A quasi-judicial process in which a bureaucratic agency settles disputes between two parties in a manner similar to the way courts resolve disputes.
The ability of bureaucrats to make choices concerning the best way to implement congressional or executive intentions.
Civil Service System
The merit system by which many federal bureaucrats are selected.
Major administrative units with responsibility for a broad area of government operations. Departmental status usually indicates a permanent national interest in a particular governmental function, such as defense, commerce, or agriculture.
The thousands of federal government agencies and institutions that implement and administer federal laws and programs.
Businesses established by Congress to perform functions that private businesses could provide.
The 1939 act to prohibit civil servants from taking activist roles in partisan campaigns. This act prohibited federal employees from making political contributions, working for a particular party, or campaigning for a particular candidate.
The process by which a law or policy is put into operation.
Independent Executive Agencies
Governmental units that closely resemble a Cabinet department but have narrower areas of responsibility and perform services rather than regulatory functions.
Independent Regulatory Commission
An entity created by Congress outside a major executive department.
Working groups created to facilitate coordination of policy making and implementation across a host of governmental agencies.
The relatively ironclad relationships and patterns of interaction that occur among agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees.
The loose and informal relationships that exist among a large number of actors who work in broad policy areas.
A system of employment based on qualifications, test scores, and ability, rather than party loyalty.
Jobs, grants, or other special favors that are given as rewards to friends and political allies for their support.
Reform measure that established the principle of federal employment on the basis of open, competitive exams and created the Civil Service Commission.
Policy Coordinating Committees
Subcabinet-level committees created to facilitate interactions between agencies and departments to handle complex policy problems.
Rules governing the operation of all government programs that have the force of law.
A quasi-legislative process resulting in regulations that have the characteristics of a legislative act.
The firing of public-office holders of a defeated political party to replace them with loyalists of the newly elected party.