American Government
Azusa Pacific University
Mr. Jonathon Pyles
November 18, 2004
"The Bureaucracy"

I.   Bureaucracy
A.   Bureaucracy – large, complex organization composed of appointed officials
B.   "Complex" in the sense of divided authority
C.   Distinctiveness of American Bureaucracy
1.   Divided political authority between president and Congress
2.   Federal agencies share functions with state/local agencies
3.   Government agencies face greater public scrutiny due to expansion of personal rights
II.   The Growth of the Bureaucracy
A.   The early controversies
1.   Who is to control the bureaucracy
a.   Constitution does not mention departments and made little provision for administration, except appointment-confirmation powers
b.   Department of State: Should president be able to remove appointed officials with or without Senate's consent
c.   Without – so that president can control his subordinates
d.   Congress can control by appropriating money, investigating administration, and shaping laws
B.   Originally, bureaucracy was very small because federal government was very small and did not do many things
C.   Post office was major service until Civil War
D.   Civil War revealed need for better civil service to meet national needs
E.   Industrialization created a national economy that state governments could not manage alone
1.   More than 200,000 new federal employees added from 1861-1901
2.   New agencies to deal with the national economy: Departments of Agriculture, Labor, and Commerce
3.   Their role was to serve (research, statistics, distribute benefits) not regulate
F.   Regulation was viewed as Congress' job, so regulatory authority of bureaucracy was limited
G.   Change with Depression and WWII
H.   New Deal – Government expected to deal with economic and social programs
1.   Congress could authorize agencies to make what ever decisions it seemed necessary to solve a problem or to serve the "public interest"
2.   WWII – need for money = increased in income taxes = money to finance government programs = bigger bureaucracy
III.   The Power of the Bureaucracy
A.   Power of the bureaucracy: measured in extent to which appointed officials have the discretionary authority – their ability to choose courses of action and to make policies that are not spelled out in advance by law
B.   Congress has delegated substantial authority to administrative agencies in 3 areas;
1.   Paying subsides to particular groups and organizations (farmers, veterans, retired people, scientists, schools, universities, hospitals)
2.   Transferring money from the federal government to state and local government (grant-in-aid program)
3.   Devising and enforcing regulations (such as pure food and drug laws) – often operate with large degree of independence
C.   What kinds of things do appointed officials decide
1.   Who may own a television station
2.   What safety features automobiles must have
3.   What scientific research will be especially encouraged
4.   What drugs shall appear on the market
5.   Which dissident groups shall be investigated
6.   What fumes an industrial smokestack may emit
7.   Which corporate mergers shall be allowed
8.   How to use national forests
9.   Prices farmers receive for their products
10.   What radio and television is allowed to broadcast
D.   Behavior of Officials
1.   The manner in which they are recruited and rewarded
2.   Their personal attributes (such as socioeconomic backgrounds and political attitudes)
3.   The nature of their jobs: roles and missions
IV.   Recruitment and Retention
A.   Federal civil-service system: designed to recruit qualified people on the basis of merit, not party patronage, and to retain them on the basis of performance, not political favoritism
B.   Today political appointments constitute only a tiny fraction of all federal jobs
C.   Name-request job – filled by a person whom an agency has already identified
D.   The great majority of bureaucrats who are part of the civil service and do not hold presidential appointments have jobs that are, for all practical purposes, beyond reach
V.   What does this mean?
A.   Agencies develop independent points of view
B.   Personal attributes of bureaucrats also important
1.   Highest ranking civil servants typically middle-aged, white male with a college degree and slightly more advantaged upbringing
2.   On average, slightly more liberal than average American
C.   Sense of mission – when an organization has a clear view of its purpose and methods, a view that is widely shared by its members
1.   FBI and Forest Service have strong sense of mission
2.   Leads to higher morale, easier management, tighter controls on behavior
3.   Also makes the organization resistant to political directions
D.   External Forces (Seven external forces)
1.   Executive branch superiors (such as cabinet officers)
2.   The White house (esp. president's staff)
3.   Congressional committees
4.   Interest groups
5.   Media
6.   Courts
7.   Rival government agencies (i.e. army vs. CIA)
E.   Desire for autonomy (in conflict with desire of political leaders to control policy and government)
F.   Dilemma: How do you make government responsive to the intricate needs of the nation (which includes many details, research, expertise, etc.) and yet keep government responsive to the will of the people through their elected officials?
G.   Red-tape – complex rules and procedures that must be followed to get something done