencies created by Congress designed to regulate important aspects of the nation’s economy and are largely beyond the reach of presidential control  government corporation: corporation within the executive branch subject to the president’s direction and control set by congress to carry out certain business like activities.
  9. 9. Independent Executive Agencies  They are organized like Cabinet departments, the difference between a cabinet department and an independent executive agency is that independent agencies do not have Cabinet status  Some agencies are not administrative and policy giants but they do important work and attract public notice (examples are: the Civil Rights Commission and Peace Corps)
  10. 10. Independent Regulatory Commissions  There are 10 agencies today and they are beyond the reach of presidential direction and control  Each is headed by a board or commission made up of five to seven members appointed by the President with Senate consent.  Congress has given them the power to administer the programs for which they were created.  Unlike the other independent agencies, the regulatory commissions are also quasi-legislative and quasi- judicial  Quasi-legislative: having to do with powers that are to some extent legislative  Quasi-judicial: having to do with powers that are to some extent judicial
  11. 11. Agency Date Est. No. of Members Terms Major Functions Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System 1913 7 14 years Supervises banking system, practices; regulates money supply, use of credit in economy. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 1914 5 7 years Enforces antitrust, other laws prohibiting unfair competition, price-fixing, false advertising, other unfair business practices Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 1934 5 5 years Regulates securities, other financial markets, investment companies, brokers; enforces laws prohibiting fraud, other dishonest investment practices Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 1934 5 5 years Regulates interstate and foreign communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable Nation Labor Relations Board (NLRB) 1935 5 5 years Administers federal labor-management relations laws; hold collective bargaining elections; prevents, remedies Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) 1936 5 5 years Regulates waterborne foreign, domestic off-shore commerce of the United States; supervises rates, services. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 1972 5 5 years Sets, enforces safety standards for consumer products; directs recall of unsafe products; conducts safety research, information programs. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 1974 5 5 years Licenses, regulates all civilian nuclear facilities and civilian uses of nuclear materials. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 1974 5 5 years Regulates commodity exchanges, brokers, futures trading in agriculture, metal, other commodities. Federal Energy Regulatory 1977 5 4 years Regulates, sets rates for transmission, sale of natural gas, electricity, oil by pipeline; Licenses hydroelectric power Independent Regulatory Commissions
  12. 12. Government Corporations  Government corporations are within the executive branch and subject to the President’s direction and control  It is setup much like a corporation in the private sector; it is run by a board of directors with a general manager who directs the corporation’s operations according to the policies established by that board  Differences between government and private corporations:  Congress decides the purpose for which the public agencies exist and the functions they can perform  All who work for these corporations are public employees  The President selects most of the top officers of government corporations with Senate confirmation  Public agencies are financed by public funds appropriated by Congress and not by private investors  Set up by Congress to carry out certain business like activities  There are now more than 50 of these corporations. (examples: the U.S. Postal Service, the FDIC)
  13. 13. How does a civil service employees enforce or promote animal rights?  How are the civil service, independent agencies, and animal rights related?  Jobs in the federal bureaucracy are covered by some part of the civil service system  The civil service gives the Civil Service exam to prospective government employees  Once they become employees, they work to enforce laws that protect animal’s rights.
  14. 14. USDA APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)  Do government agencies help to protect animal rights?  Yes they do, APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) is an agency within the USDA. It administers the Animal Welfare Act and carries out wildlife damage management activities. APHIS helped to enact the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.  The Animal Welfare Act requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public.  The Horse Protection Act prohibits horses subjected to a process called soring from participating in exhibitions, sales, shows, or auctions.
  15. 15. Migratory Bird Conservation Commission  The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission was established in 1929 by the passage of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which was created and authorized to consider and approve any areas of land and/or water recommended by the Secretary of the Interior for purchase or rental by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and to fix the price or prices at which such areas may be purchased or rented.  North American Wetlands Conservation Act. This Act provides for Federal funding to encourage partnerships to protect, enhance, restore, and manage wetlands and other habitats for migratory birds and other fish and wildlife to carry out the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
  16. 16.  The Marine Mammal Commission is an independent agency of the U.S. Government, established under Title II of the Marine Mammal Act (1972)  The commission helps marine mammals by:  undertaking a review and study of the activities existing laws in the United States and participating in international conventions relating to marine mammals.  Examples: The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, the Whaling Convention Act of 1949, the Interim Convention on the Conservation Marine Mammal Commission
  17. 17. Bibliography  Prentice Hall: American Government, William A. McClenaghan  "Realty, National Wildlife Refuge System." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <>.  "Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <>.  "Migratory Bird Treaty Act." Sialis Home - Helping Bluebirds and Other Small Cavity Nesters Survive and Thrive. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <>.  Marine Mammal Commission. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <>.  "Marine Mammal Protection Act - Office of Protected Resources - NOAA Fisheries." Home :: NOAA Fisheries. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <>.  " | Independent Agencies and Government Corporations." The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <>.  Pictures:      [1].jpg 