Chapter 10 Outline


I.  Characteristics of Bureaucracies

A.  A recognizable division of labor where skilled workers each have a specialized function so that productivity is increased

         B.  An allocation of function where each task is assigned and defined

C.  An allocation of responsibility where each task is understood by the worker and cannot be changed without approval of the supervisor

D.  Direct and indirect supervision including line authority and staff authority

E.  Control of the full-time employment of the worker so that workers can be held on task

F.  Workers make their careers synonymous with the organizations because the bureaucracy provides for benefits

II.  Executive-Level Departments

A.     The Cabinet

1.  14 cabinet departments

2.  Leaders of department are secretaries, who are appointed by the president

3.  Each manages its own specific policy areas, and gets its own budget

            B.  Regulatory Agencies

1.  Quasi legislative, meaning they act in a legislative manner when issuing regulations

2.  Quasi judicial, meaning they act in a judicial manner when enforcing penalties for violations of regulations

3.  Examples include the FCC and FDA

C.  Government Corporations

1.  Created to deal with bankruptcies and large scale bank failures, as in the 1980’s

2.  Or to take over and bail out a essentially private industry

3.  Example: The Tennessee Valley Authority 

            D.  Independent Executive Agencies

1.  General Service Administration, which handles government purchasing

2.  National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which coordinates the country’s space exploration efforts

III.  Organization

            A.  Basically the same as the 6 characteristics only condensed to five

1.  Unity of command

2.  Chain of command

3.  Line and staff control

4.  Span of control

5.  Decentralization of administration

B.  Power of Bureaucracies really only limited by five things

1.  Legislative power of Congress to restrict appropriations to agencies

2.  Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 which defines administrative policy and directs agencies to publicize their procedures

3.  A built in review process, weather it be internal or by court process

4.  Oversight functions of agencies such as the Office of Management and Budget and the General Accounting Office.

5.  Pressure from interest groups, political parties and private sectors

IV.  History

A.  In 1828 Andrew Jackson dismissed 2000 government employees, who were replaced by his supporters, thus was the birth of the spoils system

B.  First of numerous attempts at reform was the Civil Service Commission in 1871, which failed due to lack of funding.

C.  Pendleton Act of 1883 gave the president the power to determine how to organize the federal bureaucracy.

D.  Hatch Act of 1939, restricted kind of political activities federal employees may participate in.

E.  Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, made agencies responsible for enforcing existing civil service laws.

V.  Links to Other Government Branches

A.  President- appoints heads of branches, and can issue orders that the agencies must abide by, also can attempt to abolish certain agencies.

B.  Congress- approves presidential appointments, and agency budgets.  Also congress can call the heads of agencies before them to testify about issues related to the workings of the agency.

C.  Example: Iron Triangle Concept…Example: Department of Health and Human Services gets their budget reviewed, then legislation is passed related to health and must be explained to the public, then congressional committees and interest groups such as senior citizen groups review the status of the law. (Also see vocab.)

VI.  Public Policy

            A.  Agencies both implement public policy, and act to regulate it.

B.  Examples:  Food Labeling by the Federal Trade Commission, Meat Inspection by the Food and Drug Administration, and Seat Belt Mandates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

VII.  Reform

            A.  There have been no more then 12 attempts to reform the federal government

B.  The most successful was REGO; it was developed by Bill Clinton and Al Gore, it called for eight steps to a better federal government.

1.  Update information systems

2.  Eliminate wasteful programs and procedures

3.  Cut red tape

4.  Reduce the number of Agricultural Department field offices

5.  Eliminate agriculture subsidies for certain products

6.  Streamline the Army Corps of Engineers

7.  Open government printing jobs to commercial bids

8.  Improve the ability of the Social Security Administration to investigate the wrongful issuance of checks to people who are no longer disabled


Chapter 10 Vocabulary


Acquisitive Bureaucracies- organizations that are self-perpetuating and demand funding that will result in the continued existence of the agency.


Budget Appropriations- funds appropriated, especially public funds set aside for a specific purpose.


Bureaucracies- large administrative agencies reflecting a hierarchical authority, job specialization, and rules and regulations that drive them.


Cabinet-Level Department- any of 14 departments headed by a secretary who was appointed by the president.  Each department also has undersecretaries, deputies, and assistants.  Each manages specific policy areas, and gets its own budget.


Civil Service Reform- efforts to make bureaucracies more accountable and less wasteful, in order to streamline government.


Division of Labor- skilled workers each have a specialized function, resulting in increased productivity.


Government Corporation- such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, created during the New Deal, having specific responsibilities that facilitate a specific operation of the government.


Hatch Act- instated in 1939, this act places restrictions upon federal employees


Independent Executive Agency- such as General Services Administration, which handles government purchasing and has a specific responsibility that facilitates the day-to-day operations of the government.


Independent Regulatory Agencies- agencies that are quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial in nature and operation.  Examples include the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency.


Iron Triangle Network- the interrelationship among bureaucracies, the government, interest groups, and the public, which also establishes a pattern of relationships among an agency in the executive branch, Congress, and one or more outside clients of that agency.


Issue Network- a generally positive concept referring to the loose alliance developed between issue experts and issue-activists, who will readily share information with each other.  Largely responsible for framing political affairs. 


Monopolistic Bureaucracies- organizations where there is no competitive equal, such as the Social Security Administration, that also exists in the private sector.  Thus the citizen is forced to deal with that particular government agency.


Pendleton Act- known as the Civil Service Act of 1883, it set up merit as the criterion for hiring, promoting, and firing federal employees.


Quasi Judicial- a characteristic of independent regulatory agencies that gives them judicial power to interpret regulations they create.


Quasi Legislative- a characteristic of independent regulatory agencies that gives them legislative powers to issue regulations.


Red Tape- refers to “any official routine or procedure marked by excessive complexity or which results in delay or inaction.”  Term has roots in old England where official government documents were bound with red tape.


REGO- stands for “reinvent government,” developed by President Clinton and Vice President Gore.  They said it would make the federal government work better, and result in cutting the deficit. 


Regulatory Policy- policies set by regulatory agencies that set standards and limit things the public come in contact with everyday, such as television shows, pollution, and food.


Spoils System- the practice of giving offices and other favors of government to political supporters and friends. 


Chapter 10 - The Bureaucracy





When you think about bureaucracies, one of the first things that come to mind is the red tape roadblocks you may have to deal with. however, modern bureaucracies play an important linkage role in government. They are primarily responsible for implementing policy of the branches of government. Some bureaucracies also make policy as a result of regulations they issue.


This chapter focused on four types of governmental bureaucrtic agencies- the cabinet, Reulatory agencies, government corporations, and independent executive agencies. It also showed the different theories regarding how bureaucracies function. By following the history of civil service, you are able to understand the role patronage has played  in the development of government bureaucracies. You also see how the permanent government agencies became policy implementers and how they must function in relation with the executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch.


There have been 12 attempts to reorganize government to make it more responsive, more efficient, and more effective. The last part of the chapter looked at the latest efforts to "reinvent" government. Partly a budgetary reform to reduce the deficit and partly an attempt to streamline government, the Clinton administration's efforts in this area have received mixed reviews.