57 terms

Federal Bureaucracy


Terms in this set (...)

spoils system
the firing of public-office holders of a defeated political party to replace them with loyalists of the newly elected party.
A patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.
merit system
A system of employment based on qualifications, test scores, and ability, rather than party loyalty
Pendleton 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.
civil service system
the practice of hiring goverment workers on basis of open competitve examinations and merit
executive departments
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.
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
A government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules to protect the public interest. It also judges disputes over these rules.
government corporations
A government organization that, like business corporations, provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically charges for its services.
Hatch Act
(1939) Act to prevent 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
Federal Employee Political Activities Act of 1993
1993 Liberalization of the Hatch Act; federal employees are now allowed to run for office in nonpartisan elections and to contribute money to campaigns in partisan elections.
The process of putting a law into practice through bureaucratic rules or spending.
iron triangles
A mutually dependent relationship between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees. They dominate some areas of domestic policymaking.
issue networks
The loose and informal relationships that exist among a large number of actors who work in broad policy areas
discretionary authority (administrative discretion)
The extent to which appointed bureaucrats can choose coarses of action and make policies that are not spelled out in advance by laws
delegated authority
Congress sets guidelines and leaves it to the agency to work out the details
rule making
a quasi-legislative administrative process that has the characteristics of a legislative act
rules that govern the operation of all government programs that have the force of law
Administrative adjudication
A quasi-judicial process in which a bureaucratic agency settles disputes between two parties in a manner similar to the way courts resolve disputes
Independent Regulatory Commissions
Agencies with quasi-judicial responsibilities that are meant to be carried out in a manner free of presidential interference
Federal Reserve Board
A seven-member board that sets member banks reserve requirements, controls the discount rate, and makes other economic decisions.
National Labor Relations Board
A 1935 law, also known as the Wagner Act, that guarantees workers the right of collective bargaining sets down rules to protect unions and organizers, and created the National Labor Relations Board to regulate labor-management relations.
Securities and Exchange Commission
monitors the stock market and enforces laws regulating the sale of stocks and bonds
Federal Trade Commission
(WW) 1914 , A government agency established in 1914 to prevent unfair business practices and help maintain a competitive economy, support antitrust suits
Congressional checks on the federal bureaucracy
impeachment and removal of judge
Over rides Veto, Confirms nominations, Impeachment (2/3 vote and lose all powers etc.), War Powers, Budgeting and Agency Request.
Government corporations
a business owned and operated by the federal government
a large, complex administrative structure that handles the everyday business of an organization
Three features distinguish bureaucracies
3 features:
1. Hierarchical authority
2. Job specialization
3. Formalized rules
the chief administrator of the Federal Government.
reserved for agencies of the Cabinet rank
name given to agencies charged with the regulation of business activities/ investigative, advisory, and report bodies (FEC)
mostly used to identify a major unit headed by a single administrator of near-cabinet status (SSA, CIA, EPA)
name given to agencies that conduct business-like activities (TVA, FDIC)
Executive Office of the President (the EOP)
1500+ people that serves as the President's right arm, staffed by most of the President's closest advisers and assistants; is an umbrella agency of separate agencies
The White House Office
Nerve center of the EOP

The White House Office is comprised of the President's key personal and political staff

Staff positions in the White House Office include chief of staff, assistants to the President, press secretary, the counsel to the President, and the President's physician.

DO NOT NEED Senate Confirmation
The National Security Council
acts to advise the President on all domestic, foreign, and military matters that relate to the nation's security
Where does it belong? Office of Management and Budget?
The Cabinet
an informal advisory body brought together by the President to serve his needs; By tradition, the heads of the executive departments form the Cabinet.
How are Cabinet members selected?
The President appoints the head of each of the executive departments; then subject to Senate approval.
What do Cabinet members do?
serve as both head of their respective departments and as advisers to the President.
Name for head of executive department?
Secretary; except for Attorney General
How many executive departments are there?
Newest executive department?
Homeland Security
What is it? CIA
Independent executive agency
What is it? NASA
Independent executive agency
What is it? AMTRAK
Government Corporation
What is it? FDIC
Government Corporation
What is it? U.S. Postal Service
Government Corporation
What is it? Tennessee Valley Authority
Government Corporation
What is it? Environmental Protection Agency
Independent Regulatory Commission
What is it? FEC (Federal Election Commission)
Independent Regulatory Commission
What event led to the passage of the Pendleton Act of 1883?
the assassination of President Garfield
In 1883, Congress passed the Pendleton Act creating the present civil service system. The Pendleton Act: What did it do?
created the civil service system that hires, employs, and promotes workers based on open, competitive exams and merit
made it illegal to fire or demote employees covered by the law for political reasons
forbade covered employees from giving political service or contributions
created the Civil Service Commission to administer exams and supervise the operation of the new civil service system
whistle blower
report wrongdoing of executive branch
burdensome regulations and requirements
Criticism of big federal bureaucracy
costly, unsustainable, and beyond its proper role
Why is the federal bureaucracy so BIG?
Population Growth, Industrial & Tech advances,
Growth of global economy, Economic Crisis, & Threats to National Security