Independent Agencies Ap Gov

AP Gov CHAPTER 13 BUREAUCRACY

bureaucracyA form of organization that operates through impersonal, uniform rules and procedures.
bureaucratA career government employee.
4 weaknesses of a bureaucracy(1) Today’s jobs are so complex that they cannot be divided into specialized pieces; (2) there are so many leaders at the top of organizations that employees do not know whom to report to; (3) rules are almost impossible to enforce within a very large workforce; and (4) duplication and overlap between units create confusion about who does what.
characteristics of a bureaucracyspecialization, centralization, formal rules, standardization, expertise, accountability
department“Usually the largest organization in government with the largest mission; also the highest rank in the federal hierarchy. Ex: Defense Department”
independent regulatory commissionA government agency or commission with regulatory power whose independence is protected by Congress. Ex: Federal Reserve Board”
“independent agencyA government entity that is independent of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Ex: EPA”
government corporation“A government agency that operates like a legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Ex: EPA” greater freedom of action and flexibility for a particular program. Ex: US Postal Service”
civil service“Federal employees who work for government through a competitive, not political selection process.”
spoils system“A system of public employment based on rewarding party loyalists and friends.”
merit system“A system of public employment in which selection and promotion depend on demonstrated performance rather than political patronage.”
Office of Personnel Management (OPM)“An agency that administers civil service laws, rules, and regulations.”
Merit Systems Protection Board“An independent agency that oversees and protects merit in the federal government personnel system.”
Hatch Act“A federal statute barring federal employees from active participation in certain kinds of politics and protecting them from being fired on partisan grounds.”
” bureaucracyA form of organization that operates through impersonal, uniform rules and procedures.
bureaucratA career government employee.
department“Usually the largest organization in government with the largest mission; also the highest rank in the federal hierarchy.”
“independent regulatory commissionA government agency or commission with regulatory power whose independence is protected by Congress.
“independent agencyA government entity that is independent of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
“government corporationA government agency that operates like a business corporation, created to secure greater freedom of action and flexibility for a particular program.
“Senior Executive ServiceEstablished by Congress in 1978 as a flexible, mobile corps of senior career executives who work closely with presidential appointees to manage government.
“civil service“Federal employees who work for government through a competitive, not political selection process.”
“spoils system“A system of public employment based on rewarding party loyalists and friends.”
“merit systemA system of public employment in which selection and promotion depend on demonstrated performance rather than political patronage.
“Office of Personnel Management (OPM)“An agency that administers civil service laws, “An agency that administers civil service laws, rules, and regulations.”
“Merit Systems Protection Board“An independent agency that oversees and protects merit in the federal government personnel system.”
“Hatch Act“A federal statute barring federal employees “A federal statute barring federal employees from active participation in certain kinds of politics and protecting them from being fired on partisan grounds.”
“implementation“The process of putting a law into practice through bureaucratic rules or spending.”
“administrative discretion“Authority given by Congress to the federal bureaucracy to use reasonable judgment in implementing the laws.
“rule“A precise statement of how a law is implemented.”
“Federal Register“The official record of what the federal bureaucracy does.”
“uncontrollable spending“The portion of the federal budget that is spent on previously enacted programs, such as Social Security, that the president and Congress are unwilling to cut.”
“entitlement program“Programs such as unemployment insurance, disaster relief, or disability payments that provide benefits to all eligible citizens.”
“oversight“Legislative or executive review of a particular government program or organization. Can be in response to a crisis of some kind or part of routine review.”
“central clearance“Review of all executive branch testimony, reports, and draft legislation by the Office of Management and Budget to ensure that each communication to Congress is in accordance with the president’s program.”
“Understand why the federal bureaucracy is called the
undefined branch.”
The founders assumed there would be a federal bureaucracy, but that it would be small. Therefore, they left many of the details of the bureaucracy to the responsibility of future presidents. Although they did give the president the power to appoint the officers of government and require their opinions in writing, there are few constitutional rules for managing the bureaucracy.
Analyze the pros and cons of bureaucracy.“The chief benefits of bureaucracy are specialization,
centralization, formal rules, standardization, expertise,
and accountability. These factors create predictability
by making sure all employees know their jobs. However,
they also can create duplication and overlap, as well as
needless levels of management. As a result, bureaucracy is seen as a negative term today.”
“Compare and contrast the different types of federal
organizations.”
“There are four types of government organizations:
(1) departments, (2) independent regulatory commissions, (3) independent agencies, and (4) government corporations. Departments are generally the largest organizations in government and are often divided into members of the inner and outer cabinet;
independent regulatory commissions are insulated from political control through the appointment of commissioners with fixed terms of office who cannot be easily removed from office.”
“Describe the differences between the bureaucracy’s two types of leaders.”“Presidential appointees are appointed by the president with and without Senate confirmation, and senior executives are members of the civil service. Together, there are about 10,000 of these leaders.”
Evaluate the differences between the spoils and merit systems.“The spoils system was expanded under Andrew Jackson as a way to fill senior jobs in government as a form of political favoritism. After years of corruption, the system was abandoned in 1883 when Congress created the modern civil service system. The system awards federal jobs on the basis of merit.”
Identify the key regulations that govern the civil service.“The federal government’s Office of Personnel
Management sets policy for recruiting and evaluating
federal workers. Various restrictions prevent federal
workers from running for political office or engaging in
political fund-raising activities.”
Analyze the tools of implementation and their effectiveness.“The federal bureaucracy generally uses regulations or
spending to implement the laws. The rule-making process is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, while the spending process is governed by the federal budget. Most of the federal budget is uncontrollable.”
Compare and contrast efforts to control the federal bureaucracy.“The federal bureaucracy has at least two immediate supervisors: Congress and the president. It must pay considerable attention as well to the courts and their rulings and to well-organized interest groups and public opinion. Despite their efforts to ensure accountability, Congress and the president often give vague instructions to the administrative system, which gives the system significant discretion in implementing the laws.”
“List key decisions the framers made about executing the laws that continue to shape federal administration to this day. (pp. 358-359)”1. they prohibited members of the House and Senate from holding executive branch positions. 2. the framers decided to give the president complete authority to nominate the senior officers of government. 3. the framers decided that the president, not Congress, is responsible for requiring the opinions of the “principal officer” of each executive department, which means the president is in charge of what presidential appointees do.
“In one or two paragraphs, list why the framers did not
define the federal bureaucracy more specifically. (p. 361)”
The founders spent little time worrying about the administration of government, however. Instead, they left most of the details to future presidents. They believed that federal departments and agencies would be relatively small, and they expected Congress to establish the same departments that had existed under the Articles of Confederation. They also expected George Washington to be the government’s first chief executive and believed he would lead the new government with the same skill with which he had led the Continental Army.
“Which of the following is a weakness of the modern federal bureaucracy? (p. 361)”“a. Communication within a large organization is difficult

