Section A(60 Points)
Define and provide examples for the following terms. *Choose four out of 8 given
1. Objective and subjective responsibility
• Objective Responsibility
o Involves responsibility to someone, or some collective body (accountability), and
responsibility for certain tasks, subordinate personnel, and goal achievement
o Takes into consideration hierarchical structure of authority
Public servants have the authority to make decisions of a certain nature of
scope while other matters must be pushed up the ladder to others with
greater authority for resolution.
• Ex) a customer service representative bringing their manager on
the line to resolve an issue that might require superior action that
the initial agent had no authority to move on.
o Forces public servants to work within official job description and nothing outside
of it (use of Codes of Conduct to establish boundaries)
Ex: Regarding Harper and the Senate Scandal, members of the Office of
Prime Minister were privy to inappropriate conduct pertaining to the
allocation of public funds. Stephen Harper is responsible because his
subordinates were supposed to delineate any activity within his office. His
Chief of Staff was working outside of his powers in ‘gifting’Mike Duffy
money to square up his expense discrepancies.
o It creates a concern for the quality of decisions. Making informed decisions based
upon all of the relevant considerations.
• Subjective Responsibility (or Psychological/Personal Responsibility)
o Focuses not upon whom and for what one is responsible (according to law and the
organization chart) but to whom and for what one feels responsible and behaves
o It is more synonymous with identification, loyalty, and conscience than it is with
accountability and answerability
The identification with and loyalty to certain value positions, certain
actions, or the organization
o Less mechanistic and procedural than objective responsibility and takes into
account habits or what clients/co-workers begin to expect/predict from an
individual or action (takes place over many years)
o Values, ideals, and beliefs guide public officials in process of public decision-
o Ex) Serving the public interest and not what is delegated to you by superiors? Not
sure about a concrete example yet
2. CentralAgencies in Canada
Canadian Central agencies serve to coordinate ‘line departments’but mostly to support the
decision making activities of Cabinet, with information and advice; relaying information to other departments; and ensuring consistency across departments. There are four central agencies in the
Canadian public service. These include:
• Department of Finance: Created in 1967 under the Financial Administration Act and it
plays the leading role in making economic policy. It deals with the macro-level finances
that go in to and out of the federal government. Deals with preparation and delivery of
the gov’t’s revenue and expenditure budgets. Monitors economic performance in Canada.
• Treasury Board Secretariat: It is the only Cabinet committee to have a statutory basis.
Provides advice on policies, directives, regulations, and program expenditure proposals
(at the micro-level) that regard management of government financial, human, and
material resources (e.g. Lands and Buildings). Provides advice on policies, directives,
regulations, and program expenditures regarding these things.
• The Privy Council Office: The secretariat to the Cabinet which reports directly to Prime
Minister and is headed by the Clerk of the PCO (Secretary to the Cabinet), the highest
position in the public service. It provides support to the deputy prime minister, leaders in
the House of Commons & Senate, president of the Privy Council, and minister of IGA; it
informs the prime minister on the entire spectrum of policy questions and operational
issues that confront the government.
• The Prime Minister’s Office: Staffed by partisan supporters of the government in power.
The individuals in this agency are responsible for coordinating much of the Prime
Minister’s daily activities (speech writing, scheduling, media relations, providing advice
on policy, liaising with other ministers) and essentially exist to make the PM look good.
3. The Rational Comprehensive Model
When met with a problem or when approaching a task:
• Assumes everyone in the organization is rational and have:
o Clear goals (based on classical-economic theory)
o Complete information
o Cognitive capacity to analyse/understand the problem/information
• Series of sequential steps when dealing with a problem:
o Identify the problem
o Diagnose and determine origin of problem
o Define alternatives that are potential solutions
o Examine the consequences that anticipates each alternative
o Choose alternative that maximizes goals and objectives
o Implement not on impulse but on rational thought (cost-effective for example)
• Criticisms of RCM and counter-theories
o It is difficult to both clarify and rank goals, values, and objectives
o It is time consuming
o Limits predictability
o Bounded Rationality by Herbert Simon
There are bounds to human thinking ability at times
People spend huge amounts of time searching for the ideal solution to a
problem (ex: not using a manual and thinking instead about what you did
the previous time this problem occurred)
o Incremental Model by Charles Lindblom Policies are changed incrementally as a result of successive limited
comparison between the status quo and some bery close alternatives. In
the real world of politics and administration there are multiple decision-
makers with different qualities and perspectives
4. Crown Corporations
These are corporations, also known as public enterprises that the state owns wholly or partly in
order to fulfil national interests. They operate at an arm’s length of the government but with no
ministerial control. The CBC is an example of a (previous) crown corporation but it is now
privately owned with some national ties.
