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The Bureaucracy. Images. Huge Limestone Buildings “Red Tape” Endless Lines Forms (in triplicate – which, of course, makes no sense on an electronic world) Rules (often inconsistent & nonsensical) Frustration and lack of recourse Staffed by “bureaucrats”. OUTLINE. A Definition

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  • Huge Limestone Buildings
  • “Red Tape”
    • Endless Lines
    • Forms (in triplicate – which, of course, makes no sense on an electronic world)
    • Rules (often inconsistent & nonsensical)
    • Frustration and lack of recourse
  • Staffed by “bureaucrats”
  • A Definition
  • The Roots and Development of the Federal Bureaucracy
  • The Modern Bureaucracy
  • Policy Making/Problems Making Policy
  • Making Agencies Accountable

There are many definitions of bureaucracy.

The key elements are:

  • an hierarchical chain of command (clear lines of authority from top to bottom)
  • division of labor and specialization
  • impersonal rules and “merit-based” decision making
the roots and development of the federal bureaucracy
The Roots and Development of the Federal Bureaucracy
  • Constitutionally ambiguous “branch” of government.
  • Neither the President, Congress or Courts have total control. Each has significant and overlapping degree of influence over bureaucratic functions.
policy making
Policy Making
  • When Congress passes a law that creates any kind of federal agency, department, or commission, it delegates some part of its powers.
  • In the law, Congress sets parameters, guidelines, and then leaves it to the agency to work out the details.
  • How agencies execute congressional wishes is called “implementation”.
the roots and development of the federal bureaucracy7
The Roots and Development of the Federal Bureaucracy
  • In 1789, George Washington headed a federal bureaucracy of three departments:
    • State, War, and Treasury.
  • The federal government has grown as needs arose. In general, the government grew most during national crises and times of war.
    • The Civil War
    • National Efforts to Regulate the Economy
the civil war
The Civil War
  • The Civil War (1861-65) permanently changed the nature of the federal bureaucracy.
  • Thousands of employees were added in order to mount the war effort.
  • After the Civil War, demands on the government continued to grow. The government needed to pay pensions to veterans and the injured from the war.
regulating the economy
Regulating the Economy
  • The industrial revolution of the late 1800s brought big business onto the national stage.
  • While some people called for a laissez-faire attitude toward the economy, many others decried the development of big railroads, price fixing, monopolies, and unfair business practices and called for the government to regulate the economy.
the new deal and wwii
The New Deal and WWII
  • FDR faced high unemployment and weak financial markets during the Great Depression.
  • In order to face the economic crisis, FDR created large numbers of federal agencies and many federal programs (AAA, NRA, CCC).
  • WWII (like the Civil War and WWI) also caused the national government (and then the state and local governments) to grow significantly.
the federal workforce is growing
The Federal Workforce is Growing.
  • Republicans campaign for reductions in the size of the federal government. But…
    • Clinton 2000 – 1.7 million federal workers
    • Bush 2002 – 1.85 million federal workers
    • Bush 2003 – 2.0 million federal worker
    • Bush 2005 – 2.4 to 2.7 million federal workers (depending on how you count PTers)
  • And of course the cartoonists have had a field day…
privatization an alternative to growth
Privatization – An “Alternative” to Growth
  • 2000, 2002, 2004 Election issue
  • Government is really growing! When we “privatize” we may not call them federal workers but we’re paying them with federal dollars.
the modern bureaucracy
The Modern Bureaucracy
  • Governments exist for the public good, not to generate profit.
  • Government leaders are driven by reelection (and thus accountability) goals while businesspeople are out to increase their share prices on Wall Street. Businesses get money from customers, government gets it from taxpayers.
president s cabinet

President’s Cabinet

the cabinet departments
The Cabinet Departments
  • The 15 Cabinet departments are the major administrative units that have responsibility for conducting broad areas of government operation.
  • Positions in these departments account for 60% of the federal workforce.
  • Departments vary in prestige, power, size, and access to the president...each is headed by a “secretary”.
The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself (drawn from Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution).
  • One of the principal purposes of the Cabinet is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of their respective offices.
who s a cabinet officer
Who’s a Cabinet Officer?
  • The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments -- the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, and the Attorney General.
  • Under President George W. Bush, Cabinet-level rank also has been accorded to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Drug Control Policy; and the U.S. Trade Representative.

