U.S. Federal Bureaucracy and Public Policy

  • POL/115 Week 3 Assignment

    U.S. Federal Bureaucracy and Public Policy

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    Step 1: Complete the federal bureaucracy matrix to demonstrate how it influences the U.S. political system. Include APA citations for all unoriginal ideas, facts, or definitions.

    Elements of the federal bureaucracy

    Terms In 100-250 words, explain each element, and discuss how it affects or influences the U.S. political system.
    Civil   servants Civil servants are citizens who work for the federal, state or local governments. They are non-military and non-elected personnel who have no political influence in their service and working in the public sector. In the US, civil servants also include the employees in the agencies and the department that are operated by the branches of government which are judicial, legislative and the executive branch. The civil servants are engaged in unique functions of the national government and thus engaging in political activities are may impact on their political integrity and loyalty to their political masters (Page, Bridges, Bridges, & Chapman, 2018). The civil servants are thus required to behave prudently in political affairs.
    Government corporation Government cooperation is a state-owned entity which is created with the aim of pursuing commercial or industrial activities on behalf of the national government. The cooperation can be wholly or partially owned by the government. They play an important role in assisting the Congress oversight activities by providing a market-oriented public service as well as producing revenues which meet or approximate expenditures. Congress views government corporations to be an attractive means of governance. The corporations do not require annual appropriations since they generate revenues from the provision of goods and services. The government corporations can be allowed administrative flexibilities that are needed to attain the aims while they remain responsive to the president and the Congress (Everycrsreport.com, 2011).
    Cabinet   departments A cabinet department works to offer direct support to the central executive office in the government. Cabinet departments have an equivalent function of the office of the president on a presidential system of government. This tradition in the US dates back to the beginning of the presidency, and its role is to advise the president on any subject that he may need about the duties of each member of the respective offices. Cabinet integrates the vice president and the heads of the 15 executive departments in the US which are ” the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General” (Whitehouse.archives.gov, 2016). Besides the cabinet departments advising the president, they play an important role in the presidential line of succession.
    Independent  regulatory agencies These are federal agencies that are created by an act of Congress that is independent of the executive departments. These agencies are regarded to be part of the executive branch and are tasked with imposing and enforcing regulations free from political influence (Nyit.edu, 2018). The agencies exercise an autonomous authority in specific areas of human activity in a supervisory or regulatory capacity. Regulatory authorities are mainly set to for instance protect consumers in markets where there is no fair competition or to enforce safety and standards. The regulatory agencies operate in the areas of rulemaking, secondary legislation, regulatory law, and administrative law and thus performing major functions in a political system.
    Independent executive agencies Independent executive agencies of the United States federal government are those who are technically part of the executive branch; they are self-governed, but the president of the U.S has no direct control over them. These independent agencies have a crucial role in administering the laws and federal regulation which apply to specific areas like education, veteran affairs, homeland security, social security and environment (Longley, 2018). These agencies are overseen by the Congress although they have more autonomy, unlike the federal agencies that are headed by cabinet members. The independent executive agencies areajor operating units of the federal government, and they influence the entire political system by allowing the smooth working of the economy and the government. Examples of these agencies include The Central Intelligence Agency and The Environmental Protection Agency.
    Merit   system The merit system is the opposite of the spoils system and is a process where government employees are hired and promoted by their ability to perform a task instead of political connections. This system is crucial to the U.S. political system in that it allows the development of an effective, mission-focused and accountable civil service workforce. The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 incorporates the merit system principles into the law in that it aims “… to provide the people of the United States with a competent, honest, and productive workforce… and to improve the quality of public service, Federal personnel management should be implemented consistent with merit system policies” (OPM.gov, 2018). As a result, there are various agencies that have been given the authority and freedom to manage the performance effectively and thus improved efficiency.
    Public   administration Public administration refers to implementing government policies. It also includes maintaining the civil society and determining and providing the public through aspects like legislation, developing policies and managing budgets. The government agencies are required to be responsible for planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling the operations of the government. In the U. political system, the aspect of public administration ensures the centrality in the organization of government’s programs and policies and the formal responsibility of officials in their conduct. The U.S. government’s public administration included three branches which are executive, legislative and judicial such that power is divided between the ensuring that no branch is too powerful and they work together to ensure that the government is running smoothly and efficiently (Usc.edu, 2019).
    Spoils   system The spoils system in government and politics refers to a practice whereby when a political party wins an election; the government civil service jobs are given to relatives, friends, and supporters as a reward for contributing towards winning the election (U-s-history.com, 2017). The rewards also act as an incentive to continue working to the political party. The spoils system is believed to be a means in which active party organization is maintained and guarantees the party employees who are loyal and cooperative resulting to a more effective government as the appointed office holders must help the elected official in carrying out his/her policies and fulfilling the campaign promises. However, the appointment is by the political party needs regardless of the qualifications of the appointees, and thus the ability to perform in a political system may experience adverse effects.
    Privatization Privatization is a process in which assets and services go from being owned by the government to being privately owned. The government may consider privatization as a solution when it wants to deal with aspects that are problematic within its administration. The supporters of privatization which is a shift from public to private management see significant improvements in that the size of the government shrinks, taxes are reduced and the remaining government activities are boosted in terms of efficiency and quality (Goodman & Lovemen, 2010). Critics, however, assert that private ownership does not result in improved efficiency as private managers do not hesitate in adopting profit-making strategies that make the essential services unavailable or unaffordable to the larger population segments.
    Negotiated   rulemaking Negotiated rulemaking is a process in which federal agencies representatives and affected parties work together in a committee to reach a consensus concerning what can, in the end, become a proposed rule. All individuals with a stake are given an opportunity to try and reach an agreement about the core aspects of a rule before the committee proposes the final form. This approach is an alternative to the traditional approach in which regulations are issued (U.S. legal.com, 2017). The proposed rules are then published in the Federal Register to seek the opinion of the public and thus the decisions on whether to adopt the rule or modify it. It influences the political system by helping to avoid subsequent litigation from the proposed rules because the expertise and perspective of the private parties are integrated when arriving at the proposed rule. Also, the participation of interested stakeholders is encouraged. It also speeds the development of rules and generates regulatory solutions that are more creative and effective.