• Purpose of Public Enterprises (some of them):
o National building and community & economic development (CBC,AirCanada)
o Job preservation
o Enhancing global competitiveness
o Attracting business people to public management
o Providing window to the private sector to monitor the economy and adopt new
ways of managing/delivering goods
o Freedom from central agencies and other controls
• They can be the subject of political scrutiny because of the governmental ties
5. The Canadian Model of the New Public Management
NPM focuses on:
(a) Results and increased value for money,
(b) Aclient-and service-orientation,
(c) Strengthened capacity for developing strategy and policy,
(d) The introduction of competition and other market elements, and
(e) Changed relationships with other levels of government,
(f) Explicit standards and measures of performance
(g) Stress on private-sector style management practices,
(h) Agreater discipline and parsimony in resource use.
In Canada, movements towards New Public Management were undergone during Brian
Mulroney’s government in the late 1980s following the Pierre Trudeau years, which focused on
the welfare state. According to Inwood, the NPM model imposed in Canada was ‘softer’than
that of its origin, Britain. Formally, the Chrétien government implemented the 1995 Quality
Service Initiative, and other attempts to privatize Crown corporations and forge public-private
partnerships were made to bring the three Es of the private sector (efficiency, effectiveness, and
economy) to the public sector.
6. Conflict of Interest
In public administration, conflict of interest is any action that causes a clash between personal
influences and the interest of the public. The public interest can be described as preserving
humanistic values in life and health and other values in individual and societal freedom. There is
a need for the common good to be upheld. Going against the public interest as a governmental
actor usually pertains to the leverage of a family member or friend with information or materials
that involves the public purse. Another way conflict of interest can arise is if the governmental
actor’s private life converges with their public office life. For example, something as small as the use of governmental equipment (such as a printer) to serve one’s personal life (using the printer
to print nongovernmental documents) could be a conflict of interest.
• There are different kinds of conflicts of interest:
o Using inside knowledge and influence and disclosing such info for personal gain
o Self-dealing or nepotism: hiring/promoting/the recommending of a family or
benefiting by considering oneself as in the private-capacity when actually in the
Ex) Jim Love, former Chair of the Canadian Mint being appointed to the
position by long-time friend Jim Flaherty.
o Using government property: the printer example to using a public office to
perform nongovernmental duties to using computers for private business
o Outside employment: this could involve being employed at a nongovernmental
job on top of the public job and the former affecting one’s performance at the
o Post-employment: the use of contacts acquired after one leaves office. This is one
of the most difficult types of conflicts of interest to regulate
o Giving gifts
Ex) Jim Love also used offshore havens to allow for wealthy clients to
avoid being taxed.Also his wife and three of his colleagues donated
$10,000 to Jim Flaherty’s wife’s political campaign.
o Influence peddling: Rob Ford used Toronto City Hall letterhead when sending out
letters relating to his football team he manages. He was able to solicit money from
individuals for the football team possibly due to the letter’s influence on them.
o Personal conduct: are public employees entitled the same amount of privacy as
other citizens? Conduct could undermine the department and thus public trust
• Managing conflicts of interest
o Serving public interest
o Supporting transparency and scrutiny; promoting individual responsibility and
o Engendering an organizational culture which is intolerant of conflicts of interest
7. Codes of Conduct
In the public service this is a statement of professional standards of conduct to which the
practitioners of a profession may subscribe. However, it may not be taken seriously because it is
not legally binding. In Inwood, two professors lay out seven ‘commandments’that public
servants need to follow: they must “act in the public interest; be politically neutral; do not
disclose confidential information; protect the privacy of citizens and employees; provide
efficient, effective, and fair service to the public; avoid conflicts of interest; and be accountable.”