Department of AgricultureSecretary Mike Johanns

Department of the InteriorSecretary Dirk Kempthorne

Department of CommerceSecretary Carlos Gutierrez

Department of JusticeAttorney General Alberto Gonzales


Department of DefenseSecretary Donald Rumsfeld

Department of LaborSecretary Elaine Chao

Department of EducationSecretary Margaret Spellings

Department of StateSecretary Condoleezza Rice


Department of TransportationSecretary Mary E. Peters

Department of EnergySecretary Samuel W. Bodman

Department of Health & Human ServicesSecretary Michael O. Leavitt

Department of the TreasurySecretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr.


Department of Homeland SecuritySecretary Michael Chertoff

Department of Veterans AffairsSecretary Jim Nicholson

Department of Housing & Urban DevelopmentSecretary Alphonso Jackson


Office of Management and BudgetRob Portman

United States Trade RepresentativeAmbassador Susan Schwab

Environmental Protection AgencyStephen Johnson

Office of National Drug Control PolicyJohn Walters


White HouseChief of StaffJoshua B. Bolten

The Vice PresidentRichard B. Cheney

  • Prior to Bush’s second term, 6 cabinet members resigned:
    • Secretary of State Colin Powell
    • Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman
    • Education Secretary Rod Paige
    • Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham
    • Attorney General John Ashcroft
    • Commerce Secretary Don Evans
Most president see some turnover among their advisors.
  • Trivia: Franklin Pierce (1953-1857) was the only President to not have a cabinet member leave during his time in office.
department of homeland security
Department of Homeland Security
  • Homeland Security Operations Center
  • Transportation and Security Administration
  • Customs and Border Protection
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Secret Service
  • Office of National Laboratories
  • Homeland Security Laboratories
  • Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency
government corporations
Government Corporations
  • Government corporations are businesses created by Congress to perform functions that could be performed by private business but aren't usually because they are not profitable.
  • These corporations include Amtrak and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
independent executive agencies
Independent Executive Agencies
  • Independent executive agencies have narrower mandates than a Cabinet department.
  • Some examples include: CIA, NASA and the EPA.
independent regulatory commissions
Independent Regulatory Commissions
  • 12 IRCs exist to regulate a specific economic activity or interest
  • The commissions are independent from Congress and the President. Once appointed and seated members cannot be removed without cause.
  • They also have staggered terms of office to ensure that no one party gets to appoint all members.
  • EXAMPLES: National Labor Relations Board or Securities and Exchange Commission.
problems bureaucrats face
Problems Bureaucrats Face
  • Politics and program design
  • Imprecise and contradictory goals
  • Fragmentation and faulty coordination
  • Imprecise measures of success
reforming the bureaucracy
Reforming the Bureaucracy
  • Keep Commission, 1905-1909
  • President’s Commission on Economy & Efficiency, 1910-1913
  • Joint Committee on Reorganization, 1921-1924
  • President’s Committee on Administrative Management, 1936-37
  • 1st & 2nd Hoover Commission, 1947-49, 1953-55
  • Ash Council, 1969-1971
  • Carter Reorganization Effort, 1977-1979
  • Grace Commission, 1982-1984
  • National Performance Review, 1993-1997
making agencies accountable is the bureaucracy accountable and if so to whom
Making Agencies AccountableIs the bureaucracy accountable and if so to whom?

The President has the authority to:

  • appoint and remove agency heads
  • reorganize the bureaucracy
  • make changes in budget proposals
  • ignore initiatives from the bureaucracy
  • issue executive orders
  • reduce an agency's budget
making agencies accountable is the bureaucracy accountable and if so to whom34
Making Agencies AccountableIs the bureaucracy accountable and if so to whom?

Congress has the authority to:

  • pass legislation that alters an agency's functions
  • abolish existing programs
  • investigate bureaucratic activities
  • influence presidential appointments
  • write legislation to limit bureaucratic discretion
making agencies accountable is the bureaucracy accountable and if so to whom35
Making Agencies AccountableIs the bureaucracy accountable and if so to whom?

The Judiciary has the power to:

  • rule on whether the bureaucracy has acted within the law
  • rule on constitutionality
  • force respect for the rights of individuals in bureaucratic/administrative hearings
accountability to citizens
Accountability to Citizens
  • Increased opportunities to petition
  • Publicly funded intervenors/ombudspersons
  • Monitoring programs
  • Advisory committees (w/public members)
  • Sunshine provisions (announced & open meetings)
  • Freedom of information laws