d. Rules are almost impossible to enforce within a very
large workforce”

In a short essay, identify and describe three strengths of bureaucracies. Focus on experiences you or someone you know has had with the federal bureaucracy. How could those experiences have been improved? (pp. 360-361)“1. Specialization: Bureaucracies break jobs into smaller and smaller parts so that every employee knows exactly what his or her job is. Because their jobs are so specialized, employees can be trained in enough detail to succeed. 2. Centralization: Bureaucracies concentrate authority at the top of the organization, where a single leader maintains control of all activity. This leader is in charge of every last person in the organization. 3. Formal rules: Bureaucracies implement policies through formal rules that govern everything that employees do.
Which type of federal organization is the Federal Reserve Board? (p. 362)Independent regulatory commission
Which types of federal organizations report directly to the president? Which do not? What implications does that have on how they behave? (pp. 361-366)“Measured by prestige, the Defense, Justice, State,
and Treasury departments are considered part of the
inner circle closest to the president, while the rest of the departments are considered part of the outer circle of departments that rarely receive the president’s attention”
What are the two types of leaders in the bureaucracy? To whom does each report? How are their appointment processes similar? How are they different? (pp. 367-368)“Senior presidential appointees are selected through a four-step process. Presidential appointees work closely with the 7,000 members of the Senior Executive Service. roughly 6,400 career executives appointed through a rigorous review process and another 600 political executives appointed by
the president without Senate confirmation.”
Which of the following is not a step in the appointment process for presidential appointees? (pp. 370-372)c. Review and confirmation by the House
Identify whether each of the following describes the spoils or the merit system: (pp. 369-370)“a. Andrew Jackson substantially expanded the system after his election in 1829 (spoils)
b. Federal jobs are filled on the basis of personal connections (spoils)
c. Ninety percent of federal employees are selected through this system (merit)
d. This system gave the president’s party nearly complete control over almost every government job (spoils)
e. Federal jobs are filled on the basis of ability (merit)”
Write a short essay about the differences between the merit and spoils systems. Consider specific ways in which you interact with the government. How might those experiences be different if the spoils system were still in place? Would you want to work in a bureaucracy under the spoils system? Why or why not? (pp. 369-370)“The spoils system gave the president’s party complete control over almost every government job, from cabinet secretaries down to post office clerks. Under its method of patronage, presidents would patronize, or support, their allies by providing jobs and other benefits after an election. Ninety percent of federal employees are now selected on the basis of merit. Almost all the rest are selected through hiring systems that emphasize a special skill such as medicine.”
“What is the main duty of the Office of Personnel
Management? (p. 369)”
Administer civil service laws, rules, and regulations
What is the main purpose of the Hatch Act? (p. 372)Ensure the federal civil service does not have disproportionate influence in the election of Congress and the president
“Which of the following was a key change Congress (aided by the Bill Clinton administration) made to the
Hatch Act in 1993? (p. 372)”
Made it permissible for federal employees to hold positions in political parties
“What is the Constitutional job shared by all federal organizations regardless of their size or specialty?
(p. 373)”
To faithfully execute the laws
What is uncontrollable spending? What two programs receive the majority of these funds? Why? What implications could this reason have for the way your future tax dollars are spent? (pp. 374-375)Most government spending is uncontrollable or required by previous laws. The largest share of uncontrollable spending goes to Social Security and Medicare, which are guaranteed to anyone who has paid taxes into the program for enough years.
“In one or two paragraphs, describe Louis Brownlow and the way he influenced regulation of the federal bureaucracy.
(p. 376)”
Brownlow was well connected to the political leaders of his time and became Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s choice to head the Committee on Administrative Management in 1936. His committee argued that the president should reorganize dozens of agencies into larger departments, move the budget process into a new Executive Office of the President, and create a new White House staff composed of individuals with “a passion for anonymity.”
Why do many members of Congress prefer the current, complicated federal bureaucracy to a more efficient alternative? (p. 376)The political payoffs from helping constituents through the bureaucratic red tape is high