The Bureaucracy

• Spoils
System - The hiring of loyalists to the newly elected
• Patronage
- Jobs, grants, or other special favors that are given
as rewards to friends and allies for their support
• Merit
System - A system of employment based on
qualifications, test scores, and ability
• Pendleton
Act - Reform law that established federal
employment based on open, competitive exams. Created the
Civil Service Commission
• Civil
Service System - The merit system by which many
federal bureaucrats are selected
Most early growth in the bureaucracy was due to commerce
1887 - Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission
(ICC). Was the first Independent Regulatory Commission
TR created the Department of Commerce and Labor in 1901 and
Wilson split it into 2 departments in 1913. Congress then created
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The 16th amendment and the creation of the Income Tax in 1913
allowed for greater government revenue, and therefore more
spending and programs
The Great Depression saw the rise of more govt agencies and
programs such as Social Security. Even more have been added since.
There are 2.7 million federal employees working in 2000 different
units of the federal government.
Some departments have a problem with being able to fill positions,
especially in dangerous areas so the govt has hired private
contractors to fill those positions.
In 2008 $538bn was spent on contractors
There are about 1,150 civilian government agencies
They fall into 4 categories:
Cabinet Departments - Major administrative units
Government Corporations - Businesses established by the
Independent Executive Agencies - Like cabinet
departments but with a narrower, service-based focus
Independent Regulatory Commissions - Designed to
regulate specific activities free from partisan influence
Implementation - The process by which a law or policy is put
into operation
Iron Triangles - The relatively stable relationships and patterns of
interaction that occur among agencies, interest groups, and
congressional committees or subcommittees
Issue Networks - The loose and informal relationships that exist
among a large number of actors who work in broad policy areas
Interagency Councils - Working groups created to facilitate
coordination of policy making and implementation across a host of
governmental agencies
Administrative Discretion - The ability of bureaucrats to
make choices concerning the best way to implement congressional
or executive intentions
Rule Making - A quasi-legislative process that results in regulations
that have the characteristics of a legislative act
Regulations - Rules that govern the operation of all government
programs that have the force of law
Administrative Adjudication - A quasi-judicial process in
which a bureaucratic agency settles disputes between two parties in
a manner similar to the way courts resolve disputes
Agencies are subject to Congressional and Judicial oversight