The Federal Bureaucracy

Karleigh, Anusha, Kristin, Sarah

Key Terms

  • Bureaucracy: Authority structure that uses task specialization, merit principle, and does not proliferate personal relationships; Hierarchical
  • Patronage: Job given due to political reasons rather than actual ability
  • Pendleton Civil Service Act: 1883 Act creating federal civil service which hires based on merit rather than patronage
  • Civil Service: System of hiring based on the merit principle, promotes non-bias in government service jobs
  • Merit Principle: Idea that hiring is based on talent and skill
  • Hatch Act: Federal Act prohibiting government employees from taking part in partisan politics
  • Office of Personnel Management: Office in charge of hiring most agencies in the government
  • General Schedule Rating: Schedule for federal employees which determine their salary (From GS 1-18)
  • Senior Executive Service: Elite group of managers established by Civil Service Reform Act (1978)-- mostly career officials
  • Independent Regulatory Agency: Government agency in charge of some part of the economy; makes and enforces rules protecting public interest
  • Government Corporation: Government organization providing a service. Ex. US Postal Service
  • Independent Executive Agency: Government not accounted for by departments of Cabinet, independent regulatory agencies, and government corporations. Ex. NASA
  • Policy Implementation: Stage of policymaking between creating policy and the policy's consequences.
  • Standard Operating Procedures: Used by bureaucrats to bring simplicity to complex organizations-- improves fairness.
  • Administrative Discretion: Authority of administrators to select a response to a problem
  • Street-Level Bureaucrats: Bureaucrats in contact with the public. Have a lot of administrative discretion
  • Regulation: Use of governmental authority to regulate a part of a private sector
  • Command-and-Control Policy: System of regulation where government informs business how to accomplish goals then checks on the progress of these commands
  • Incentive System: Market strategies used to enforce policy
  • Deregulation: Lifting of business restrictions where government rules were established
  • Executive Orders: Restrictions originating from the executive branch; method by which the president can control the bureaucracy
  • Iron Triangles: Mutually beneficial relationship between bureaucracies, interest groups, and Congress