13 Federal Bureaucracy - PS 110 13: Federal Bureaucracy...

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PS 110 13: Federal Bureaucracy 13-1 bureaucracy : system of organization and control based on hierarchy, specialization, and formalized structures a. features: i. hierarchical authority : chain of command whereby officials and upper units have authority over lower units speeds action by reducing conflicts over power i.e. a manager authorizing a clerk to perform an action for a customer ii. job specialization : precise division of labor between explicitly described job positions allows for efficiency by allowing workers to focus on one particular task or aspect of a task related to division of labor i.e. one person or department exclusively dealing with outgoing mail iii. formalized rules : standardized procedures and established regulations for conducting operations allows workers to make quick judgments rather than evaluate on a case-by-case basis i.e. a clerk refusing to take a gift from a customer due to rules against it b. all large organizations are bureaucracies, from GM to state government A—Bureaucratic Institutions 1. cabinet (executive) departments : main administrative units of the federal government (currently 15) a. characteristics: i. State Department is the most prestigious, but employs only 25,000 ii. Defense Department employs the most workers iv. Dept. of Homeland Security is the newest department (created through reorganization in 2002) b. responsibilities carried out through various internal organizations (i.e. in the Justice Department): i. bureaus (i.e. FBI—Federal Bureau of Investigation) ii. agencies (i.e. DEA—Drug Enforcement Agency) iii. divisions (i.e. Civil Rights Division) 2. independent agencies : administrative units with narrow areas of responsibility a. independent regulatory agencies : agencies maintaining close, continuous regulation of economic activity, with boards of commissioners i. functionality: created by Congress when areas of the economy become too large or complex for Congressional oversight to suffice agencies perform judicial and legislative functions, creating and interpreting policies ii. independence: commissioners are appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by Congress; presidents can only appoint a bare majority (½+1) from their own party —most agencies have an odd number of commissioners
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commissioners are not subject to removal, but serve fixed terms (allowing for more objectivity); the president can change or designate a different chairperson, however iii. other regulatory agencies (i.e. EPA—Environmental Protection Agency) are not as independent, and as such are more responsive to partisan interests of the president and his appointees iv. prominent non-regulatory examples: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—monitors the financial investment sector Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—monitors the telecommunications industry b. other examples:
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13 Federal Bureaucracy - PS 110 13: Federal Bureaucracy...

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