Bureaucracy Lecture by lonyoo


Learning Objectives: Bureaucracy

•   Defining Bureaucracy
•   Historical Development of the Bureaucracy
•   Politics vs. Administration
•   The President is not their boss…
•   Political Control of the Bureaucracy
•   Departments, Agencies, and Government Corporations
•   How the Texas “fractured” Executive impacts the state
Key Terms: Bureaucracy
 •   Spoils System                       •Hatch Act 1937
 •   Merit                               •Administrative Procedures Act 1947
 •   Bureaucrats                         •Neutral Competence
 •   Whig Theory                         •Reinventing Government
 •   Garfield Assassination              •Quasi-Judicial Power
 •   Civil Service                       •Regulatory/Policing Power
 •   Pendleton Act of 1883
                                         •Civil Service Reform Act 1978
 •   Politics-Administration Dichotomy
                                         •Senior Executive Service (SES)
 •   Devolution
                                         •Office of Personnel Management
 •   Privatization
 •   Glass Ceiling                       •Collective Bargaining
 •   Cabinet Departments                 •Affirmative Action
 •   Independent Agencies                •Independent Regulatory Agencies
 •   Adjudication                        •Government Corporations
 •   Administrative Discretion           •Rule-Making
The Bureaucracy
•       What is Bureaucracy?
    –    A complex, hierarchically arranged organization composed
         of many small subdivisions with specialized functions
    –    Bureaucracy means “rule by officialdom”
    –    Bureaucracy is complex
    –    Bureaucracy is hierarchical
The Bureaucracy
• Five Functions of Bureaucrats
  –   Implement the law
  –   Provide expertise
  –   Provide research and information to the President
  –   Provide research and information to Congress
  –   Quasi-judicial powers and responsibilities
The Bureaucracy
• A few myths about Bureaucrats
  – They’re appointed by the President and can be fired by the
  – Only about 9,000 out of 3,000,000 civilians employees of the
    Federal Government are appointed by the president
  – Of those, only about 3,000 – 5,000 could conceivably be fired
    by the President (unless they massively violate the conditions
    of employment – PATCO strike of August 1981)
The Bureaucracy
•       A few more myths about Bureaucrats…
    –        They’re paper-pushers
         •      Only about a half million government employees have characteristically
                bureaucratic positions such as clerk or general administrator
         •      The government employs about 147,00 engineers and architects, 84,000
                scientists, and 2,400 veterinarians
    –        They work in Washington DC
         •      Only about 10% of government civilian employees work in Washington
    –        Most work in the federal government
         •      About 22% of government employees work for the federal government
The Bureaucracy
•       History of the Bureaucracy
    –        The Whig Theory (1780s – 1828)
         •     The idea that public service was domain of an elite class.
         •     Families had a tradition of public service.
    –        The Spoils System (1828 – 1883)
         •     Andrew Jackson used government jobs or “patronage” to reward
               supporters and to remove elitists from the bureaucracy
The Bureaucracy
• History of the Bureaucracy
  – The Civil Service System (1883 – Present)
     • Garfield’s Assassination 1881
     • The Pendleton Act (Civil Service Reform Act of 1883) established the
       principle of employment on the basis of merit and created the Civil
       Service System to oversee the hiring and firing of government
     • Professor Max Weber’s ideas (1870s)
     • Professor Woodrow Wilson’s ideas (1880s)
     • The Progressive Era and Bureaucratic Reform
     • Calls for “neutral” competence and expertise
The Bureaucracy
• History of the Bureaucracy
• The Civil Service System (1883 – Present)
  –   New Deal reforms
  –   The federal bureaucracy grew tremendously
  –   FDR and political control issues
  –   Hatch Act of 1937
• Post WWII and beyond
  – The need for technological expertise
  – The need for control
  – The “thickening” of government
The Bureaucracy
• History of the Bureaucracy
• The Civil Service System (1883 – Present)
• Civil Service Reform Act of 1978
   –   Jimmy Carter’s “Greatest Domestic Policy Achievement”
   –   Created the Office of Personnel Management
   –   Revised and expanded the Grade (“GS”) system
   –   Created the Senior Executive Service
The Bureaucracy
• Issues for bureaucracy today:
  –   Diversity and ”Glass Ceiling” Issues
  –   Technological Competence
  –   Privatization
  –   “Devolution”
  –   “Re-inventing Government”
The Bureaucracy
• Which branch controls the bureaucracy?
  – The Executive branch with chief executive?
  – The Legislative branch with the budget?
  – The Judicial branch with the judges/justices that interpret the
• Answer: All and None…
The Bureaucracy
• Political Control of the Bureaucracy
• Congressional mechanisms
   –   Power of the purse
   –   Revision of empowering or limiting statutes
   –   Senate approval of certain appointees
   –   Threats of hearings and investigations
   –   The power to create or destroy agencies
• Presidential mechanisms
   –   Appointment power
   –   Budget proposal
   –   Reorganization of bureaucratic structure
   –   Executive orders
• Judicial mechanisms
   – Judicial Review
The Bureaucracy
•       The Shape of the Federal Bureaucracy
    –     Cabinet Departments
    –     Independent Agencies
    –     Independent Regulatory Agencies/Commissions
    –     Government Corporations
•       Major operating departments of government
