The process by which agencies resolve disputes over the implementation of their administrative rules.
The authority delegated to bureaucrats to use their expertise and judgment when determining how to implement public policy.
administrative rule making
The process by which an independent commission or agency fills in the details of a vague law by formulating, proposing, and approving rules, regulations, and standards that will be enforced to implement the policy.
A law that gives bureaucracies and other government entities the legal authority to spend money.
A law that provides the plan of action to address a given societal concern and identifies the executive branch unit that will put the plan into effect.
Any organization with a hierarchical structure, although most commonly used to designate a government agency or the collection of all national executive branch organizations.
People employed in a government executive branch unit to implement public policy; a public administrator; a public servant.
Bureaucrats hired through a merit-based personnel system who have job protection.
conflict of interest
In the case of public servants, the situation when they can personally benefit from a decision they make or an action they take in the process of doing their jobs.
contracting-out (privatizing, outsourcing)
Also called outsourcing or privatizing; a process by which the government contracts with a private for-profit or nonprofit organization to provide public services or resources needed by the government.
One of fifteen executive branch units responsible for a broadly defined policy area and whose top administrator (secretary) is appointed by the president, is confirmed by the Senate, and serves at the discretion of the president.
An executive branch unit that sells a service and is expected to be financially self-sufficient.
independent administrative agency
An executive branch unit created by Congress and the president that is responsible for a narrowly defined function and whose governing board is intended to be protected from partisan politics.
independent regulatory commission
An executive branch unit responsible for developing standards of behavior within specific industries and businesses, monitoring compliance with these standards, and imposing sanctions on violators.
Political appointees who work within a government agency to ensure the integrity of public service by investigating allegations of misconduct by bureaucrats.
A system of hiring and promotion based on an individual's competence.
merit-based civil service
A personnel system in which bureaucrats are hired on the basis of the principles of competence, equal opportunity (open competition), and political neutrality; once hired, these public servants have job protection.
A publication that lists the top jobs in the bureaucracy to which the president will appoint people via the patronage system.
The concept that elected government officials, who are accountable to the voters, create and approve public policy, and then competent, politically neutral bureaucrats implement the public policy.
senior executives (SES)
A unique personnel system for top managerial, supervisory, and policy positions offering less job security but higher pay than the merit-based civil service system.
People hired and paid by private for-profit and nonprofit organizations that implement public policy through a government contract.
A clause in legislation that sets an expiration date for the authorized program/policy unless Congress reauthorizes it.
Legislation that opens up government functions and documents to the public.
A civil servant who discloses mismanagement, fraud, waste, corruption, and/or threats to public health and safety to the government.