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The Federal Bureaucracy The Federal Bureaucracy Chapter


									The Federal Bureaucracy

       Chapter 15

Line at the DMV

                           Chicago Public Schools
• literally
  means “rule
  by desks”
• government
  by clerks
Definition: an administrative
 system, especially in a
 government, that divides work
 into specific categories carried
 out by special departments of
 nonelected officials
                 Max Weber
• Famous early 20th century economist, German
• Bureaucracy – well organized, complex
  machine that is a “rational” way for society to
  organize its business
• Classic conception of bureaucracy (Max
  – Hierarchical authority structure
  – Uses task specialization
  – Operate on the merit principle
  – Behave with impersonality
  – A well-organized machine with lots of working
  – Clear goals – clearly defined mission
  – Extensive rules – clear policies for the
    organization to follow
• Merit principle – hiring and promotion
  based on qualities, no jobs for favors
• Impersonality – performance judged on
• Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Public Perceptions
 of Bureaucracies
         • impersonal
         • inclined to follow
           rigid or complex
         • may stifle
           effectiveness and
         • “red tape”
       Modern Bureaucracy
• 1932-1945 – New Deal, WWII, increase in
  programs and gov’t work
• 1950’s – 1970’s – 90% of all federal
  employees were chosen on merit
• Salaries also chosen on merit
What is the federal bureaucracy?
      Who are bureaucrats?
• 1 out of 100 Americans work for
  government bureaucracy
• Examples
       –   US Postal Service
       –   Amtrak
       –   Corporation for Public Broadcasting
       –   Interstate Commerce Commission
       –   Federal Trade Commisson
       –   Securities and Exchange Commission
       –   National Aeronautics and Space Administration
   The Federal Bureaucracy is:
4 million employees; 2.8 million are
 civilians or “civil servants”
President only appoints 3% (patronage or
 political appointments)
15 cabinet level departments
200+ independent agencies with 2,000+
 bureaus, divisions, branches, etc.
Biggest - Dept. of Defense, U.S. Postal
 Service, Veterans Administration
   Functions of the Federal
1. Implementation - carry out laws of
     Congress, executive orders of the
      2. Administration - routine
   administrative work; provide services
  (ex: SSA sends social security checks
              to beneficiaries)
    3. Regulation - issue rules and
   regulations that impact the public (ex:
       EPA sets clean air standards)
              The Bureaucrats
• Growth in Civilian Government Employees (Figure 15.1)
             The Bureaucrats
• Who They Are and How They Got There
  – Most demographically representative part of
  – Diversity of jobs mirrors the private sector.

                         Figure 15.2
    Who are the “Bureaucrats?”
• 97% are career government employees
• Only 10% live in the D.C. area
• 30% work for the D.O.D.
• Less than 15% work for social     welfare
• Most are white collar workers:
  secretaries, clerks, lawyers,   inspectors
  & engineers
• Civil employees more diverse
  demographically than Congress
           The Bureaucrats
• Who They Are and How They Got There
  – Civil Service: From Patronage to Protection.
    • Patronage: Job given for political reasons.
    • Civil Service: System of hiring and promotion
      based on merit and nonpartisanship (Pendleton
      Civil Service Act).
    • Merit Principle: Entrance exams and promotion
      ratings to find people with talent and skill.
    • Office of Personnel Management: The federal
      office in charge of most of the government’s hiring.
            The Bureaucrats
• Who They Are and How They Got There
  – The Other Route to Federal Jobs: Recruiting
    from the Plum Book
    • Lists the very top jobs available for Presidential
    • Presidents work to find capable people to fill the
    • Some plum jobs (ambassadorships) are
    • Their most important trait is transience.
     How Bureaucracies Are
• The Cabinet Departments
  – 13 Cabinet departments headed by a
  – Department of Justice headed by Attorney
  – Each has its own budget, staff and policy
  – Status as a cabinet department can be
           The President Supervises the
                                         The President can:
                                         • appoint & remove
                                           agency heads
                                         • reorganize the
President Bush speaks about his budget   • issue executive orders
priorities for FY 2007

                                         • reduce an agency's
     Congress Oversees the Bureaucracy
Congress can:
• create or abolish agencies
  & departments
• cut or reduce funding
• investigate agency activities
• hold committee hearings
• pass legislation that alters an
  agency's functions
• influence or even fail to confirm
  presidential appointments
  Federal Courts Check the Bureaucracy
Federal courts can:
• through judicial review
  rule on whether the
  bureaucracy has acted
  within the law and the
  U.S. Constitution
• provide due process for
  individuals affected by
  a bureaucratic action     Supreme Court of the United States
                     Federal Bureaucracy

