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UNIT 10 The Bureaucracy

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  1. UNIT 10The Bureaucracy The “4th Branch” of Government

  2. A. The large and complex organization ofUNELECTED(hired & appointed) officials of the Executive branch who are charged with running the day-to-day operations of gov’t. I. WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS “BUREAUCRACY” THING?

  3. B. Bureaucracy’s Size • Total number: 2.9 million people (30% of these work for DoD and 25% work for the USPS) - 1.4 million people serve in the military but are not considered to be bureaucrats.

  4. The Bureaucracy’s Size (cont) • The federal workforce composes ~2% of the total U.S. workforce. • The size of the civilian bureaucracy shrank as a % of the population from the 1970’s to 2004, but grew again under Bush Jr. (homeland security reasons) and Obama (domestic issue reasons) - 1970 U.S. population was 240 million Bureaucracy size: 2.8 million = 1.2% of population - 1990 U.S. population was 281 million Bureaucracy size: 2.4 million = .85% - 2011 population was 308 million Bureaucracy size: 2.9 million = .94% of population

  5. II.Bureaucratic Administration

  6. TheBureaucracy is Hierarchical A. The largest units of the Executive branch are the15 cabinet departments each organized hierarchically and headed by a Secretary (except DOJ which has an Attorney General) who manages a specific policy area. • Each dept has an Assistant Secretary as well as numerous Deputy and Under Secretaries who are supported by thousands of high & mid-level managers.

  7. Bureaucratic Units The bureaucracy is also composed of 50+ independent agencies and over 2,000 other administrative units based on mission or clientele served: - services(U.S. Secret Service) - offices (Office of Management and Budget) - administrations (Social Security Administration) - bureaus(Bureau of Indian Affairs; FBI) - agencies(NASA; FEMA) - boards(National Labor Relations Board) - commissions(Federal Trade Commission; ICC)

  8. B.Cabinet: The Primary Bureaucracy • Created by Congress and expanded over time at various presidents’ request. • Serves as a key policy “sounding board” and creates policy in various areas to advance the President’s ideological agenda. • Builds policy coalitions with interest groups, Congress, and the opposition party.

  9. C. Cabinet Composition -Members are appointed based on experience, diversity, or patronage (close friends, political donor, loyal party member) - Not all cabinet officers or other appointed bureaucrats are experts in their dep’t… they must rely on career bureaucrats for advice and knowledge.

  10. D. Bureaucrats are “turf” oriented • Try to increase their own agency’s budget at the expense of the others. • Promote own organization’s prestige and roles by pushing high visibility programs. • Resist change and outsider interference. - Their loyalty is often split between their departments and the President! - Politicians use the bureaucracy as a “scapegoat” to assign blame for public policy failures or cost overruns (it may just be bad law).

  11. Government entities that are a cross between a government agency and a private business. They provide a service that could be done by the private sector, but are better left for the government to do. They are self-supporting in that they are expected to make money to run their operations from the services they provide to the public, like the Post Office, the largest one. E.Government Corporations

  12. Other Government Corporations • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) • Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) • AMTRAK • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

  13. F.Independent Agencies • Independent regulatory agency An organization that has broad “watchdog” powers to implement and regulate key parts of the economy and are largely independent of control by the President. (e.g. stock market, transportation, food and drugs, environment). - Examples: SEC, FAA, EPA, FDA These agencies have powers to enforce laws and punish violators.

  14. Independent Agencies (cont’d) Each independent agency is run by a chairman with a Board of Commissioners. Examples: FEC, FCC, NRC, FRB - The President appoints Board members and Senate confirms them. - Their terms of office vary (3-14 yrs) and overlap congressional and presidential terms to protect against undue influence and political firings.

  15. G.TheArmedForces • Top levels of military control are in the hands of civilians. Military policy is jointly developed by the military and top civilian leaders. • The Secretary of Defense oversees the military bureaucracy day-to-day. - He reports directly to the President who is the C-in-C • Each military branch has its own Secretary who reports directly to the SecDef.

  16. Each military service is headed by a senior uniformed officer called a service chief and a Chairman who make up the Joint Chiefs of Staffwho report to the Sec’y of Defense. Army Navy Chairman Air Force Marine Corps

  17. H.The Civil Service • Created in 1883 by the Pendleton Act to rid gov’t office seekers from using patronage. What caused this? • The Civil Service is the means by which career bureaucrats enter and are promoted within the federal bureaucracy. - Makes lists of job openings - Hires and promotes based on competitive merit. - Investigates corruption,incompetence, whistle-blowing.

  18. III. Law and Policy Implementation I’m just a bill, but wait until you see how I’m implemented! “I’m just a bill!”

  19. A. Bureaucrats work in a conflicting environment … • Bureaucrats can interpret the intent of Congressional laws (discretionary authority) and write the necessary rules and regulations to put those laws into effect (implementation) even though they work for the Executive branch. It’s called:“quasi-legislative” power.

  20. Implementation Is Difficult • Those who are to be controlled often oppose regulation (e.g. oil companies, cigarette companies, auto manufacturers, unions) and make excuses as to why they can’t comply with regulations imposed on them. • Special interest groups try to weaken implementation by lobbying Congress. • Resulting conflict can destroy policy effectiveness through legislativeloopholes favorable to such groups(over 1,400 exemptions to OBAMACARE given to date!)

