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The Federal Bureaucracy
Bureaucracy is a concept in sociology and political science referring to the way that the administrative execution and enforcement of legal rules are socially organized. Four structural concepts are central to any definition of bureaucracy:
a well-defined division of administrative labor among persons and offices,
a personnel system with consistent patterns of recruitment and stable linear careers,
a hierarchy among offices, such that the authority and status are differentially distributed among actors, and
formal and informal networks that connect organizational actors to one another through flows of information and patterns of cooperation.
Examples of everyday bureaucracies include governments, armed forces, corporations, hospitals, courts, ministries and schools
President Andrew Jackson (1828) opened government jobs to the common people. He inaugurated the spoils system, under which party loyalty—not experience or talent—became the criterion for a federal job .
This was the beginning of patronage, and it continued through the late 19th century
Congress passed the Pendleton Act in 1883, which created a system for hiring federal workers based on qualifications rather than political allegiance; employees were also protected from losing their jobs when the administration changed.
In 1939, the Hatch Act passed to prohibit federal workers from running for office or actively campaigning for other candidates.
1930s: the size of the federal bureaucracy grew exponentially due to President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal agencies.
Although many were short-lived, others continue to play a role
Example: the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
1960s: President Lyndon expanded the welfare state with such programs as Medicare, Head Start, the Job Corps, and the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).
1970s: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by the Nixon administration, the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the Labor Department transformed the workplace for most Americans, and new cabinet departments were established .
2002: Department of Homeland Security established.
similar to cabinets in structure but have narrower responsibilities
Example: Central Intelligence Agency
Example: Environmental Protection Agency
Similar to private companies because they charge clients for services and are governed by a board of directors
Different b/c receive federal funding to help defray operating expenses
Examples: FTC, FCC, SEC, FEC, FRB
Special interests, or clientele groups
Friends in High Places
To President (can reorganize or change leadership)
To Executive Budget
Whistleblowers (individuals can report instances of mismanagement without repercussions)
+3500 appointed by White House
Number of appointments has increased
Tenure of those appointed has decreased
Pendleton Act of 1883
Office of Personnel Management
Bipartisan Merit Systems Protection Board
18 level General Schedule (GS) salary structure
Hatch Act of 1939 limits political activities of civil service