       President                                    Congress

Executive                                                    Independent
Office            Cabinet                  Independent       Regulatory
of the            Departments              Executive         Commissions
President         (Ex: State, Defense)     Agencies          (Ex: FCC, SEC)
(Ex: OMB, NSC)                             (Ex: CIA, NASA)

                 Government Corporations
                 (Ex: Amtrack, Postal Service)
How Bureaucracies Are Organized
  • Organization of the Executive Branch (Figure 15.3)
                                     Department of Homeland Security
Executive Secretary
                                                                                                                                                  Commandant of
                                                                                                                                                  Coast Guard (1)

Legislative Affairs

                                                                    Secretary                                                                     Inspector General
Public Affairs
                                                                    Deputy Secretary                                                              General Counsel

State and Local Coordination
                                                                                                                                                  Civil Rights and
                                            Citizenship &                                                Director, Bureau of                      Civil Liberties
                                            Immigration                                                  Citizenship & Immigration
Special Assistant to the Secretary          Service                                                      Services (1)
                                            Ombudsman (1)                                                                                         Director of the
(private sector)
                                                                                                                                                  Secret Service (1)
                                                                                              Small &
National Capital Region                                                                       Disadvantaged                  Privacy Officer
Coordination                                      Chief of Staff                              Business
                                                                                                                                                  International Affairs

Shared Services
                                                                                                                                                  Counter Narcotics

                                                                                      Under Secretary                           Under Secretary            Under Secretary
            Under Secretary                Under Secretary                            Information Analysis                      Border &                   Emergency
            Management                     Science and Technology                     and Infrastructure                        Transportation             Preparedness and
                                                                                      Protection                                Security                   Response

           Note (1): Effective March 1st, 2003
     How Bureaucracies Are
• The Regulatory Agencies
  – Independent Regulatory Agency: Responsible
    for some sector of the economy making rules
    and judging disputes to protect the public
  – Headed by a commission of 5-10 people.
  – Rule making is an important function watched
    by interest groups and citizens alike.
  – Concern over “capture” of the agencies.
Independent Regulatory Commissions

• IRCs exist to regulate a specific
  economic activity or interest such as the
  Federal Communications Commission
  (public air waves) or Federal Reserve
  Board (banking system, money supply)
• IRCs operate independently from
  Congress and the President
• Once appointed and seated, members
  cannot be removed without cause
      How Bureaucracies Are
• The Government Corporations
  – Business like – provide services like private
    companies and typically charge for their
  – Postal Service, Amtrak are examples
• Independent Executive Agencies
  – The agencies that don’t fit in anywhere else.
  – GSA and NASA are examples
Government Corporations

• Government owned businesses
  created by Congress
• May or may not be profitable, but
  serve a public need
Independent Executive Agencies