    Step 2: Complete the public policy matrix to explain and compare the main policy types.

    Types of public policy Explanation or definition How is it the same or different from the other types of policy? Example of the type of policy
    Distributive policy

    This is a policy that aims at ensuring that goods, services, and opportunities are properly distributed in the different sections of the society (Angelo.edu, 2018). The government uses these types of policies to encourage specific activities Distributive policy differs from the other two types of policies in that government provides public goods and services with the aid of public fund equally, and thus citizens cannot complain about it (Richardson, 2013). This policy does not create competition for goods and services. Examples include abating tax and farm subsidies to promote economic development. Another example is tax write-offs for homeowners to promote the housing industry.
    Regulatory policy Regulatory policies are designed to maintain order and prohibit behaviors that put the society in danger (Richardson, 2013). Regulatory policies differ in that they prevent the corrupt nation activities by prescribing he do’s and don’ts of the citizen. The policies compel specific groups to behave and maintain qualities and thus tends to create losers and winners Examples of these policies integrate prohibiting citizens from using specific drugs and attempts to administer voting procedures. The government also attempts to ensure criminal activities are controlled and also protect business markets and economic activities.
    Redistributive policy Redistributive policies are concerned with changing the existing allocation or distribution of benefits and resources (Angelo.edu, 2018). They are aimed at rearranging outcomes of other policies or those that are already in existence This differs from the rest in that it is the trickiest because it involves transferring funds meant for one group to another aiming to eradicate social issues and thus promote equality. There are more direct measures (Richardson, 2013). Examples are welfare which is a social program where the government offers direct benefits o the citizens. A progressive tax is another redistributive policy where rates of tax increases as income increases.



    Angelo.edu. (2018). Public administrators and public policy. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from Angelo: https://www.angelo.edu/faculty/ljones/gov3301/block6/objective5.htm

    Everycrsreport.com. (2011, 06 08). Federal Government Corporations: An Overview. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from Every CSR Report: https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL30365.html

    Goodman, J. B., & Lovemen, G. W. (2010). Does privatization serve the public interest? Harvard Business Review, 69(6), 26-8.

    Longley, R. (2018, 07 04). Independent Executive Agencies of the US Government. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from Thought Co.: https://www.thoughtco.com/independent- executive- agencies-of-us-government-4119935

    Nyit.edu. (2018). INDEPENDENT REGULATORY AGENCIES. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from New York Institute of Technology: http://iris.nyit.edu/~shartman/mba0101/agency.htm

    OPM.gov. (2018). Performance Management. Retrieved 03 12, 2019, from OPM.GOV: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/reference- materials/more-topics/merit-system-principles-and-performance-management/

    Page, E. C., Bridges, E., Bridges, B., & Chapman, B. (2018). Civil service. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from Encyclopaedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/civil-service

    Richardson, J. (2013). Policy Styles in Western Europe (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.

    U.S. legal.com. (2017). Negotiated Rule-Making Law and Legal Definition. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from U.S. Legal: https://definitions.uslegal.com/n/negotiated-rule-making/

    Usc.edu. (2019). Public Administration Explained: Branches of the US Government. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from University of Southern California: https://publicadmin.usc.edu/public-administration-explained-branches-of-the-us- government/

    U-s-history.com. (2017). The Spoils System versus the Merit System. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from United States History: https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h965.html

    Whitehouse.archives.gov. (2016). The Cabinet. Retrieved 03 13, 2019, from The White House: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/administration/cabinet

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