• We bought a dog and Tiffany (Congress)
makes some laws about care of the dog
1. Dog needs to be walked each day
2. Dog needs to be fed
3. Dog poop needs to be cleaned up
• Job is to make sure laws passed by
congress (Tiffany) are carried out so he
Delegation of Authority to agencies
– Walk the dog
– Clean up the poop
– Feed the dog
– How far do I have to walk the dog?
– How often?
– Where do I put the poop?
– How often do I have to clean up the poop?
– Where do I get the food?
– Who pays for the food?
Who puts constraints on the
• Tiffany Rules (Congress)
• Tom’s Rules (Executive Orders)
• Courts Rules (Supreme Court Rulings)
• People (What the public demands)
• Wants to hire someone to walk the dog
Constraints on Quinn
• Must give everybody a chance to apply for the
job (can’t just hire your friend) (People demand)
• Can only pay what Tiffany will allow
• Must have a public meeting so everybody knows
the hiring practices are fair (Courts rule)
• Can only hire people who are not prejudice
toward cats (Tiff likes cats) (Congress)
• Must walk at least ½ mile but not more than ¾
mile (Executive order)
• Must provide for feet when below zero
• He is allotted $50 per month for food
• He has to check all stores for the best buy
before he can purchase any dog food.
• He must purchase dog food that meets a
minimum standard of nutrition
• Must bag all poop
• Can hire someone to clean up poop but same
hiring practices are required.
• Must clean up poop left in the street if poop
occurs on the walk. (Public demands)
• Must provide for dog to poop where it won’t
harm the grass (Environmental impact)
• Can only pay $50 per month for poop removal
• Must clean up poop every Wednesday and
– A large, complex organization composed of
– FBI, IRS, Department of Education , State
Department, Department of Health and
– The list goes on, and on, and on, and on.
– Federal agencies
• As new departments are created so are
– After the Civil War the Pension Office was
started. People needed to be hired.
– Department of Agriculture was created in
• American Bureaucracy
– Political authority over the Bureaucracy is
shared among several institutions.
– Both President and Congress has
Constitutional powers over the Bureaucracy
– Most federal agencies share functions with
related agencies at the state and local level.
– Today’s bureaucracy is largely the product of
two events, the Great Depression (New Deal)
and World War II
– About 2 Million people
– Another 13 million indirectly working (hired
contractors, state agencies, etc.
Power of Bureaucracy
• Discretionary Authority
– The ability the choose courses of action and make
policies that are not spelled out by law.
– The more discretionary authority, the more powerful
• Congress has delegated authority to regulatory
agencies in three areas.
– Paying subsidies (farmers, veterans, etc)
– Transferring Money from federal govt. to state govt.
(Grant in aide program)
– Devising and enforcing regulations (Safety features
for cars (Highway Safety Admin.) drugs that will be
allowed to be sold (Food and Drug Administration),
• Can’t hire, fire, build or sell without going
through procedures set down in law.
• How much money it pays its members is
established by law, not the market.
• Administrative Procedure Act
– Before adopting a new rule or policy, an
agency must give notice, solicit comments
and often times hold hearings.
• Freedom of Information Act
– Citizens have the right to inspect all
• National Environmental Policy Act
– Before undertaking any major action affecting
the environment the agency must issue an
environmental impact statement
• Privacy Act
– Government files about individuals, such as
tax records, must be kept secret.
• Open Meeting Law
– Every part of every agency meeting must be
open to the public unless certain matters
(military, trade secrets) are being discussed.
• Another constraint is that Congress often
times gives the job to multiple agencies.
– Stopping drugs trafficking is the task of the
Custom’s service, the FBI, the Drug
Enforcement Admin., the Boarder Patrol, and
the Defense Department.
Effect of these constraints
• Government acts slowly
• Sometimes the government acts
• It is easier to block action that to take
• Lower ranking employees will be reluctant
to make decisions on their own.
• Citizens will complain of “red tape”
– Bureaucratic delay or confusion
Why so many constraints?
• Every bit of red tape is put in place by
Congress, the White House, the courts, or
the agency itself.
• Environmental groups want to protect the
environment so laws are passed.
– The agencies then must follow those laws
– People want a “fair chance” to get a
government contract so laws are passed that
only allow contracts to be issued after
procedures are followed.
• Relationship between an agency,
committee and an interest group
– Example: Department of Agriculture works
closely with farm organizations and
Congressional agriculture committees
• Not as prominent as in the past.
• No agency can exist without congressional
• No money can be spent unless it has been
authorized by congress.
• Even money that has been authorized
must be appropriated (money set aside for
a specific use)
• Billie working for National Parks Service
• Sometimes individual members of
Congress may call an agency head on
behalf of a constituent.
• Congressional Investigation
Five major problems with a
• Red Tape
– Complex rules and procedures that must be followed
in order to get something done.
– Some agencies seem to be working at cross
purposed with other agencies
– Occurs when different federal agencies seem to be
doing the same thing
– Customs Services and Drug Enforcement
– The tendency of agencies to grow without
regard to the benefits that their programs
confer or costs that they entail
– Spending more than is necessary to buy
some product or service.