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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 2250
Tim Mau

1. List and define some of the key traditional public service values as well as some of the new values that have been emerging with the advent of New Public Management. What has been the impact of these new public service values on the traditional ones? Are they compatible or has the emergence of a new set of public service values weakened and/or rendered the traditional ones irrelevant? In Canadian public administration system set of traditional important public service values are neutrality, accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness, representativeness and integrity. Neutrality means political neutrality is determined between non-partisanship and value-neutrality. The value system of individual public servants is crucial to an analysis of bureaucratic behaviour and power, because they cannot be completely value-neutral in making and recommending decisions. Accountability emerges as to hold public servants accountable for their actions; it involves concern for the legal, institutional and procedural means by which public servants can be obliged to answer for their actions. Since early 1990s there has been a major shift in emphasis from accountability for process, for the way things are done, to accountability for results, for what is achieved. Efficiency and effectiveness has been the dominant value in Canadian public administration. Public servants are accountable for the economic, efficient and effective use of public funds. Responsiveness refers to the capacity of public servants to respond to the needs & demands of both political institutions and public. Representativeness means public service reflects gender, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic groups in society. Fairness and equity means the public servant‟s decisions must be fair in substance and procedure. There is complementary relationship between the values of fairness and responsiveness. Fairness can also clash with values such as efficiency and effectiveness. Integrity means ethics in public administration, to preserve of public trust and confidence in government. Since the mid-1980s public service reform there are new values associated with the new public management approach to the public administration, New Public Management (NPM) has transformed some of the old values and new values emerge such as innovation, service, teamwork, quality, other values such as openness, trust and leadership also become evident. Some of the new values such as service complement traditional values such as responsiveness, but other new values such as innovation clash with accountability due to the concept of politics-administration dichotomy. There is tension with new values such as the move towards liberal citizenship under NPM due to private sector management goals and interests. However this creates tension and interests differences between traditional values and NPM reform. The conflicts are in between individual self-interest versus collective goals and benefits. Also there are concepts of responsibility, accountability and the public interest need to be address and not undermined under NPM. Although new NPM values brings performance improvement in many organizations and increase efficiency in service delivery, due to some of the failed examples of Public-Sector Private Sector Partnerships (P3s), and Contracting Out contracts, and the “Quiet Crisis” incident in the public service, there results criticisms of NPM and new values. The tensions and conflicts interests demonstrated in these new NPM reforms makes the traditional public service value such as accountability and neutrality still matter in public administration system decision making and towards increasing public scrutiny and public interest demanded by the Canadian citizens. 2. Public administration reform has become a popular debate over the years. In 1998, Jocelyn Bourgon outlined the 5 key features of the Canadian model of public sector reform. They are (1) that government is essential to a well- performing society, (2) we must examine the role of government, (3) we need a strong policy capacity and a modern service delivery function, (4) there is an importance of a profession, non-partisan public service, and (5) an importance in both elected and bureaucratic leadership. New Public Management (NPM) is essentially an attempt to move away from the current, unsuccessful bureaucratic government. This post-bureaucratic government involves moving away from traditional bureaucratic values such as hierarchy, rules and equality, and focusing on new values such as autonomy and flexibility, decentralization and a citizen-centred delivery of services. In other words, New Public Management would involve adopting private sector values into the public sector. While Canada‟s current bureaucracy is organization-centred, process-oriented, centralized and favours independent action, this post-bureaucratic government promotes a citizen-centred delivery of services, participation leadership, collective action and change-oriented values. The idea of adopting a new public management arose out of four main issues. Firstly, people were living beyond their means and thus, with the economic crisis, there was a need to reduce government spending. Second, the confidence of the public in the effectiveness and value of public services was declining. Additionally, globalization resulted in a belief that national governments had to be much more effective in order to compete with other nations. Finally, there was feeling that public servants exercised too much influence in making policy. The proposal of a New Public Management caused a lot of controversy, and not everybody believed that reforming administration to NPM was the answer. Some critics thought that the greater managerial autonomy and flexibility involved in NPM would increase the chances of a loss of accountability. Accountability is the obligation of public servants to answer for fulfilling responsibilities that flow from the authority given them. It would make it more difficult for ministers (who, with individual ministerial responsibility, are not responsible for the actions of their subordinates in his/her department) to oversee the actions of their subordinates, which could lead to a loss of accountability. Another criticism of NPM is that by focusing on citizen input, NPM threatens to reduce members of the population to self-interested seekers of government services. Citizens might become less willing to make sacrifices to their personal interest. The NPM debate has lasted for many years and little progress has been made. Though there is still need for public sector reform, the values of NPM are irrelevant, and the Canadian model of public sector reform allows us to catch the “next wave” of administrative reform. Because of the irrelevance and lack of progress that NPM has made, a new movement called “New Public Service” has emerged. Instead of being “run like a business”, the New Public Service would run government “like a democracy”. The New Public Service’s key principles are to (1) serve citizens, not customers, (2) focus on the public interest, (3) value citizenship over entrepreneurship, (4) think strategically and act democratically, (5) recognize that accountability is not simple, (6) serve rather than steer and (7) value people, not just productivity. This new type of administrative reform preserves some ideas from the old New Public Management, such as the concern for democratic citizenship and public interest, but focuses on issues which are more relevant to government today. 