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Political Science
POLS 2250
Tim Mau

Chapter 1 Importance and Meaning of Public Admin2 major areas of govt activities o Provision of serviceso Enforcement of regulationsService functions o Delivery of mail o Maintenance of roads and highways o Administration of grants and loansRegulation functions o Prevention of unsafe workplaces o Support of Canadian culture o Enforcement of fair housing and employment regulationsInspections done to carry out responsibilities effectivelyPublic Admin Play large role in formulating and implementing policies to fulfill govt service and regulatory responsibilities o Performed through public bureaucracyOrganizational system for achieving govt objectivesInvolve elective representatives The Meaning of Public AdministrationPublic Policyan action or decision made by govt to address particular problemPublic Administrationstudy and practice of tasks associated with conduct of the administrative statePublic Admin and Public Bureaucracy often used interchangeably o Do not mean the same thingPublic admin refers to a field of practice or occupation and to field of study or disciplinePublic bureaucracy is system of authority people offices and methods govt uses to achieve objectives o And organizational form Public Admin V Private AdminPublic admin overall mission is service to the publicPrivate admin mission is profit o Profit oriented because the survival of private sector organizations ultimately depends on making profitPublic admin less efficient o Must satisfy several goals at once o Some may conflict with one another o Govt departments get funds through annual appropriations from public treasuryDo not have to worry about profits less incentive to cut costs and operate efficientlyBusiness organizations operate efficiently because they must compete in marketplacePublic sector emphasizes on accountabilityHR management system more complicated and rigid in govt than private sector o Harder to hire and fire govt employeesPublic nature of public admin requires much of it be conducted in a fishbowl of publicity2 major characteristics of govt account in large part for differences bw public and private o Vast scope and complexity of govt activities o Political environment within which these activities are conducted Study of Public AdminEarliest general work in field was R MacGregor Dawson st Luther Richter and RA Mackay established 1 degree program at DalhousieStudy of public admin flourished in late 60s Environment and size of Public AdminPublic admin greatly influenced by broad environment it is conducted GlobalizationGlobalizationeverything that happens does so to everybody and at the same time o Economic globalization puts premium on govts ability to act quicklyPressure to make decision making in public sector more flexible and open to new ways of organizing itself o Also puts at risk national culturesRegulatory agencies try to provide for Canadian content in our cultureInternet iPods etc tear away at efforts Technological ChangeEgovtgovt increasingly reliant on electronic devices o Makes govt faster o More innovativeTech also produces problems o Involves processing and sharing of info holds great potential for invasions of privacy o Scientific advances present govt with difficult decisions Political CulturePolitical culturevalues beliefs attitudes we hold about political lifeSurveys say people less confident in govt o Shows not willing to accept public authority as in past and wish for new ways of interacting with elected and appointed officials Financial PositionPublic spending on programs often exceeded revenueGovt responded with actions to reduce public obligations and restore fiscal health to treasury o Included elimination of programs o Privatization of public corporations DemographyDemographic factor o Changing age compositionAs number of elderly increase so does need for health care housing
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