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How is the Executive Branch Organized? The Structure of the Federal Bureaucracy The bureaucratic form of organization is followed by the executive branch of the federal government. Thus it is in charge of implementing, administering and regulating the executive federal programs of the executive branch. It is to be noted however, that the Congress and the courts have separate bureaucracies functioning for them. Further, every member of the Congress has a staff working under him who helps him with the task of formulating legislation. The President, who is at the peak of the pyramid, is constitutionally and politically responsible, (except in a few cases) for the activities of all executive agencies. In general the main agencies of government are composed of a cluster of departments, corporations and independent agencies which together embrace bureaus, divisions, branches, offices, services and other sub-units. Most of the agencies are responsible to the President and all of them exist by act of the Congress. There are a number of bureaucracies that function for the executive branch and they are considered below. Cabinet Departments, led by Secretaries Independent Agencies Government Corporations Independent Regulatory Commissions Cabinet-level Departments The largest administrative units in the bureaucracy are those of the cabinet departments. These employ about 85% of the civilian employees of the federal government. These departments are responsible for the broad areas of government operations. Examples are the Department of State that handles the foreign policy and the Department of Justice that manages law enforcement. Like atypical bureaucracy, these departments are organized in a hierarchical manner. A large department may be composed of many bureaus and even governmental corporations and other agencies. A secretary who is responsible directly to the President and is a member of the President’s cabinet heads each department. Highest Status High Status Status State Interior Housing & Urban Dev. Defense Agriculture Health & Human Services Justice Commerce Energy Homeland Security Labor Veterans Affairs Treasury Transportation *Education Here’s the explanation from the White House Webpage: http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/ Big Changes in Bureaucracy involving Intelligence and Homeland Security President George W. Bush and guests applaud Secretary Michael Chertoff after he was sworn in as the second Secretary of Homeland Security Thursday. Mar. 3, 2005. White House photo by Paul Morse Improving Homeland Security With strong bipartisan support President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security – the most comprehensive reorganization of the Federal government in a half-century. The Department of Homeland Security consolidates 22 agencies and 180,000 employees, unifying once-fragmented Federal functions in a single agency dedicated to protecting America from terrorism. President Bush has nearly tripled homeland security discretionary funding. More than $18 billion has been awarded to state and local governments to protect the homeland. The Bush Administration developed a comprehensive National Strategy for Homeland Security, focused on six key areas: intelligence and warning; border and transportation security; domestic counterterrorism; protecting critical infrastructure; defending against catastrophic threats; and emergency preparedness and response. The Administration developed national strategies to help secure cyberspace and the infrastructures and assets vital to our public health, safety, political institutions, and economy. The President authorized the establishment of the United States Northern Command, to provide for integrated homeland defense and coordinated Pentagon support to Federal, state, and local governments. For the first time, the President has made countering and investigating terrorist activity the number one priority for both law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The Bush Administration has transformed the FBI into an agency whose primary mission is to prevent terrorist attacks and increased its budget by 60 percent. Improving Intelligence President Bush proposed the most thoroughgoing reorganization of the intelligence community in more than a half-century. The President supports the creation of a National Intelligence Director to serve as his principal intelligence advisor. He will also establish a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and strongly supports the 9/11 Commission's recommendations to reorganize congressional oversight for both intelligence and homeland security. In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush announced the creation of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) to synthesize information collected within the United States and abroad about possible terrorist threats. The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was launched to consolidate terrorist watch lists and provide continual operational support for Federal, state, and local screeners and law enforcement. The FBI has established a new Executive Director for Intelligence and specially-trained intelligence analysts. The Department of Homeland Security Information Network is connected to all 50 states and more than 50 major urban areas, and allows information sharing among thousands of local agencies and the Homeland Security Operations Center. New Tools to Fight Terrorism President Bush won overwhelming support for the USA PATRIOT Act, a law that gives intelligence and law enforcement officials important new tools to fight terrorists. This legislation has prevented terrorist attacks and saved American lives. The dramatic increase in information sharing allowed by the PATRIOT Act has enabled law enforcement to find and dismantle terror cells in Portland, Oregon; Lackawanna, New York; and Northern Virginia. Warrants are now applicable across state and district lines, eliminating the need to obtain multiple warrants for the same person – a lengthy process that previously hindered counterterrorism efforts. Law enforcement officials have been given better tools to fight terrorism, including roving wire taps and the capacity to seize assets and end financial counterfeiting, smuggling and money- laundering. Judges are now able to impose stiffer sentences on terrorists. Supporting First Responders The President's 2005 budget reflects a 780 percent increase in funding for first responders since September 11th. Since September 11th, more than a half-million first responders across America have been trained. The Bush Administration has proposed doubling the level of first responder preparedness grants targeted to high-threat urban areas. The Urban Area Security Initiative enhances the ability of large urban areas to prepare for and respond to threats or acts of terrorism. Strengthening Defenses Against Biological, Chemical, and Radiological Weapons President Bush signed into law Project BioShield, an unprecedented, $5.6 billion effort to develop vaccines and other medical responses to biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological weapons. The Bush Administration is investing more than $7 billion across all aspects of biodefense. In the last three years, the Administration has created the BioWatch program to monitor major cities for a biological release, procured sufficient smallpox vaccine for all citizens, and significantly increased stocks of antibiotics against anthrax. State and local health systems