Power Point notes


The Government at


The Bureaucracy

Chapter 15


Large, complex administrative structure that handles the everyday business of an organization

In gov’t – includes those non-elected positions

Efficient & effective way to organize

Yet often criticized for being slow & inefficient & sometimes inhumane

3 Features of a bureaucracy


Hierarchical authority

2. Job specialization – each bureaucrat

3. Formalized rules

Federal Bureaucracy

Today: 4.1 million work for the federal gov’t (2013)

Most in the executive branch

Divided into three areas in Executive Branch

Executive Office of the President

Executive Departments – 15 cabinet departments

Independent Agencies

(See page 429)

Remember – Congress & federal court system have their own bureaucracies

Its all in a name…

Department – Cabinet level departments

Agency, administration – major unit, near –Cabinet status

Commission – typically connected to business activities

Also can be investigative & advisory bodies

Corporation, authority – conduct “business-like” activities often w/ a board & a manager

Bureau – major element of “it”

Can also be called service, administration, office, branch, division

Staff vs. Line agencies

Staff agencies – are the support personnel

Line agencies – actually perform the tasks

In gov’t – we see the line agencies doing the work

Staff agencies in gov’t help them do this through advising, budgeting, purchasing, management & planning

EPA is a line agency

National Security Council is a staff agency

Executive Office of the

President - EOP

“the President’s right arm”

Several separate agencies staffed by approx. 1800 to help the President be chief executive (2013)

White House Office

National Security Council

Office of Management & Budget

Office of National Drug Control Policy

Council of Economic Advisors …& more

White House Office

President’s key personal & political staff

“the West Wing” - Near the Oval Office & Cabinet Room

Chief of Staff, Press Secretary

Counselor to the President, senior advisors

Deputy assistants – foreign policy, defense, homeland security, the economy, political affairs, congressional relations, speech writing

Appointment & Scheduling Assistant, Physician

1 st Lady’s Chief of Staff & press secretary

National Security Council

Staff agency that advises President on domestic & military matters and on most foreign policy issues; often at short notice

VP, National Security Advisor, Secretaries of State,

Treasury, Defense; may also include Director of National

Intelligence & Chairman of Joint Chiefs

Has small staff of experts

Much of their work is super top secret

All have highest level of security clearances

Office of Management

& Budget

OMB – largest & 2 nd most influential unit in the Executive


Primary goal – preparing annual Federal Budget

Federal fiscal year – Oct 1 st thru Sept 30 th

Each agency submits budget requests

OMB reviews & crafts President’s proposed budget

Then monitors gov’t spending

Also oversees the agencies enforcing laws & double checks legislative proposals to make sure they are in line with the President’s policy positions

Assists preparing executive orders & veto messages

Rest of the EOP

Office of National Drug Control Policy

Council of Economic Advisors

Helps prepare annual Economic Report to Congress

Domestic Policy Council

Council on Environmental Quality

Office of the Vice President

Office of the US Trade Representative

Office of Science & Technology

Office of Administration

The Cabinet

Executive Departments authorized by Congress

Today: 15, newest is Homeland Security

Heads are called Secretaries, except for Attorney General for DoJ

Serve as primary between the departments & President

Under or Deputy secretaries & assistant secretaries also appointed by the President

Each department divided into subunits & often even smaller groupings than that

Both staff agencies & line agencies

Picking the Cabinet

Nominated by the President

Confirmed by the Senate

Factors considered include:

Supporters of the President

Professional qualifications & experience

Balancing geography

Interest groups

Management style

More recently – gender, race, ethnicity considerations

What you will do…

Receive your Cabinet assignment

Research & be ready to report back on the following:

Purpose or mission of department

At least one Current event of the department

Roles of the deputy/ under secretaries

Subunits of the department

Current budget and # of employees

*** ½ page report for classmates is advised***

Independent Agencies

Agencies not connected to any of the 15 executive departments

They do not fit within any of the given departments

Sometimes to protect them from politics

Some need to be as they are regulatory commissions

Of course, still answer to the President

But several are free of Presidential control

Three main groups of independent agencies…

1 - Independent Executive


Include most of the non-Cabinet agencies

Include very large “near-Cabinet” status ones

General Services Adm. (GSA); NASA, EPA

Include some that do good works & get good PR

Peace Corps, Small Business Adm., NTSB

Some get very little notice & are relatively small

American Battle Monuments Commission

2 – Independent Regulatory


11 agencies that regulate important aspects of the nation’s economy

These are largely beyond the President’s control

Congress designed them to be so independent

Boards or commissions have 5-7 members with staggered terms

Must have both major parties represented

Also have quasi- legislative & judicial powers

Make regulations & impose fines & penalties

See page 447 for the 11 of these…

3 – Gov’t Corporations

Set up by Congress to carry out business-like activities & are under the President’s control

Today more than 50 of them exist

Resembles a private business

Has a board of directors & general manager

Any income goes back into itself

Difference: funded by the Gov’t & subject to review by the OMB

FDIC, US Postal Service, Amtrak, TVA

Working for the Gov’t

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) oversees all federal employees

Is an Independent Executive Agency

Is a staff agency

Civil Service System – from the Pendleton Act, 1883

90% of federal employees are in the “classified service”

So must take the Civil Service Exam

(Different from the Selective Service System = the draft

Males, 18 – 26 years old must still be registered)