Federal Bureaucracy SSCG 15 “If there is a way to delay in important decision, the good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it” ”A civil servant is sometimes like a broken cannon - it won't work and you can't fire it.” ~ George S. Patton Bureaucracy's chief characteristics are continuity, predictability, standard operating procedures, and the inevitable "red tape.“ Our bureaucratic agencies reflect how our political system has tried to identify our most important national goals and how policies are implemented. A spoil system is an informal practice where a political party, after winning an election, gives government jobs to its voters as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party. The Pendleton Act of 1883 established the United States Civil Service Commission, which placed most federal government employees on the merit system and marked the end of the so-called spoils system. The act provided for some government jobs to be filled on the basis of competitive exams. People who work for government agencies, from high-level managers and executives to clerical staff, are called bureaucrats. The terms bureaucrat and bureaucracy have negative connotations. They bring to mind long, difficult forms; standing in long lines; and encounters with inflexible and unsympathetic clerks. The simplest requests are tangled in red tape, the paperwork that slows down accomplishment of an otherwise simple task. Bureaucracy is necessary for big governmental agencies to operate. The federal bureaucracy is the departments and agencies of the federal government – mostly the executive branch. The executive branch of the federal government includes the Executive Office of the President and the United States federal executive departments The majority of the independent agencies of the United States government are also classified as executive agencies (they are independent in that they are not subordinated under a Cabinet position). There are a small number of independent agencies that are not considered part of the executive branch, such as the Library of Congress and Congressional Budget Office, which are administered directly by Congress and thus are legislative branch agencies. There are 6 characteristics to a bureaucracy, according to Max Weber: (1.) a formal hierarchy; (2.) management by rules; (3.) organization by functional specialty; (4.) an “up-focused” or “infocused” mission; (5.) purposely impersonal; and (6.) employment based on technical qualifications. The federal bureaucracy performs three primary tasks in government: implementation, administration, and regulation. Agencies fall into four general types: Cabinet departments, regulatory commissions, independent agencies, and government corporations. The 15 Cabinet departments are major administrative units that have responsibility for conducting broad areas of government operation. These positions account for 60% of the federal workforce. Departments vary in prestige, power, size, and access to the president. Common attributes: each is headed by a secretary (except Justice that is headed by the Attorney General); secretaries are assisted by deputies and undersecretaries; departments are subdivided into functional units (legal services, budgets, public relations, and so on). Executive Departments Department of Agriculture (USDA) Department of Commerce (DOC) Department of Defense (DOD) Department of Education (ED) Department of Energy (DOE) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department of Justice (DOJ) Department of Labor (DOL) Department of State (DOS) Department of the Interior (DOI) Department of the Treasury Department of Transportation (DOT) The Department of Agriculture was created to help farmers to improve their incomes and expand their markets. It develops conservation plans and provides credit to farmers and protects the nations food supply. Department of Commerce is to promote and protect the industrial and commercial segments of the American economy. Three agencies carry out Constitutional directives: Bureau of Census, Patent and Trademark Office, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Department of Defense protects the nations security. Through the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the leaders of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force - it oversees the armed forces. The Department of Education was created to to coordinate federal assistance programs for public and private schools. Why? Because an educated and informed population is an essential feature in a democratic government. The Department of Energy plans energy policy and researches and develops energy technology. It sprang from the energy crisis of the 1970s. The Department of Health and Human Services directs programs concerned with the health and social services of the American people. It manages Medicare and Medicaid, the Public Health Service, and the Food and Drug Association. The Department of Homeland Security has the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the U.S. from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters. Its stated goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism. It absorbed the Immigration and Naturalization Service and assumed its duties. The Department of Housing and Urban Development was created to preserve the nation’s communities and ensure Americans of equal housing opportunities. The Department of Justice is to oversee the nation’s legal affairs. It has the Attorney General to oversee it. Well known offices are the FBI, U.S. Marshalls Service, and the DEA. The Antitrust division deals with antitrust laws. The Civil Rights Division deals with and enforces civil rights legislation. The Department of Labor is charged with protecting the U.S. worker. It ensures safe working conditions, safeguards a minimum wage, and protects pension rights. The Department of State is responsible for the overall foreign policy of the United States. It is run by the Secretary of State. It also protects the rights of U.S. citizens traveling overseas. Embassies are offices to ambassadors in foreign countries. The Department of the Interior is to protect public lands and natural resources throughout the nation. They oversee relations with Native Americans. The Bureau of Mines and the National Park Service are part of this department. The Department of Treasury manages the monetary resources of the country. The Bureau of the Mint manufactures coins. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces paper money. The Internal Revenue Service oversees tax collection and tax laws. The Department of Transportation is split into different agencies to help regulate all aspects of American transportation needs, policy development, and planning. The FFA, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration make up these. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs administers several hospitals as well as educational and other programs to benefit veterans and their families. It was known as the “Veteran’s Administration.” Independent regulatory commissions exist to regulate a specific economic activity or interest such as the National Labor Relations Board or Securities and Exchange Commission. They are independent because once their membership is appointed by the president, they cannot be removed without cause. They also have staggered terms of office to ensure that no one party gets to appoint all members. Independent executive agencies have narrower mandates than a Cabinet department. They generally perform a service function not a regulatory one, some examples include: CIA,NASA and the EPA. Independent regulatory agencies are federal agencies created by an act of Congress that are independent of the executive departments. These agencies are meant to impose and enforce regulations free of political influence. A government corporation is a legal entity created by a government to exercise some of the powers of the government. Some government corporations may resemble a not-for-profit corporation as they have no need or goal of satisfying the shareholders with return on their investment through price increase or dividends, while other government corporations are established as for-profit businesses. A government-owned corporation, state-owned enterprise, or government business enterprise is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government, and are usually considered to be an element or part of the state. GOCs can be fully owned or partially owned by Government. The term government-linked company (GLC) is sometimes used to refer to corporate entities that may be private or public (listed on a stock exchange) where an existing government owns a stake using a holding company. There are two main definitions of GLCs and are dependent on the proportion of the corporate entity a government owns. One definition purports that a company is classified as a GLC if a government owns an effective controlling interest (>50%). The second definition suggests that any corporate entity that has a government as a shareholder is a GLC. Differences: An Executive Agency is a part of a government department that is treated as separate in order to carry out some part of the executive functions Independent agencies of the United States government are those that exist outside of the departments of the executive branch. (Established through separate statutes passed by the U.S. Congress, each respective statutory grant of authority defines the goals the agency must work towards, as well as what substantive areas, if any, it may have the power of rulemaking over.) On March 1, 1961, Kennedy officially started the Peace Corps. Concerned with the growing tide of revolutionary sentiment in the Third World, Kennedy saw the Peace Corps as a means of countering the notions of the "Ugly American" and "Yankee imperialism." The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals, which are providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States understand the culture of the United States, and helping United States people understand the culture of other countries. AmeriCorps was created under President Bill Clinton by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The work done by these groups ranges from public education to environmental clean-up. AmeriCorps itself is split into three main divisions, including AmeriCorps State and National, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), and NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). More than 70,000 individuals currently join AmeriCorps annually, totaling more than 500,000 past and current members since 1994. The Contract with America represented the view of many conservative Republicans on the issues of shrinking the size of government, promoting lower taxes and greater entrepreneurial activity, and both tort reform and welfare reform. The Contract with America was introduced six weeks before the 1994 Congressional election, the first mid-term election of President Bill Clinton's Administration.