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Canada (161,632)
POLS 2250 (94)
Tim Mau (35)
Chapter 5

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Political Science
POLS 2250
Tim Mau

Chapter 5: Government Departments and Central Agencies The Legislature, The Executive, and Departments - 3 branches of government: o judicial  law courts and related institutions o legislative  the Queen and two houses or chambers – the House of Commons and Senate o executive  headed by the Queen, represented in Canada by the governor general and the lieutenant governors of the provinces  the practical definition of the executive is the cabinet and the public service - important principle that the executive branch if accountable to the legislative branch (i.e. the branch most directly responsible to the general public) o these 2 branches are joined, because cabinet ministers are almost invariably members of the legislative branch Definition of Department - department is an administrative unit compromising one or more organizational components over which a minister has direct ministerial management and control (J.E. Hodgetts) o bureaucratic structures in government are mainly in the business of administering services o the minister directly controls and manages operations o constitutional convention that the minister should very closely supervise the actions of an operating department. Classification Systems for Departments - one classification system is based on the general policy fields addressed, or functions carried out by the department (ex. Public works, communications, transportation) - another system identifies 3 types of departments by considering the relative power of departments as determined by size, budget, responsibility for coordination, and knowledge or research capability o the three types:  horizontal policy coordinative  tend to be the most influential  strong in terms of responsibility and knowledge or research capability  some also called central agencies  horizontal administrative coordinative  least influential  “nuts and bolts” departments that provide the wherewithal for other departments to operate  vertical constituency  providing services directly to the public  high-profile departments  largest budgets and deal with a large constituency Organizing Departments - organization structure of the government is the personal prerogative of the prime minister - Public Service Rearrangement and Transfer of Duties Act gives the prime minister a great deal of power to transfer duties among departments and even create new departments - Paul Martin established: o Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness o Also divided the old Department of Human Resources Development into two new entities:  Human Resources  Skills Development and Social Development o Why did he divide the original department?  Providing a sharper focus for responsibilities in each of the respective departments - Stephen Harper: o Focused mostly on combining departments in order to produce a more integrated and synchronized approach to the delivery or programs  Ex. Brought together Foreign Affairs and International Trade “to ensure a coherent approach to foreign affairs and international commerce and to better coordinate the provision of services to both Canadians both at home and abroad.” - One real cost of organizational change is that the resulting departments may be too much for the minister responsible o Prime ministers then appointed secretaries or ministers of state in addition to the cabinet ministers who head departments (did this to address the problem of too much responsibility for the minister) The Legislature and Government Departments - departments are the most closely controlled of all government agencies o this control begins at the time
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