  21. Independent regulatory agencies are often given the power to punish (fine, jail, or shut down) those who break the laws. Those regulated or punished can appeal to the courts for relief by suing to overturn laws or trying to limit authority of regulators. Quasi-Judicial Powers

  22. Aggressive enforcement, when supported by the President or Congress, can be effective in making the laws work by punishing violators. But, a lack of significant enforcement, or weakened requirements, will often result in non-compliance by those regulated. Quasi-Judicial Enforcement

  23. INCREMENTALISM • Bureaucrats and Congress are often forced by changing circumstances, public opinion, or political opposition to modify existing law rather than make wholesale departures from them. This leads to… • Policy-making that is characterized by a series of decisions, each instituting modest change, bit by bit and step by step, over time.

  24. President is head of bureaucracy in his role as Chief Executive. But, he often has LESS control over it than Congress does. - Bureaucracies are permanent, presidents are temporary. Two, 4-year terms Unlimited service B. Presidential Controls

  25. Presidential Controls • Appointment and promotion:President can fire most political appointees or civil service bureaucrats • Executive orders:to force compliance • Exercise economic powers: alter department and agency budgets, but Congress does the actual appropriating • Reorganize the bureaucracy:creation of new agencies, deletion of old ones, or combining missions (e.g. Homeland Security Dept required other executive departments to give up “turf”, $, and people)

  26. Congressional Controls • Change jurisdictionof agencies • Alter budgets of agencies and departments • Deny presidential appointmentsto bureaucratic posts • OVERSIGHT!Compel agencies to interpret and apply laws as Congress intended by holdinghearings, investigating bureaucratic failures, rewriting legislation.

  27. Congressional Controls (cont’d) • Committee ClearanceThe ability of congressional committees to review and approve agency decisions in advance without the need to change previous laws or pass additional laws.

  28. IV. A. An alliance of mid-level bureaucrats, outside interest groups, and staff members of congressional committees formed to promote common causes. • Goal:Create or change laws that may be seen as outdated, unfair, or prohibitive to businesses or government policies (client politics).

  29. How to Build an Iron Triangle

  30. ISSUE NETWORKS • Networks of interest groups, media outlets, academic institutions, congressional staff members, and private think tanksthat meet to advocate public policies. • Such networks are ideologically driven vs. interest driven like iron triangles.


  32. A. Privatization 1. The government outsources federal programs through bidding to a private company to administer those programs (e.g. running federal prisons, food service, housing, building security, etc). 2. Purpose: toencourage competition and job creation in the private business sector while reducing coststo the government.

  33. 3.It’s controversial because… • The motivation for the private sector is PROFIT! - Take over and run an established gov’t entity for profit by cutting overhead and operating costs. • The bureaucracy isn’t supposed to run gov’t services for a profit unless it’s a government corp.

  34. Privatization (a negative viewpoint)

  35. B. DEREGULATION - The reducing or ending of gov’t regulations on businesses and the economy by allowing the market to police itself as to behavior and prices. - Those in favor believe freedom in the market place is best way to achieve economic growth. - Those opposed see deregulation as a failure of government to protect consumers, environment, society, etc.

  36. C. The Hatch Act (1939) • Enacted to ensure political neutrality of civil service employees in carrying out laws and policy. • PROHIBITED BUREAUCRATS FROM: • running for office • making political speeches • managing political campaign • using their office to affect election outcome • soliciting campaign contributions from subordinates

  37. D. Revised Hatch Act (1993) It upheld a bureaucrat’s right to: • vote • assist in voter registration • make voluntary campaign contributions • join political parties • display partisan advertising • campaign for policy changes, laws, etc.

  38. E.Other Bureaucracy Reforms • More recent bipartisan attempts have had limited success at reform: 1. Government Performance and Results Act: - Requires each agency to annually identify goals, adopt a performance plan, and have a system in place to measure performance in meeting its objectives. - Are better management techniques key to actually solving the country’s problems?

  39. 2.CIVIL SERVICE REFORM ACT (1978) • Restructured how the Civil Service was run and allowed managers to make and implement policy decisions at lower management levels. • Made it easier to hire, fire, and reassign bureaucrats. Enacted “whistleblower” protections. • Created Senior Executive Service (SES) • Allowed cash bonuses for meritorious performance.

  40. 3. National Performance Review Carried out during Clinton’s first term in 1993-95; overseen by “Mr. Global Warming”, Al Gore. Among Washington insiders NPR was popularly referred to as “Reinventing Government”. Bureaucracy believed to be too centralized and turf-oriented, too rule-bound and not caring about program results or their effects.

  41. National Performance Review • Emphasized “customer satisfaction” within the bureaucratic system - Rewarded employee initiative - Eliminated many restrictive rules and excessive paperwork • Less centralized management - Better purchasing practices initiated - Reduce duplication & waste among agencies - Made it easier to fire a bureaucrat • RESULT: Marginal change as bureaucrats resisted turf changes and burrowed further into their rules & regulations. WGOF!

  42. 4.Reducing “Red Tape” • Red tape is the complex rules and regulations that must be followed to get the bureaucracy to do something on an issue. • Often involves endless paperwork, clearances, or long drawn out procedures and decision-making that overwhelms citizens trying to get anything done.