CHAPTER 7: THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH Core of the Analysis: ● The bureaucracy is necessary for the maintenance of order in a large society ● The size of the federal bureaucracy is large but has not been growing faster than the economy or population as a whole ● By implementing the laws and policies passed by elected officials, bureaucrats can be seen as agents of Congress and the presidency. As in any principal-agent relationship, the agent (the bureaucracy) is delegate authority and has a certain amount of leeway for independent action. ● Bureaucrats have their own goals and thus exercise their own influence on policy. Congressional committees use oversight to make the bureaucracy accountable. How Does the Bureaucracy work? ● Bureaucracy: The complex structure of offices, tasks, rules, and principles of organization that all large institutions use to coordinate the work of their personnel. (different from administration, which is a more general term referring to all the ways humans might rationally coordinate their efforts to achieve a goal, public and private) ● Bureaucratic Organization Enhances Efficiency: ○ Core of bureaucracy is the division of labor. When each job is specialized to increase efficiency, then each worker must depend on other workers’ outputs...this requires careful allocation of jobs and resources. Bureaucracies are hierarchical /pyramidal...low skilled workers on the bottom, increasing in skill and decreasing number of workers as you go up the pyramid. ● Bureaucracies Allow Governments to Operate: ○ Efficiency and credibility both play a part. The creation of a bureau is both a way to deliver government goods efficiently and a device by which to “tie one’s hands,” thereby providing a credible commitment to the long-term existence of a policy. ● Bureaucrats Fulfill Important Roles: ○ Implementation: The efforts of departments and agencies to the development of rules, regulations, and bureaucratic procedures to translate laws into action -quasi-legislation ○ Making and Enforcing Rules (Interpretation): Bureaucrats translate the law into specific routines for each of the employees of an agency- ○ Settling Disputes: Bureaucrats apply rules and precedents to specific cases in order to settle disputes. - Adjudicative Administration How is the Executive Branch Organized? ● Types of Bureaucratic Government Agencies: ○ Cabinet Departments: ■ The largest subunits of the executive branch. Each of the 15 departments is headed by a cabinet secretary, and departments
encompass related agencies and bureaus. (Example: Department of Justice, which encompasses more than 50 agencies including the FBI ) ○ Independent Agencies: ■ Provide public services that are too expensive (Example: CIA, NASA )- easier and more efficient ○ Government Corporations: ■ Private businesses performing and charging for a market service (Example: Amtrak) ○ Independent Regulatory Commissions: ■ Agencies given broad discretion to make rules regulating a specific type of activity (Example: Federal Communications
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