2. Is New Public Management a reform fad or fashion that no longer has relevance? (1) What, if anything, has emerged to replace it? (2) In your response you should also identify and explain the various elements of the Canadian model of public sector reform (3) as well as whether this model positions us to take advantage of the 'next wave' of administrative reform. (4) (1) Though New Public Management did a good job to point out weaknesses in the current public service, it failed to accurately change it in the way that was needed. With that being said New Public Management is a fashion that no longer has relevance, but has been used as a backbone to create a new method that will hopefully change the lacking public service. (2) Coming from New Public Management came the need to change purely the public service. Hence, came the “New Public Service” which occurred from the constant need for Public Service Reform, with this need came the view that “Government should not be run like a business; it should be run like a democracy.” As part of this new reform a democratic aspect is applied and would entail citizens and public officials working together to define and address common problems, and focus on public interest, democracy, and the renewed Civic engagement. Essentially the new public service would aim to run like a pure democracy where citizen‟s voices on how things should be run would be taken into account. The key principles of this model are: 1) Serve citizens, not customers 2) Seek the public interest 3) Value citizenship over entrepreneurship 4) Think strategically, act democratically 5) Recognize that accountability is not simple 6) Serve rather than row 7) Value people, not just productivity (3) The new public service is based primarily off the Weberian model of Bureaucracy, and has began to take on new values after the creation of New Public Management and everything else that came from NPM. The values of the Weberian Model that are evident in the current public service consist of: 1) Specialization of labour 2) Hierarchical structure 3) Employment and promotion from merit 4) Full time employment 5) Decisions based on impersonal rules 6) Employment separate from private life More specifically, the individual is appointed as opposed to being elected, the position is normally for life so they have promising job security, fixed compensation, and the position entails a career servant. After the development of the Weber model, new values of the Canadian Public Service emerged that play a big part in the current public service: 1) Representation: based off bilingualism and minorities and aimed to mirror the new desire to make the public service reflective of the citizens of Canada. 2) Employee Protection: Public Service Employment Act and Public Service Staff Relations Act were created in the late 1960s and led to more job protection and allowed for hiring procedures, which created opportunities to challenge the decisions of managers and their departments. 3) Planning and Coordination: Introduced complex cabinet and decision-making systems that increased the scope of central agencies. (4) With all the improvements being made to the current public service there is ample evidence that shows more room for improvement. The current public service that exists in Canada is inefficient, however, the current values held by the system provide us with the beginning stages of a very long road towards an efficient public service. With that being said, the current model of the public service provides Canada with everything it needs to take advantage of the „next wave‟ of administrative reform. 3. Compare and contrast the traditional organizational forms (government departments; Crown corporations and regulatory agencies) with some of the various alternative service delivery (ASD) models that have emerged. Do these ASD mechanisms always result in great efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of programs and services to Canadians or do they engender their own problems or issues for public administration? An operating department is an administrative unit comprising one or more organizational components over which a minister has direct ministerial management and control, and the three types are horizontal policy coordinative, horizontal administrative coordinative, and vertical constituency. Crown corporations, which are also known as public or state enterprises, are corporations that provide goods or services to the public on a commercial or quasi-commercial basis. Regulatory agencies are statutory bodies charged with responsibility to administer, fix, establish, control, or regulate an economic activity or market by regularized and established means in the public interest and in accordance with government policy. Alternative service delivery is defined as a creative and dynamic process of public sector restructuring that improves the delivery of services to clients by sharing governance functions with individuals, community groups, and other entities. The traditional organizational forms – government departments, Crown corporations, and regulatory agencies share both differences and similarities with the newer alternative service delivery models that have emerged. The traditional government approach is based on a concept of ministerial responsibility that emphasizes top-down, hierarchical decision making, with users on the receiving end of decisions made in capital cities. On the other hand, ASD mechanisms can bring users directly into the decision-making process to ensure that services are provided in ways that are more directly responsive to their needs. ASD constitutes a form of sharing governance functions with individuals, community groups and other government entities. Thus, it gives other groups some involvement in the governing process. In the past, traditional governments had been too quick to assume that the steering and rowing functions were always coupled, but ASD holds the belief that government should stick to the crucial task of steering the ship of state and leave the carrying out of public programs to a wide assortment of arrangements which may or may not involve government directly. Departments are the most closely controlled of all government agencies, which begins at the creation of the new department, and in contrast ASD does not require that government control delivery service completely. The ASD mechanisms that are concerned with commercialization, such as user