have been provided more than $4.4 billion to bolster their ability to respond to public health crises. The Bush Administration undertook several initiatives to detect radiological materials being smuggled into our Nation, issuing thousands of portable radiation detectors to border control personnel and installing radiation detection portals at ports of entry. Security and research to protect the Nation's food supply from terrorists has increased, adding millions of dollars in funding and hundreds of food inspectors. Improving Aviation, Border, and Port Security To support improved border and transportation security, funding levels have increased by $9 billion since September 11th. Aviation security has been improved from the curb to the cockpit. Hardened cockpit doors have been installed on all US commercial aircraft. Flight deck crews are being trained to carry guns in the cockpit. Thousands of air marshals are being deployed daily. All checked baggage now is being screened. And canine teams are now positioned at every major airport to search for explosives. Over the last three years, nearly $15 billion has been devoted to strengthening aviation security. The visa issuance process has been tightened to better screen foreign visitors; the US-VISIT program was created to use cutting-edge biometrics to check the identity of foreign travelers; and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System was created to verify foreign student activity in the United States. New Coast Guard vessels and specialized maritime security units have been added. The Container Security Initiative was developed to allow US inspectors to screen high-risk shipping containers at major foreign ports before they are loaded in ships bound for America. The National Targeting Center was created to vet passenger lists of aircraft and container shippers to identify high-risk individuals and shipments. Today, 100 percent of high-risk cargo containers are examined by US inspectors. My, my. . .I feel safer. Independent agencies outside the regular departments are referred to as independent agencies. They comprise of many types of organization and many degrees of independence. The CIA, the United States Information Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Small Business Administration and the Veterans Administration are some of the large and important independent agencies. Sometimes known as alphabet soup of government because they are known by their initials. Certain regulatory commissions independent of cabinet departments are also established by the Congress, to regulate activities like radio and television communications, interstate transportation by railroads and trucks, trade practices and the interstate distribution of electricity. These agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations Board, are authorized to issue rules and regulations having the effect of law and to decide cases arising under the regulations. These agencies are run by boards whose members are appointed by the President. Though they are appointed for a limited time, these boards exercise their quasi-legislative and quasi- judicial functions, outside the President’s control. This undoubtedly helps them perform their regulatory functions in a better manner. FRB: Federal Reserve Board—charged with governing banks and regulating supply of money and thus interest rates. Our father who art the Fed Greenspan presides. NLRB: National Labor Relations Board—created to regulate labor-management relations. FCC: Federal Communications Commission—charged with licensing radio and TV stations and regulating their programming in the “public interest.” They also “regulate” interstate long-distance telephone rates, cable TV, and the Internet. Plus they can become pretty perplexed by wardrobe malfunctions. FTC: Federal Trade Commission—responsible for “regulating” business practices and controlling monopolistic behavior; now involved in “policing” the accuracy of advertising. SEC: Securities and Exchange Commission—created to police the stock market. Government corporations The corporation is a system in the government borrowed from the world of business. It provides mechanisms that help to handle matters that are similar to those of private businesses, rather than the usual activities of government. Thus corporations such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) fall between a business corporation and a regular government agency. Government corporations aim to handle specialized business functions with great efficiency. Government corporations were given greater freedom of action and flexibility; for example, they were kept free from certain regulations of the Budget Bureau and the Comptroller General. However the government does retain basic control over the activities of the corporations by the very fact that it owns the corporations. Boards appointed by the President run these corporations which secure their funds from appropriations. While the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) looks forward to congressional funding to supplement its income, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) secures its income from the sale of electricity. Corporations are definitely useful in keeping certain governmental activities free from routine and centralized federal agencies and also from excessive control of the President and the Congress. Bureaucracies and the Democratic Process Though bureaucracies are indispensable to any democracy, yet they do not always follow democratic procedures. The policy is that bureaucrats are appointed and not elected. Further, budgets may be concealed (in the name of national security) in order to neglect answerability. However, bureaucratic abuses may be revealed by the Congress or the media. Even an officer working for a particular bureaucratic department may disclose a fraud. A whistle blower is one who reports corruption, fraud or waste in a bureaucracy. Yet the bureaucracy carries out important functions in society through its varied activities. It cannot be denied that government would not be able to function without the millions of employees who make up the federal bureaucracy. Agents can be controlled by either before-the-fact or after-the-fact mechanisms. Congress seeks to guard against bureaucratic drift Before-the-fact mechanisms include the appointment process and procedural controls After-the-fact controls include police patrol and fire alarm oversight How Can Bureaucracy Be Reduced? Currently 2.78 million civilians and 1.47 million military employees Government is smaller per capita now than in the late 1960’s, and the cost of government has not grown faster than the economy Nonetheless, most Americans argue that government is too big and should be reduced Bureaucracy can be reduced through termination, privatization and devolution a. Termination: Termination is difficult, because the public is attached to the services government provides and doesn’t want their favorite programs to be cut. Deregulation saves little money but the reduction of rules is often popular . b. Privatization: Provision of goods and services through private contractors often means fewer government workers, but similar services are still provided at a similar cost . c. Devolution: Delegates the implementation of policy to the states, whether through block grants or through unfounded mandates. States provide more variety in provision of services, which can mean strong innovation or else mean substandard provision by some states.
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