• Benefits of Codes of Conducts/Ethics:
o Having rules written down leaves little room for argument or interpretation. The
Code to which can always be referred.
o Promotes public trust because we know there is a set of written rules public
servants need to follow
o Reduces unethical actions (does not completely eliminate though)
o Helps with decision making o Establishes an ethical status to which members of a profession may aspire
o The broad ethical principles contained in many codes are often difficult to apply
to specific situations.
o They are difficult to enforce customer’s always right
o The large scale and complexity of government makes it difficult to draft a code
that can be applied fairly and consistently across a large department.
o They can adversely affect individual rights and private lives of public servants
whose ethical behaviour is beyond reproach.
Codes of conduct need to represent what is considered ethical to administrators. Ethics is
concerned about what is right, fair, just, or good; about what we ought to do, and not just about
what is the case/the most acceptable, expedient. It is often intertwined with morals; however,
morals involve more of an environmental impact on the modes of behaviour (e.g. in Canada we
expect children to move out at the age of 18, or at least start paying rent, which differs from other
cultures). Morals are rooted in both formal rules and informal norms, whereas ethics is more
universally understood (e.g. letting a senior take seat on bus).
8. The Merit Principle and the Merit System
According to Weber, bureaucracy is based on the legal-rational model so people should be hired
on merit, not patronage. Merit considers all things equal and movement is determined by
performance. Public servants are hired/promoted on the competence rather than of party
affiliation or contribution. Furthermore, it cannot be based on patronage, which involves the
appointing of people to public services due to contribution—financial or otherwise—to the
• The Merit Principle
o Canadian citizens should have a ‘reasonable opportunity’to be consider for
employment in the public service
o Selections must be based exclusively on merit or ability to do the job
o Distinguishes merit from fitness. For example, there may be four candidates for
the position of professor but there may only be one who has extensive knowledge
in the area. The one who stands apart is the best fit for the job.
o The principle says that public servants should be appointed and promoted on the
of competence rather than of party affiliation or contribution
• The Merit System
o Consists of policies, procedures, practices, rules, and other regulations
o It is the mechanism or the means used at any time by which every Canadian
citizen is given a reasonable opportunity to be considered for public service job
and the person being fit to do the job.
The principle is how merit should impact the subject and the system is how it impacts the
9. Scientific Management theory
Developed by Frederick Taylor, Scientific Management was a means to foster most efficiency in
the workplace. This could be done by methodically analysing the way workers complete tasks
and, like machinery, fine-tune every aspect in order to reduce redundancy and maximize productivity; this could be done by dividing up tasks and adding new positions to take care of
each compartment. Frank provided the example of a shoemaker. Initially, there would be one
individual using X amount of time to manufacture one pair of shoes, but Taylor found that if you
enumerate the tasks to, let’s say, four additional individuals it would take 1/5 the amount of time
of X to make the pair of shoes.Also, Taylor studied the basic motor actions of workers doing the
task and sought to eliminate strenuous or excess actions, so as to maximize efficiency.
o This theory of management does not take into consideration human feelings or
anything humanistic about the job; it merely focuses on moving towards machine-
o Creates a chaotic environment between the labourer and management due to
increased workload or constant tinkering with environment and the way that they
10. Compare and contrast the public and private sectors
According to Inwood there are three main differences between the public and private sectors:
• Mandate and Goals
o Public administration is gear toward the provision of public services not the
o Public sector employees work within a relatively short time frame dictated by the
o Goal measurement and contradictory ends sought by government muddy the job.
The textbook provides the example: The Ministry of Finance may want to reduce
government spending, while another department may want to reduce child
poverty, a goal that requires more money. In the private sector there is a
straightforward measurement of goals in the private sector: profits, market share,
financial performance, and so on.
o HR management: more complicated process to hire and fire someone in the public
service because of strict merit principle (every hiring and firing done fairly)
o Equity and efficiency: public sector managers emphasize equity among various
constituents. The private is more oriented toward efficiency and competitiveness.
o Public sector is open to public/media scrutiny whereas private is not (as much)
o Public goods: provided for the benefit of all members of society. Ex) national
defence or roads and bridges. Sometimes these aren’t even profitable.
o Accountability: not even present in private sector
o Private sector: efficient operation leads to enhanced profitability
• Efficiency and Service
o Public sector has become more focused on the “three E’s” of efficiency, economy,
The Treasury Board Secretariat, the Office of the Comptroller, and the
Office of theAuditor General ensure this is being upheld
o Lack of competition amongst services in the public sector. Ex) there is only one
police force and they don’t need to worry about the provision of services in the
same way that a private corp. would have to. o Politicians seek re-election, so th