        headed by the “Secretary of...” except Justice,
        which is headed by the Attorney General
The Bureaucracy
• The Executive Branch Departments in order of creation:
         –   State (1789)
         –   Defense (1789)
         –   Treasury (1789)
         –   Justice (1789)
         –   Interior (1849)
         –   Agriculture (1862)
         –   Commerce (1913)
         –   Labor (1913)
         –   Health & Human Services (1953)
         –   Housing and Urban Development (1965)
         –   Transportation (1966)
         –   Energy (1977)
         –   Education (1979)
         –   Veterans’ Affairs (1988)
         –   Homeland Security (2002)
The Bureaucracy
• Independent Agencies
  – Administered by a presidential appointee with no fixed term
  – Responsible for narrower set of functions than department
• Some are housed in departments
  –   Social Security Administration is part of HHS, Coast Guard
      is part of Transportation
• Others are independent of any department
  –   Examples include The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
      and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
The Bureaucracy
• Independent Regulatory Agencies and
  –   Independent of any department or agency
  –   Each headed by a group of 5 - 10 commissioners who are
      appointed by president to fixed terms and not subject to
      removal by president
  –   Example include the Securities and Exchange Commission
      (SEC) and Federal Communication Commission (FCC)
The Bureaucracy
• What Government Agencies and
  Commissions Do:
  –   Agency investigations
  –   Rule making
  –   Adjudication
  –   Informal actions
The Bureaucracy
• Government Corporations
  – Permits organizations to use businesslike method and remain
    politically independent
  – Run by boards of directors appointed by President to long
  – Examples include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    (FDIC), the Student Loan Management Authority (SallieMae)
    and the U.S. Postal Service
The Bureaucracy
• Reasons for the growth of Federal
  – We have over 3 million federal bureaucrats paid for by the
  – Issues and problems require more expertise today because
    society and technology is so complex
  – The size of our nation in both geographic size and population
    leads to more bureaucrats
  – Americans demand more services from their government,
    requiring the use of more people to provide those government
The Bureaucracy
•       Bad Things That Bureaucrats Do…
    –    Bureaucracies will try to expand authority
    –    Bureaucracies will try to develop political constituencies
    –    Bureaucracies will fight over jurisdiction
    –    The “spend it or lose it” mentality
    –    Bureaucracies will expand their internal work
    –    Bureaucracies will become paternalistic and aloof
    –    “The Peter Principle” – incompetence always rises to the top…
    –    Who’s to blame when there’s a problem?
Texas Bureaucracy
• Appointed Boards and Commissions
• Administrative Departments
  – Responsible for implementing policies:
     • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
     • General Land Office
     • Texas Department of Agriculture
     • Lottery Commission
     • Texas Department of Transportation
Texas Bureaucracy
• Appointed Boards and Commissions
• College and University Boards of Regents (e.g., UT, A&M, etc.)
   – Nine members serve six-year overlapping terms
• Licensing Boards (e.g., Nursing, Cosmetology)
   – Licenses various professions
• Regulatory Boards (e.g., PUC, TEQC)
   – Regulates various industries
   – Set rules for operations pursuant to laws
• Social Service Agencies (e.g., CPS, Texas Employment
   – Promotion of certain social groups
• Promotional and Preservation Agencies (e.g., Texas Historical
   – Provides economic development or preserves the state’s historical heritage
Texas Bureaucracy
• Administrative Politics - The Legislature
  – All state agencies that are not established by the Constitution
    are creations of the legislature
  – Sweeping legislative power
  – The difficulty of vigorous oversight
  – Oversight mechanisms
  – Sunset review
  – Legislative Budget Board
Texas Bureaucracy
• Administrative Politics - The Governor
  –   Appointment power
  –   Far reaching but limited
  –   Budget power
  –   The line-item veto
• Administrative Politics - Interest Groups
  – Every program and the agencies that administer them have several interest
  – Rallying support
• Administrative Politics – Bureaucrats
  – Bureaucrats have particular goals
Review Questions

 • What was the Spoils System? Why was it so detrimental to
 • What was the Pendleton Act? What was the Hatch Act? How do
   these two acts impact the federal bureaucracy?
 • What is the difference between a cabinet department, an
   independent agency, a independent regulatory agency, and a
   government corporation?
 • What was the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978? Why Did
   President Carter think it was so important?
 • What is Reinventing Government?
Discussion Questions
 • Why was Garfield’s Assassination so important in understanding
   the reform of the Federal bureaucracy?
 • What were the political implications of removing bureaucrats
   from politics? Should we be concerned about the partisan politics
   of the folks in the Driver’s License office?
 • What exactly is Reinventing Government? What were the
   accomplishments of the Vice President Gore’s National
   Performance Review?
 • What impact do issues like diversity, affirmative action, and the
   glass ceiling have on making bureaucracy at all levels reflect the
   face of America?
 • Do regulatory agencies have too much power? Consider the
   curious case of Martha Stewart…

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