UAPP225 Chapter 13: Chapter 13 Notes Bureacracy

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University of Delaware
Urban Affairs and Public Policy
David Carter

The Bureaucracy Intro Lack of a quick and effective response to Katrina The Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA Carter in 1979 We have expectations related to policy and performance which play a big role in how we view our government. FEMA lived up to policy, but not performance expectations A bureaucracy Any large, complex organization in which employees have specific job responsibilities and work within a hierarchy. The term often refers to both government agencies and the people who work in them. Has Weberian features: A clearly defined jurisdiction Operates in a hierarchy Stable and clear rules Empowers officials, but locates power in the office, not the person who holds the office Composed of careeroriented professionals appointed for their skills, paid a salary, cannot personally benefit from their actions. The public has a wide range of views about the bureaucracy which have been more negative recently 2 myths The myth of bureaucratic incompetence Belief that governments ought to be efficient and effective like a business bureaucracy seems too large and cumbersome The myth of unresponsive bureaucracy Trust in the government is slowly going down Little information to support these myths problem is that people lack an understanding of what government does and how it does it. A profile of the Federal Bureaucracy Who Are the Bureaucrats? Applies to 2.85 million nonelected citizen federal employees, 1.4 million active military, 19 million work for state and local Political Appointees Government officials who occupy the most strategically important positions in the federal government, most of them appointed by the president. Those at the top are called the cabinet: An official advisory board to the president, made up of the heads (secretaries) of the major departments in the federal government. All heads are secretaries, except for the Department of Justice who is called the attorney general.
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