Unformatted text preview: The Federal Bureaucracy The Basics Most of the federal bureaucracy is found in the executive branch The federal bureaucracy implements the laws and policies of government Congress, the Federal Courts, and their supporting staffs are also part of the federal bureaucracy, though small in comparison to the executive branch The Federal Bureaucracy Bureaucracies have discretion in many cases, sometimes acting as law-making bodies or as courts These powers are delegated to bureaucracies by Congress, which cannot possibly anticipate every rule and procedure needed to carry out policy Bureaucracies have reputations of being slow, inefficient, and neglectful But sometimes bureaucracies produce: NASA put a man on the moon and the US military created the internet The Federal Bureaucracy The Basics The federal bureaucracy serves many masters: the president, Congress, and interests groups that represent people the bureaucracy serves What does the federal bureaucracy do? A few examples: Delivers the mail (the Post Office) Provides Social Security income to the elderly (65+ years of age) Provides law enforcement (i.e., the FBI at the federal level) Provides grant money to college students (e.g., Pell Grants) Sets standards for prescription drugs (the FDA) In general, the services or products produced by government are carried out by bureaucracies The big government / small government debate typically involves enlarging or reducing the size of the bureaucracy Federal Employment The Executive Cabinet Most of the federal bureaucracy is located in the cabinet departments Executive Office of the President Presidents wants policy advice from people close, and especially from those he can hire and fire The president can hire and fire personnel located within the Executive Office of the President Civil Service System protects most positions in the cabinet departments Other Elements of Bureaucracy Outside the executive departments are government corporations, independent agencies and regulatory bodies Government Corporations Charges fees for services but not to make a profit Examples Postal Service delivers the mail Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) delivers electricity Independent Executive Agencies Performs specialized services for the US government Examples NASA engages in space exploration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces environmental laws Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) collects foreign intelligence and conducts covert operations Other Elements of Bureaucracy Outside the executive departments are government corporations, independent agencies and regulatory bodies Independent Regulatory Commissions Performs regulatory services for the US government Examples The Federal Reserve System sets interest rates and controls the amount of money circulating in the US economy Problems with Bureaucracy The Iron Triangle The theory: interest groups, powerful law-writing congressional committees, and entrenched bureaucrats in executive agencies all collude together to maintain and expand programs that only benefit a few special interests "The people" really have no say in this system...where is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Problems with Bureaucracy Overlapping responsibilities can lead to bureaucratic inefficiency, no clear decision authority Intelligence Reforms & 9/11 Failures The latest bureaucratic reform effort restructured America's intelligence community Created National Intelligence Director (NID) and Counter Terrorism Center (CTC), Director of CIA is not as important A number of intelligence failures occurred prior to 9/11 The CIA failed to alert the FBI that suspect terrorists were living in America, until it was too late FBI initiated 30-day search on Aug 24, 2001 (18 days prior to 9/11) The Department of State failed to inform the FAA about placing suspect terrorists on the FAA "no fly" list The strike that hit the Pentagon could have been prevented A "legal barrier" prevented information sharing between FBI criminal investigators and FBI and CIA intelligence officers CIA aware of suspect terrorists linked to USS Cole attack A search of Moussaoui's ("the 20th hijacker") computer could possibly have brought the 9/11 plot down ...
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- Spring '08
- Government, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureaucracy