Issues in public administration mpa 509
1 / 33

Issues in Public Administration MPA 509 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Issues in Public Administration MPA 509 . Role of Bureaucracy in Public Administration. Agenda . Preview of Last Lecture What is Bureaucracy? Weber’s Model Functions of Bureaucracy The nature and dimensions of bureaucracy-society incongruity Pakistan’s prime need a real bureaucracy

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

Issues in Public Administration MPA 509

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Issues in Public Administration MPA 509

Role of Bureaucracy in Public Administration


  • Preview of Last Lecture

  • What is Bureaucracy?

  • Weber’s Model

  • Functions of Bureaucracy

  • The nature and dimensions of bureaucracy-society incongruity

  • Pakistan’s prime need a real bureaucracy

  • Remedies

  • Quote of the Day

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

The Bureaucracy

  • Five Functions of Bureaucrats

    • Implementation of the law and government policies

    • Provide expertise

    • Provide research, information and guidance to PM

    • Quasi-judicial powers and responsibilities

Bureaucracy(Weber Model)

  • Hierarchy

  • Division of Labor

  • Consistency

  • Qualification

  • Professional–Private Separation

  • Devotion to Purpose

  • Advancement / Seniority

The Bureaucracy

  • How we think of Bureaucracy…

    • Bureaucracies try to expand authority

    • Bureaucracies try to develop political constituencies

    • Bureaucracies fight over jurisdiction

    • The “spend it or lose it” mentality

    • Bureaucracies expand their internal work

    • Bureaucracies become protective and aloof

  • The colonial legacy is evident even in the inherited negative features of bureaucracy such as elitism, paternalism, despotism, dis- trust, centralization, secrecy, formalism, aloofness, hierarchical rigidity, and urban bias.

  • This legacy was perpetuated further through the arrangement of foreign study programs, establishment of administrative training institutions, employment of foreign experts, and adoption of bureaucratic reforms based on Western technical assistance.

  • All these components constituted the so-called “development administration” field, which remained distinctively Western in terms of a practical policy guideline and intellectual paradigm, and it allegedly became the mechanism to preserve Western dominance over developing countries and prevent them from being influenced by communist ideology.

  • Most developing nations adopted such Western bureaucratic models without experiencing similar socio- historical events and contextual realities.


  • In developing countries, the above incompatibility between the bureaucratic superstructure and the remaining social formation is manifested in three major dimensions of incongruity,

  • including the incongruity between bureaucracy and politics,

  • between bureaucracy and economy,

  • and between bureaucracy and culture.

  • As a result, the political representatives have become more dependent on bureaucratic experts, leading to a form of incongruity between the expansive power of bureaucracy and the diminishing power of political representatives.

  • The military intervention in politics created a vicious cycle of political underdevelopment because the military emphasized strong state apparatus, order, professionalism, and discipline, but undermined political mobilization, pluralism, and spontaneity.

  • The purpose of citing these examples is to make a point that in developing countries, there is incongruity between the rhetoric of political neutrality of state bureaucracy and the reality of its politicized nature and role.

Bureaucracy versus Economics

  • The economic role of state bureaucracy has been rationalized on the grounds such as to reduce foreign domination over the economy, substitute for weak private sector, induce entrepreneur- ship, regulate natural monopolies, generation of employment, redistribution of income, and provision of welfare, which have largely failed to materialize.

Bureaucracy versus Culture

  • The contemporary Western model of bureaucracy emerged and expanded within a cultural context that embodied certain values and norms such as secularism, individualism, rationality, competition, profit motive, and achievement orientation.

Bureaucracy versus Culture

  • It is also imperative to understand the implications of this incongruity for various social forces and interests.

  • First, the disparity between the overdeveloped bureaucratic apparatus and the underdeveloped political system has led to the formation of bureaucratic elitism and paternalism.

Pakistan’s prime need a real bureaucracy

  • Yet, the question is why the Pakistani bureaucracy is so ill organized?

  • The paradox is that if the state has to provide services, administer justice, maintain law and order and bring about prosperity, and if it has to be effective, it has to have a good bureaucracy.

  • A country of 180 million people cannot be managed as a tribe on the basis of personal dealings and Jirga morality.

  • It needs rules–based and impersonal decision-making, which is the hallmark of a real bureaucracy.

  • To rebuild Pakistan, the first priority should be to restructure the bureaucracy, because that is the ‘machine’ that maintains law and order, implements public policies and produces services.

  • Pakistan’s civil services worked relatively effectively until the 1960s.

  • The British legacy of requiring public servants to resist social pressures and act according to rules lasted a few years after 1947.

  • But our clannish tendencies could not bear the relative neutrality and inapproachability of civil servants.

  • Steadily, the walls between the public and privateinterests were breached. Thus began the rot of public services, which continues unabated.

  • Public servants began to be rewarded and punished for their willingness to collude with politicians, notables and the military.

  • The deadly blow to the bureaucracy’s professionalism and integrity was given by the democratic regime of 70s, which removed the constitutional security of tenure for civil servants.

  • After that the authority to post, transfer or retire began to be used to beat public officials into submission. 

  • What he began, was completed by successive regimes.

  • The Military Ruler then packed civil services with military officers at the top, and politicized local administration from the bottom.

  • Politicians and the military have demoralized the bureaucracy, turning it into a collection of self-serving individuals, instead of an institution based on rules, the hierarchy of authority, accountability and professional ethics.

  • Not that political rulers should have no part in public administration. They lay down the laws, define objectives and decide strategic policies. Yet, transforming laws and policies into actions is the job of professional bureaucracy, to be carried in transparent and accountable ways.


  • Bureaucracy can be effective only if it has the assurance of protection from the vindictive actions of rulers.

  • Recently, the Supreme Court has started taking notice of the ministerial nepotism and arbitrariness in the appointments and promotions of officials.

  • This initiative should be followed by a bill to enact the security of tenure and containment of the discretionary powers of rulers for appointments, transfers and promotions of public officials.

  • The reconstruction of Pakistan’s bureaucracies has to begin with restoring the rule of rules in public services and ensuring security of tenure with accountability.

  • Pakistan’s bureaucracies are plagued by many ills other than insecurity and loss of professionalism. 

  • Pakistan’s bureaucracy needs new codes of ethics for public responsibilities.

  • A wide ranging exercise should be undertaken to formulate detailed codes of conduct for various services.

  • Apart from changing the behaviourial norms of the bureaucracy, its structure and processes need a major overhaul as all steps in the public decision-making processes, from record keeping, information gathering, noting and drafting to the decision criteria and Performance evaluation of officials Have ossified.

  • To reconstruct bureaucracies, extensive and sustained efforts, spread over years, have to be made to rewrite rulebooks, redefine rules and reorganize responsibilities.

  • A task that does not need large resources or foreign aid but imagination, knowledge and commitment.

  • Finally, administrative reconstruction cannot be sustained without the transparency ofdecision-making and enactment of citizens’ right to information and answerability.

  • Exposure of public agencies to the citizens’ scrutiny and the media’s gaze will make them efficient and reduce the scope of corruption.

  • Civil society and the media should mount a strong campaign to make administrative reforms as the top priority for the platforms of political parties.

Quote of the Day

  • "Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept.“

    - Frank Herbert

  • Login