• Established by Congress with separate
  status outside the executive branch
• Given a specific mandate and
  generally perform a service function,
  not a regulatory one.
• Some examples include: Social
  Security Administration, CIA, NASA,
       What do bureaucrats do?
• Discretionary action – have the power to
  execute laws and policies passed down by
  the president or congress.
• Implementation – develop procedures and
  rules for reaching the goal of a new policy
• Regulation – check private business activity
  – Munn v. Illinois (1877) – SC upheld that
    government had the right to regulate business
    rates and services
Bureaucracies as Implementers
• What Implementation Means
  – It involves translating the goals and objectives
    of a policy into an operating, ongoing
  – Implementation includes:
     • Creating / assigning an agency the policy
     • Translating policy into rules, regulations and forms.
     • Coordinating resources to achieve the goals.
Bureaucracies as Implementers
• Why the Best-Laid Plans Sometimes Flunk
  the Implementation Test
  – Program Design
  – Lack of Clarity
    • Congressional laws are ambiguous and imprecise.
    • Sometimes the laws conflict with each other.
  – Lack of Resources
    • Agencies may be big, but not in the right areas.
Bureaucracies as Implementers
• Why the Best-Laid Plans Sometimes
  Flunk the Implementation Test
  – Lack of Resources
    • Many different types of resources are needed:
      personnel, training, supplies & equipment.
    • May also lack the authority to act.
  – Administrative Routine
    • SOPs bring uniformity to complex
    • It is often difficult to change the routines.
Bureaucracies as Implementers
• Why the Best-Laid Plans Sometimes
  Flunk the Implementation Test
  – Administrator’s Dispositions
    • Administrative discretion is the ability to select
      among various responses.
    • Street-level bureaucrats have the most
  – Fragmentation
    • Some policies are spread among several
    • Some agencies have different rules for the
      same policy.
Bureaucracies as Implementers
• A Case Study: The Voting Rights Act of
  – Generally considered a success.
  – Had a clear, concise goal.
  – The implementation was clear.
  – Those carrying out the law had obvious
    authority and vigor to do so.
• Bureaucracy is constrained and controlled
  by the US government
• Congress
  – appropriates money, authorizes the spending
    of money, oversees agency activity
• President
  – Job appointments, executive orders, budget
    control, reorganize agencies
  Bureaucracies as Regulators
• Regulation in the Economy and in
  Everyday Life
  – Regulation: Use of governmental authority to
    control or change some practice in the private
  – A Full Day of Regulation.
    • Federal agencies check, verify and inspect many
      of the products and services we take for granted.
    • Federal and state agencies provide many services.
  Bureaucracies as Regulators
• Regulation: How It Grew, How It Works
  – Command-and-Control Policy: Government
    tells business how to reach certain goals,
    checks the progress and punishes offenders.
  – Incentive System: Market-like strategies are
    used to manage public policy.
  – Some agencies are proactive, some are
  Bureaucracies as Regulators
• Regulation: How It Grew, How It Works
  – All regulation contains these elements:
    • A grant of power and set of directions from
    • A set of rules and guidelines by the regulatory
      agency itself
    • Some means of enforcing compliance with
      congressional goals and agency regulations
  Bureaucracies as Regulators
• Toward Deregulation
  – Deregulation: The lifting of restrictions on
    business, industry, and professional activities.
  – Regulatory problems:
     • Raises prices
     • Hurts U.S.’s competitive position abroad
     • Does not always work well
  – But some argue regulation is needed.
 Understanding Bureaucracies
• Bureaucracy and Democracy
  – Presidents Try to Control the Bureaucracy
    •   Appoint the right people.
    •   Issue executive orders.
    •   Tinker with the agency’s budget.
    •   Reorganize an agency.
 Understanding Bureaucracies
• Bureaucracy and Democracy
  – Congress Tries to Control the Bureaucracy
    •   Influence presidential appointments.
    •   Tinker with the agency’s budget.
    •   Hold hearings.
    •   Rewrite the legislation or make it more detailed.
 Understanding Bureaucracies
• Bureaucracy and Democracy
  – Iron Triangles and Issue Networks
    • Iron Triangles: A mutually dependent relationship
      between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups,
      and congressional committees or subcommittees.
    • Exist independently of each other.
    • They are tough, but not impossible, to get rid of.
    • Some argue they are being replaced by wider
      issue networks that focus on more policies.
              Iron Triangles


        INTEREST            BUREAUCRACY

Iron Triangle - three-way alliance among legislators,
bureaucrats, and interest groups to make or preserve
policies that benefit their respective interests
Understanding Bureaucracies

           Figure 15.5
              How it works?
• Everyone in the triangle has a similar interest
• Legislators get funding from interest groups
  and make laws reality with the help of the
• Interest groups provide valued information
  to bureaucrats and money to legislators
• Bureau chiefs implement legislator policy
  and interest group goals.
        Why are they “iron”?
• Strong – bond can’t be broken by
  President or Congress
• Referred to as “sub governments,” all the
  real decisions are made among these 3
• Might maintain interests that might not be
  publicly popular… like what?
      Example – Why is tobacco not
                            House and Senate
                        agricultural subcommittees

                Tobacco farmer       Department of Agriculture
                interest groups
                (tobacco lobby)
House and Senate representatives, sympathetic to tobacco, receive campaign
funds and support from tobacco by interest groups, and the representatives
make sure that tobacco farmers are defended through legislation. DOA agency
executes the legislation while relying on the Congressional budget. The interest
groups provide the DOA with valuable information to effectively execute laws.
-COMMON INTEREST – Keep tobacco alive = keep their jobs alive
 Understanding Bureaucracies
• Bureaucracy and the Scope of
  – Many state that this is an example of a
    government out of control.
  – But, the size of the bureaucracy has shrunk.
  – Some agencies don’t have enough resources
    to do what they are expected to do.
  – Only carry out the policies, Congress and the
    president decide what needs to be done.
      Controlling the Bureaucracy
• Patronage - Rewarding supporters with jobs
• “Spoils system” – created by Andrew
  Jackson, each President turned over the
• Pendleton Act (1883) - Created in response
  to criticism of patronage, more jobs will be
  selected based on merit
• Hatch Act (1939) – agency employees can’t
  participate in political activities (elections,
  campaigns, fund raisers, etc.)
  – Softened in recent decades, 1st Amendment issues
         Criticism of Bureaucracy
• “Red tape” – maze of gov rules, regulations, and
  paperwork that makes gov overwhelming to citizens
• Conflict – agencies that often work toward opposite
• Duplication – agencies appear to do the same thing
• Unchecked growth – agencies expand
  unnecessarily at high costs
• Waste – spending more than necessary
• Lack of accountability – difficult in firing an
  incompetent bureaucrat

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