Government Review

Pros of Bureaucracy
specialization, yields efficiency, rules lead to constant decisions
Cons of Bureaucracy
workers lose touch with constituents, fixed procedures become ends unto themselves
Composition of the federal bureaucracy
15 executive departments, hundreds of agencies, bureaus and boards. Also consists of government corporations that are different in that they charge for their services.
Why are the regulatory agencies considered quasi legislative, executive and judicial?
Regulatory agencies contribute to all parts of the government. They create laws, pass laws, and enforce them.
How do regulatory agencies differ from executive agencies? Provide examples of each type of bureaucratic agency.
executive agencies are controlled by the various cabinet departments (the IRS), regulatory agencies are outside the control of the cabinet (the SEC)
How were most jobs in government filled before the 1880’s? What tragic event took place changed the staffing of the federal bureaucracy?
Most jobs were filled by the spoils system-president gives government jobs to supports, friends, etc.- President Garfield was shot by a man who believed he deserved a job for his efforts in helping getting him elected to office.
List the major provisions of the Hatch Act.
Restricted civil service employees to participate in partisan political life while on duty. While off duty they may participate but can not run for elective offices. Those with special positions may not participate whatsoever.
List the responsibilities of the Office of Personnel Management and the Merit Systems Protection Board.
OPM hires for most of the federal agencies. Has very specific rules about the hiring, promotion, and firing duties. Candidates are required to take a test before getting civil service job. Merit Systems Protection Board ensures candidates are hired based on merit.
Why is the federal government a necessary entity?
People generally can not be self governing. Everyone has different ideas of how things should be run and that causes conflict.
Department of State
responsible for the international regulations of the US, equal to the foreign ministries of other countries.
Department of Defense
responsible for coordinating and supervising agencies and functions of the government directly with national security and the US armed forces.
Department of Treasury
responsible for managing the government revenue; prints all money and coins and collects taxes.
Department of Justice
ensures the department of of justice attorneys perform their duties professionally and responsibly
Department of Homeland Security
primarily created to protect the US and its surrounding territories from outside threats (such as a terrorist attack; this department was created in response to 9/11.
Who must confirm any leader of a cabinet department?
The Senate.
Describe the responsibilities of a cabinet leader.
The executive branch of the government is divided into 15 cabinet departments that set policies and oversee programs affecting every American. These agencies’ responsibilities require thousands of skilled professionals working in offices nationwide.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
an independent agency of the US government, created by Congressional statute and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President, it also works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security.
Federal Trade Commission
promote consumer protection, the elimination, and prevention of what regulators perceive to be harmfully anticompetitive business practices, such as monopoly.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
holds primary responsibility for regulating federal securities in the nation’s stock market and exchanges.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
responsible for collecting intelligence/ information, decide on the right action to take, help regulate national security.
National Security Council (NSC)
responsible for coordinating policy on national security issues and helps advise the president on matters related to social security.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
protects human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by congress
The Federal Reserve System (FED)
provide a safe, flexible and stable monetary financial system; supervise and regulate banks
Government Corporation
a business entity, which can be either fully or partially owned by a country’s government. The entity is labelled as entirely owned, mixed-ownership or as a private corporation, therefore, the national government will set out its purposes, powers, and obligations.
United States Postal Service (USPS)
government agencies authorized by the US Constitution that provides postal service to the US
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
an independent agency created by the Banking Act of 1933 provides deposit insurance and guarantee the safety of a depositor’s accounts in his/her banks up to $250,000 for each deposit ownership category in each insured bank.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
an agency of the US government responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer, manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley to get through the Great Depression. A corporation owned by the federal.
The Adminisrative Procedure Act (1947)
controls the administrative agencies of the federal government of the US may propose and establish regulations, it also sets up a process for the US federal courts to directly review agency decisions.
The Freedom of Information Act (1966)
general public have the rights to access data held by the national government, they establish a “right to know” legal process for data to be received freely or at a minimal cost.
The National Environmental Policy Act (1969)
a US environmental law that established a U.S. national policy promoting the enhancement of the environment and also established the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).
-also known as the “Environmental Magna Carta”.
The Privacy Act of 1974
a US federal law which establishes a Code of Fair Information Practice that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies.
The Open Meeting Law (1976)
the public have access to the knowledge about the considerations underlying government, it also requires that most meetings of governmental bodies to be held in public, although it includes some exceptions.
Actions the president can take to limit the power of bureaucratic agencies
appoint Secretaries, establish policies that attempt to improve the operation of government agencies, authority over the agencies’ budget spending.
powers Congress can use to limit bureaucratic agencies
Duplication: Congress gives one job to multiple agencies
Authorization: Congress have the authority to authorize agencies’ budget before spending
Hearings: Congressional Committees may hold hearings of the agencies as their responsibility
Rewriting legislation: Congress may rewrite legislation or make it more detailed in order to restrict the power of agencies.
How can the judicial branch limit the power of bureaucratic agencies
The Supreme Court has interceded to restrict political patronage on constitutional grounds.
Issue Networks
an alliance of various interest groups and individuals who unite in order to promote a single issue in government policy.