The Bureaucracy

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  • Do we really need a bureaucracy? Individuals need rules and regs to live together? Rules and regs must be administered.
  • The Bureaucracy

    1. 1. The Federal Bureaucracy What is it and how is it organized?
    2. 2. Bureaucracy <ul><li>The government organizations, usually staffed with officials selected on the basis of experience and expertise, that implement public policy </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchical organization into specialized staffs </li></ul><ul><li>Free of political accountability (non-partisan) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Still affected by Congressional budget and oversight </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ideal scenario: members apply specific rules of action to each case in a rational, nondiscretionary, predictable, and impersonal way </li></ul>
    3. 3. Max Weber <ul><li>Division of labor </li></ul><ul><li>Chain of command </li></ul><ul><li>Formal rules </li></ul><ul><li>Decision making based on neutrality </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed authority </li></ul>
    4. 4. Bureaucracy <ul><li>What does it do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From protecting the environment to collecting revenue to regulating the economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American bureaucracies implement a $2 trillion budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vague lines of authority allow some areas of the bureaucracy to operate with a significant amount of autonomy </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Growth of the Federal Bureaucracy <ul><li>1789--50 federal government employees </li></ul><ul><li>2000--2.8 million (excluding military, subcontractors, and consultants who also work for federal government) </li></ul><ul><li>Growth mainly at state and local level since 1970 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal government began devolving powers and services to state and local government </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Total federal, state, local emplyees--roughly 21 million people </li></ul>
    6. 6. Organization of Bureaucracy <ul><li>A complex society requires a variety of bureaucratic organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Four components of Federal Bureaucracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cabinet departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent executive agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent regulatory agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government organizations (USPS, FDIC, TVA) </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Cabinet Departments <ul><li>15 departments which serve as the major service organizations of federal government </li></ul><ul><li>Political appointments (Secretaries) at the top who are directly accountable to the president </li></ul><ul><ul><li>However, staff under secretaries are permanent employees who may resist change </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Independent Regulatory Agencies <ul><li>Make and implement rules and regulations in a particular sector of the economy to protect the public interest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress unable to handle complexities and technicalities required to carry out specific laws </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are they truly independent? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Suppose to work for public interest, but industries can “capture” them ICC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leads to pro-business, rather than pro-consumer behavior </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples: Federal Reserve Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission </li></ul>
    9. 9. Independent Executive Agencies <ul><li>Not located within any cabinet department, but report directly to the President </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This gives it some independence from a department that may be hostile to the creation of the agency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Secretary of the Interior vs. Environmental Protection Agency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: EPA </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Staffing the Bureaucracy <ul><li>Natural Aristocracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thomas Jefferson fired Federalist employees and placed his own men in government positions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spoils System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Andrew Jackson used government positions to reward supporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bureaucracy became corrupt, bloated, and inefficient </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Civil Service Reform <ul><li>Pendleton Act of 1883 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment on the basis of merit and open, competitive exams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil Service Commission to administer the personnel service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hatch Act of 1939 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil service employees cannot take an active part in the political management of campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois (1990) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Court ruled that partisan political considerations as the basis for hiring, promoting, or transferring public employees was illegal </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Political Control of Bureaucracy <ul><li>Who should control the bureaucracy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bureaucracy should be responsive to elected officials (Congress, the President) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Members of the bureaucracy are not elected, and must be held accountable for their actions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Making them responsive to elected officials give the public a voice in bureaucratic operations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The bureaucracy should be free from political pressures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They should be autonomous </li></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Theories of Bureaucratic Politics <ul><li>Politics-Administration Dichotomy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bureaucracy should be free of politics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Iron Triangles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Congressional subcommittees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bureaucratic Agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issue Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Principal-Agent Model </li></ul>
    14. 14. Politics-Administration Dichotomy <ul><li>Bureaucracy is neutral and not political (Wilson) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bureaucrats are experts in their specialties and must be left alone to do their job without political interference </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Politics and administration were NOT separate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Norton Long: “Power is the lifeblood of administration.” </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Iron Triangles <ul><li>Reinforcing relationship between: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest Groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Congressional Subcommittees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bureaucratic agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Policy decisions are made jointly by these three groups who feed off each other to develop and maintain long-term, regularized relationships </li></ul>
    16. 16. Issue Networks <ul><li>The relationship between bureaucracy is not as rigid as the iron triangle theory would have us believe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are more than three actors in the process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There are political elites who are involved </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Members of Congress, congressional committees, the president, advocacy groups, and “issue watchers” (academics or highly interested citizens) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Principal-Agent Model <ul><li>Principals and agents both seek to maximize their interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principals want to control the bureaucracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agents want to have the least amount of control exerted over it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To keep agents in check, 2 possibilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring/oversight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimizing goal conflict </li></ul></ul>

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