By Barry B. and Shelton J.
The American Bureaucracy
Who controls the bureaucracy? The people are the interest groups that try to push for policy changes, but the Bureaucracy has two real masters: Congress and the President. They check each other and keep the bureaucracy balanced. Congress, however, uses oversight and appropriations to control the bureaucracy so they have a little more power over the President.
Does a largely permanent professional bureaucracy serve democracy? The bureaucracy is supposed to serve the people, not democracy. It does not serve a democracy because of the corruption in elections and the bribing as seen in iron triangles.
One characteristic of the merit system is that it hires government employees based on there knowledge and prior achievemnts, not their beliefs, affiliations, nor aquaintences.
The structure of the Bureaucracy is made up of interest groups, executive agencies, and congress. They are difficult to fire because of their merits and are mostly independent from political affiliation. The complexity of public problems is because most agencies overlap in areas. Each agency is a specialist in one area.
Congress uses appropriations, pass legislation and can reject appointments. The courts use judicial review and injunctions.
issue network- A network of people in Washington DC based interest groups, on congressional staffs, in universities and think tanks, and in the mass media, who regularly discuss and advocate public policies.
appropriation- Leg. permission to begin gov. program
trust funds- funds for gov. programs that are spent outside of budget.
committee clearance- committee reviews and approves certain agency decisions.
Pendleton Act- Gov. jobs should be awarded based on merit.