One of the key inducements used by machines. A patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.
Pendleton Civil Service Act
Passed in 1883, an Act that created a federal civil service so that hiring and promotion would be based on merit rather than patronage.
A system of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle and the desire to create a nonpartisan government service.
The idea that hiring should be based on entrance exams and promotion ratings to produce administration by people with talent and skill.
A federal law prohibiting government employees from active participation in partisan politics.
Office of Personnel Management
The office in charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government, using elaborate rules in the process.
General Schedule rating
A schedule for federal employees, ranging from GS 1 to GS 18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience.
Senior Executive Service
An elite cadre of about 11,000 federal government managers, established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, who are mostly career officials but include some political appointees who do not require Senate confirmation.
According to Max Weber, the hierarchical authority structure that uses task specialization, operates on the merit principle, and behaves with impersonality. Bureaucracies govern modern states.
independent regulatory agency
A government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules supposedly to protect the public interest. It also judges disputes over these rules. The Interstate Commerce Commission is an example.
A government organization that, like business corporations, provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically charges for its services. The U.S. Postal Service is an example.
independent executive agency
The government not accounted for by cabinet departments, independent regulatory agencies, and government corporations. Its administrators are typically appointed by the president and serve at the president's pleasure. The Veterans Administration is an example.
The stage of policymaking between the establishment of a policy and the consequences of the policy for the people whom it affects. Implementation involves translating the goals and objectives of a policy into an operating, ongoing program.
standard operating procedures
Better known as SOPs, these procedures are used by bureaucrats to bring uniformity to complex organizations. Uniformity improves fairness and makes personnel interchangeable.
The authority of administrative actors to select among various responses to a given problem. Discretion is greatest when routines, or standard operating procedures, do not fit a case.
A phrase coined by Michael Lipsky, referring to those bureaucrats who are in constant contact with the public and have considerable administrative discretion.
The use of government authority to control or change some practice in the private sector.
The lifting of restrictions on business, industry, and professional activities for which government rules had been established and that bureaucracies had been created to administer.
According to Charles Schultze, the existing system of regulation whereby government tells business how to reach certain goals, checks that these commands are followed, and punishes offenders.
According to Charles Schultze, a more effective and efficient policy than command-and-control; in the incentive system, market-like strategies are used to manage public policy.
Regulations originating from the executive branch. Executive orders are one method presidents can use to control the bureaucracy; more often, though, presidents pass along their wishes through their aides.
Entities composed of bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees, which have dominated some areas of domestic policymaking. These are characterized by mutual dependency, in which each element provides key services, information, or policy for the others.