fees, privatization, and outsourcing share with Crown corporations the expectation of generating a profit. Also, the ASD mechanisms that are associated with management flexibility, such as special operating agencies (SOAs), service agencies (SAs), and public partnerships have the aim of increasing the autonomy of officials responsible for the provision of services to the citizenry just as regulatory agencies have a quality of autonomy in which the Minister is answerable in general to Parliament but maintains an arm‟s length relationship with it. There are many arguments as to why ASD would result in greater efficiency in delivering programs and services. These include a more citizen-centered government that mirrors the citizens‟ demands in the administrative structures of government, it will lower government spending and improve quality of service delivery, it will increase the flexibility in the delivery of services, it will better motivate employees, and it provides a way of involving users and others who are directly affected by a service in its provision. However, ASD mechanisms do not always result in greater efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of programs and services to Canadians. ASD holds the belief that steering should be left to the minister, but this can lead to coordination problems, lack of feedback on policies, and policy lock-in which emerges when new agencies generate new supporters unwilling to countenance any changes in the operation of ASD. Also, increasing responsiveness to users and more emphasis on the bottom line are two aspects of ASD, but it‟s possible to be too responsive to users or too profit-driven which will result in the broader public interest being ignored. ASD can also lead to the weakening of accountability linkages when governments don‟t carefully choose which types of services are given arms-length treatment. Due to the fact that many forms of ASD involve moving government employees into a different regime within government or into a private sector organization, many employees fear that they‟ll lose the protection that comes with the government human resources management regime. Also, within ASD long-serving, full-time employees are being replaced by limited-term contract employees which makes it difficult to develop an organizational culture or an organizational memory with so many employees entering the organization. An example of a failed ASD mechanism in the form of a P3 (public-private partnership) is the Guelph Sports & Entertainment Center, which resulted in additional costs to taxpayers and poorly negotiated agreements. 4. “Governments are entrusted with the enormous responsibility of using the public purse to provide a number of programs and services to Canadians as efficiently and effectively as possible. While it is generally the responsibility and prerogative of the politicians to formulate public policy, they must rely on a professionalized bureaucracy to implement the policy decisions that have been taken. These public policy choices and subsequent implementation decisions obviously have important and pervasive repercussions for the Canadian citizenry.  How is our political system designed to ensure that both politicians and bureaucrats are held accountable for their respective decisions?  Has the nature of administrative accountability changed over time?  What impact, if any, has the New Public Management paradigm had on the accountability framework?” ** You may or may not find the paragraph in blue to be useful to your answer Accountability is important because there is a desire for public servants to act with the understanding that they are in one way or another responsible for the consequence of their actions. The decisions of public servants are subject to an almost bewildering assortment of controls and influences and Governments take on the prominent role of the formulation and administration of government policies and programs. A federal royal commission looking into government management saw accountability as “the activating, but fragile, element permeating a complex network connection the government upward to parliament and downward and outward to a geographically dispensed bureaucracy grouped in a bewildering array of departments, corporation, boards and commissions. This definition covers accountability of both politicians and public servants within the Government of Canada. The quest for administrative accountability arises largely from the reality that public servants are not value-neutral. There are two values that are central to public administration: integrity and accountability Accountability involves concern from the legal, institutional, and procedural means by which public servants can be obliged to answer for their actions. It has been one of the major values in the evolution of Canadian public administration and because of its current importance remains to be so. However, since the early 1990‟s, there has been a major shift in emphasis from accountability for process, for the way things are done, to accountability for results and for what is achieved. Political officials in the executive branch are help responsible for specific decisions: they take the fall for their workers. Elected officials make the final decisions on major public policy issues, but public servants have significant influence on these choices and have authority o make decisions on their own that affect the individual and collective rights of the citizenry. The main theories of Administrative Responsibility (The Conventional Theories) are presented in a famous debate between Carl Friedrich and Herman Finer (1935-41) in which they both identity rapid expansion of governments service and regulatory functions. However, they argued on their differing conceptions of the capacity of the political systems to adapt to change and of the proper role of public servants. Finer‟s concepts were to achieve responsibly in administration; he put faith in controls and sanctions exercised over pubic servants by the legislature, the judiciary, and the administrative hierarchy (similar to Canada). He said “sooner or later there is an abuse of power when external punitive controls are lacking. On the other hand, Friedrich asserted that public servants shall be self-directing and self-regulating and “morally responsibility” and Finer: “political responsibility”. The assumed ethics of the Canadian government creates a haven for administrative accountability where there are ethical people granted positions of power until they prove otherwise. Frederick Mosher coined the idea of objective responsibility that is the responsibility of a person or an organization to someone else, outside of self, for some thing or some kind of performance (accountability or answerability) & Subjective responsibility – focusing not upon to whom and for what one is responsible But to whom and for what one feels responsible and behaves responsibly (personal responsibility, identification, loyalty). There has been a growth of government
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