Download The Federal Bureaucracy:

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Devolution wikipedia , lookup

Civil service wikipedia , lookup

The Federal Bureaucracy:
What is it and how is it organized?
Bureaucracy: Definition
• The government organizations, usually staffed
with officials selected on the basis of experience
and expertise, that implement public policy
• Hierarchical organization into specialized staffs
• Free of political accountability (non-partisan)
– Still affected by Congressional budget and oversight
• Ideal scenario?
• What does it do?
– From protecting the environment to collecting
revenue to regulating the economy
– American bureaucracies implement a $2
trillion budget
– Vague lines of authority allow some areas of
the bureaucracy to operate with a significant
amount of autonomy
Growth of the Federal Bureaucracy
• 1789 – 50 federal government employees
• 2000 – 2.8 million (excluding military,
subcontractors, and consultants who also work
for federal government)
• Growth mainly at state and local level since
– Federal government began devolving powers and
services to state and local government
• Total federal, state, local employees – roughly
21 million people
Organization of Bureaucracy
• A complex society requires a variety of
bureaucratic organizations
• Four components of Federal Bureaucracy:
– Cabinet departments (State, Defense)
– Independent executive agencies (EPA)
– Independent regulatory agencies (Federal
Reserve Board)
– Government organizations (USPS, FDIC,
Staffing the Bureaucracy
• Natural Aristocracy
– Thomas Jefferson fired Federalist employees
and placed his own men in government
• Spoils System
– Andrew Jackson used government positions
to reward supporters
– Bureaucracy became corrupt, bloated, and
Civil Service Reform
• Pendleton Act of 1883
– Employment on the basis of merit and open,
competitive exams
– Civil Service Commission to administer the personnel
• Hatch Act of 1939
– Civil service employees cannot take an active party in
the political management of campaigns
• Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinios (1990)
– Court ruled that partisan political considerations as
the basis for hiring, promoting, or transferring public
employees was illegal
Political Control of Bureaucracy
• Who should control the bureaucracy?
– Bureaucracy should be responsive to elected
officials (Congress, the President)
• Members of the bureaucracy are not elected, and
must be held accountable for their actions
• Making them responsive to elected officials give
the public a voice in bureaucratic operations
– The bureaucracy should be free from political
• They should be autonomous
Theories of Bureaucratic Politics
• Politics-Administration Dichotomy
– Bureaucracy should be free of politics
• Iron Triangles
– Interest groups
– Congressional subcommittees
– Bureaucratic agencies
• Issue Networks
• Principal-Agent Model
Politics-Administration Dichotomy
• Wilson: Bureaucracy is neutral and not
– Bureaucrats are experts in their specialties
and must be left alone to do their job without
political interference
• However, people began to realize that
politics and administration were NOT
– Norton Long: “Power is the lifeblood of
Iron Triangles
• Reinforcing relationship between:
– Interest Groups
– Congressional Subcommittees
– Bureaucratic agencies
• Policy decisions are made jointly by these
three groups who feed off each other to
develop and maintain long-term,
regularized relationships
Issue Networks
• The relationship between bureaucracy is
not as rigid as iron triangle theory would
have us believe
– Also, more than three actors involved in
• For every issue, there are also a number of
political elites who are involved (and who
know each other via the issue)
– Members of Congress, congressional committees, the
president, advocacy groups, and “issue watchers” (like
academics or highly interested citizens)
Principal-Agent Model
• Who are principals, who are agents?
• Principals and agents both seek to
maximize their interests
– Principals want to control bureaucracy
– Agents want to have the least amount of
control exerted over it
• To keep agents in check, two possibilities:
– Monitoring/oversight
– Minimizing goal conflict