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Political Science
POLS 2250
Tim Mau

POLS 2250 – Public Admin & Government 3/23/2013 8:42:00 PM What is Public Administration? January 9, 2013  Public administration o 1. A field of practice (occupation) o 2. Field of study (discipline)  Public bureaucracy o “System of authority, people, offices and methods that government uses to achieve its objectives”  Woodrow Wilson (1887) o First to articulate the need for a science of administration o Essay “The Study of Administration” – published in Public Administration Quarterly  Why administrative study was required:  To discover what governments can properly do  To determine how they can do these proper things with the utmost efficiency and least possible cost o Lack of attention towards administration due to the fact that most political thinkers were spending there time with larger questions such as “what is a state?”  State was much more limited in what it was doing, government was relatively simple at the time – the welfare state did not exist o Suggested that government business could be made more business like  This quest to introduce market-based principles, make government run more like a business/corporation  Getting harder to run a constitution rather than to frame a constitution  Well functioning administrative systems can all provide valuable lessons, as long as these services are provided efficiently and effectively o Administration was considered a singular process, based on the division of governments within the country and/or state Public vs. Private Administration  Similarities – POSDCORB o Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Recording, Budgeting 1  Differences o 1. Public goods/interest vs. profit/bottom line  Purpose is to deliver services to the general public o 2. Public administration – less efficient  a. No profit motivation  Government departments have less incentive to cut costs and deliver services more effectively  b. Provision of unprofitable services  Many things that governments do that aren’t profitable and do so because the private sector simply isn’t interested  c. Political considerations  Elections  Constitutionally governments don’t have to call th elections until the 5 year of their mandate, legislation was later introduced to mandate fixed election dates every 4 years  Duration  Deputy ministers typically get rotated every 2 years, potentially less time in office in attempt to provide different and eclectic leadership  Much greater reliance on engaging and succession planning; realizing when a CEO is going to retire and grooming a VP to take on the role  Cabinet Solidarity  Governments will consult/debate behind closed doors, regardless of agreement with a policy a member of cabinet you must accept the policy or resign from one’s post  Ministerial Interference  The minister’s political staffers will interfere in the operation of the department; the staffers are often young and meddling in affairs of the department  Need for consistency in program delivery 2  Avoiding preferential treatment to citizens of
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