Study Guide for Chapter 15 Bureaucracy Quiz


What is true of independent agencies? They operate outside the executive departments (cabinets), but are nonetheless considered part of the executive branch of government. Three types of independent agencies: independent executive agencies, independent regulatory commissions, and government corporations. The Office of Personnel Management, the Peace Corps and the Civil Rights Commission are examples of independent executive agencies, which are "supposed" to be free from political influence.


The Pendleton Act ended what practice? The Pendleton Act of 1883 created a system in which federal employees were chosen on the basis of competitive examinations, thus making merit, or ability, the reason for hiring people to fill federal positions. (Ended spoils system)


Max Weber describes bureaucracies as how? "Followers of the noted German sociologist Max Weber contended that a properly run bureaucracy could be a model of efficiency based on rational and impartial management." (Burns 351) "Politics and public administration should be carefully separated. Leave politics to Congress and management to administrators who adhere to the laws passed by Congress."


Examples of independent regulatory agencies: "Examples are the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Board." (Burns 348) (Interstate Commerce Commission?)


Iron Triangle: A mutually supporting relationship among interest groups, congressional committees and subcommittees, and government agencies that share a common policy concern. Iron triangles are composed of bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees. The iron triangle is characterized by mutual dependency, in which each element provides key services, information, or policy for the others. The concept is currently best illustrated by the tobacco triangle, where a congressional committee, an bureaucratic (executive) agency, and an interest group, i.e., the tobacco interests, all inform and stroke each other to further their survival.


? The standards of conduct for bureaucrats; i.e. Merit System review (Protection?) Board: "The Merit System Protection Board is charged with protecting the integrity of the federal merit system and the rights of federal employees." (Burns 346)


Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Agency that administers civil service laws, rules, and regulations.


What president was most often associated with the spoils system? The spoils system was largely defended by President Andrew Jackson who believed that the largest number of citizens should have the privilege of serving in government office, that any person of "normal" intelligence was fit to hold any government position, and that all government officials should belong to the party elected by the people.


Purpose of the Hatch Act: Federal statute barring federal employees from active participation in certain kinds of politics and protecting them from being fired on partisan grounds. Revised in 1993 to permit most federal civil servants to hold party positions and involve themselves in party fundraising and campaigning.


Almost half of all civilian federal government workers are employed by what types of agencies? "More than 25% of the civilian employees work for the army, the navy, the air force, or some other defense agency; another 30 percent work for the U.S. Postal Service." (Burns 346)


Who do federal administrators have the least contact with? Federal administrators have the least contact with the President.


How does Congress control the bureaucracy? "by establishing agencies, formulating budgets, appropriating funds, confirming personnel, authorizing new programs or new shifts in direction, conducting investigations and hearings, reorganizing authority, and rebuking officials." (Burns 357)


How do government corporations differ from other agencies of the bureaucracy? "Government corporations, such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, are a cross between business corporations and regular government agencies. Government corporations were designed to make possible a freedom of action and flexibility not always found in the regular agencies. These corporations have been freed from certain regulations of the Office of Management and Budget and the comptroller general. They also have more leeway in using their own earnings." (Burns 348) Greater freedom of action and flexibility for a particular program.


?When were regulatory agencies created? think???? (Apparently this one is linked to next term)


Progressive era: Late 1800ís. ICC and misconduct. (Talked with Wally on this one)


What two events in American History are most responsible for the creation of the federal bureaucracy? The New Deal and World War 2. Wartime production, EPA, Department of Transportation.


Until the late 1800's government bureaucracies existed mostly to benefit whom? The President's friends and political supporters


Characteristics of the Bureaucracy: "Bureaucracy's chief characteristics are continuity, predictability, impartiality, standard operating procedures, and the inevitable 'red tape'" (Burns 343); large, complex administrative structure; a hierarchical organization with job specialization and complex rules. By definition, it is not privately owned. The bureaucracy is based on the principle of hierarchical authority, job specialization, and formal rules. Merit really has nothing to do with it.


Advantages bureaucrats have over the President in policy making. Little or no checks and balances; virtually no separation of powers (quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial)


Why are independent regulatory commissions created? These commissions are created to regulate important aspects of the nation's economy and are intended to be isolated from political influence.


? The loyalties of cabinet members are often strained with the Presidents, why? While the president expects loyalty from his appointed cabinet members, the agency employees expect their chief to look out for them, and thus, cabinet members are also responsible for their staff and the work of the department, including the organizations their departments serve.


? Differences between Cabinet officers and independent agencies: Cabinet members can be fired by the President. Heads of the independent regulatory commissions CANNOT be removed by the President at will.