Bureaucratic Criticism
History of the Federal Bureaucracy
Checks and Balances on the Federal Bureaucracy
Bureaucratic Reforms & Alternatives
What is the responsibility of the Federal Trade Commission?
Protect American consumers from unfair business practices.
This phrase describes the web of government rules, regulations, and paperwork--makes government so overwhelming to citizens that many people try to avoid any contact
Describe the hiring trend of the federal workforce over the last 50 years.
It has been relatively stable...not changing very much
List one reason why it is hard to terminate a civil servant.
They "own" their job via the Due Process clause and must receive a fair process before being terminated. This process can take a long time.
What is the purpose of the Freedom of Information Act?
Gives people the ability to request information from bureaucratic agencies.
List the 3 points that make up an IRON TRIANGLE.
1. Congress/Committee 2. Bureaucratic agency/department 3. Interest Group
List 2 common criticism of the federal bureaucracy.
Many possible answers: - Red tape - Duplication - Waste - Unchecked growth
Describe the hiring trend of the local/state government workforce over the last 50 years.
It has increased dramatically over the past 50 years
List 2 ways that the president can check the power of the bureaucracy.
Many answers are possible: - Issue executive orders - Fire/Hire leaders of agencies and departments - Reorganize agencies
This term describes “the downsizing the federal bureaucracy by delegating the implementation of programs to local/state governments.”
How do regulatory commissions differ from executive agencies?
Many answers are possible... - Commissions are led by a group, agencies are led by one person - Commissions are more insulated than agencies from politics - Commissioners cannot be easily fired, while agency leaders can be fired by the president rather easily
"The difficulty in firing or demoting an incompetent bureaucrat" describes what common criticism of bureaucracy
Bureaucrats OWN their jobs and have due process rights that hinder the firing/demoting of a bureaucrat
Describe the intent of the HATCH ACT.
To keep politics out of the bureaucracy. Bureaucrats should be focused on doing their job in a nonpartisan manner without considering political party allegiance in their decision-making.
Describe how each part of the IRON TRIANGLE benefits.
All groups are working to making policies that please each member. 1. Congress can receive campaign contributions from the interest groups 2. The agencies can receive more funding from Congress. 3. The interest groups can receive favorable policies--perhaps fewer regulations, government purchasing goods, etc.
This term describes the “replacing of government services with services provided by private firms”
How does an ISSUE NETWORK differ from an IRON TRIANGLE?
Many answers are possible: - An iron triangle has only 3 groups involved, while an issue network involves many groups - An iron triangle is often a secretive relationships, while issue networks are more overt - An iron triangle is more unified in their relationship, while an issue network is more decentralized
Even though bureaucracy is criticized, provide 2 reasons why bureaucracy is essential for government.
Many possible answers are possible: - Specialists can make/enforce rules compared to unknowledgeable legislators/president - Help the government fulfill many important jobs - Implement laws - Provide services through their administration - With such a large country and government, the bureaucracy is necessary to make government function effectively
Why did the federal government create the Pendleton Act?
President Garfield was shot by a man who was frustrated that he did not receive a government job after Garfield was elected. In order to get rid of this patronage system, the Pendleton Act created a merit hiring system.
List 2 ways that Congress can check the power of the bureaucracy
Many answers are possible: - Hold oversight hearings - Determine's agency budgets - Can nullify/cancel out agency rules and regulations - Can remove agencies or create new ones
Describe the meaning of a bureaucrat being a “whistleblower”.
A person raises a concern about wrongdoing occurring in an organization in order to help prevent it from happening. Often done anonymously for fear of facing retaliation.
How are the goals of a private business different than the goals of a federal bureaucracy?
Many answers are possible: - Private businesses strive to make a profit to help their own interests, while an agency/department is focused more on providing a common good through their work
Why are IRON TRIANGLES often criticized for being a negative feature?
The answer should emphasize how the groups involved are only interested in their person gain--acting as factions rather than promoting policies that will help the common good
What two federal agencies were created by the Civil Service Reform Act (1978)?
1. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) 2. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
How can people/interest groups check the bureaucracy?
Many answers are possible: - Challenge regulations using the courts - Set up protests - Lobby agencies directly - Request information via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Describe the purpose of creating “sunset laws”
A law must receive confirmation from Congress in order for that law to continue. An agency that is not considered useful can be wiped out if Congress does not reestablish the law.
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