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PSC 207Public Administration

Miller & Walling, Taking Sides: 2013, 1st. Edition

Students' Notes

Revised 3 Dec. 2017, by Dr. Jeremy Lewis
Contents
1. Contemporary public administration theory | Herbert Kaufman says NO
2. International Scope | B. Guy Peters says NO
3. Bureaucracy best option |
4. Efficiency and equity | NO: Julian Le Grand
5. Influence on policy | No, stereotypical bureaucracy
6. Coordinate federal, state and local |
7. Politically neutral |
8. Run like a business |
9. Privatization
10. Performance Management |
11. Employment equity |
12. Employee motivation |
13. Incremental budgeting |
14. Budget flexibility |
15. Collective bargaining |
16. External controls |
17. Collective bargaining rights |
18. e-Governance |
19. Social Media g2c |



Issue 1. Is contemporary public administration theory more influential than its classical counterpart?

Herbert Kaufman says NO.
By Blair Casebere, 2015

 
A.) 3 Core Values
A1.) Here designated representativeness,
A2.) Neutral competence,
A3.) Executive leadership.
Commitments to values that have become incompatible can produce…gulfs in the realm of ideas and confusion in proposals for governmental reform.
B.) The Quest for Representativeness
The quest for representativeness in government goes back to colonial times with the phrase “no taxation without representation.”

It was through the legislatures that governmental policy was formulated and legitimated.

The legislatures ruled virtually unchallenged.

On the local level of govn’t, collegiate bodies were in charge.

Local executives labored under the same or perhaps greater handicaps than their state counterparts and therefore were no more a challenging force to the local institutions corresponding to legislatures than did the governors to the state bodies.

The constitutional specifications for the Presidency constituted a counter-trend to the apparent value system of governmental designers in the early America.

However, there were still widespread expectations that the Congress would be the prime mover for the government, as held in the “Whig conception,” which views that the presidency would be subservient to the legislature.
Contrast: “Stewardship theory.” Presidential authority is independent.
The Stewardship theory would be enunciated much later in history.

The enthronement of the legislature and the uncritical faith in the electoral principle.

By the time of the Civil War, voters found themselves confronted by many names on their ballots, and each change of party brought with it a change in virtually all govn’t employees.

C.) The Quest for Neutral Competence
As early as the mid-19th Century, it had become clear to some people that legislative supremacy, the long ballot, and the spoils system did not in fact increase representativeness; instead they seemed to have the opposite effect.

Disillusionment with existing government machinery was a result.

Reforms began to cast around for new governmental machinery that would provide a high level of responsible gov’t service while avoiding the highest cost of unalloyed representative mechanisms. This began the quest for neutral competence in government officials.

The value of this search was ability to do the work of gov’t expertly, and to do it according to explicit, objective standards rather than to personal or party or other obligations and loyalties.

That school of thought became, “Take administration out of politics.

This school of thought produced its own rational and mechanisms.
Rational: the now-familiar politics-administration dichotomy, according to which politics and administration are distinct and separable processes that should therefore be assigned to separate and distinct organs.
Mechanisms: Independent boards and commissions and the merit system.

The movement gathered momentum after the Civil War.

The exigencies of the times made it necessary for legislatures to delegate power administrative agencies;
The advocates of the neutral competence deflected delegation from the chief executives and the departments under their control to what was later to be branded “the headless fourth branch of government.”

The merit system made its greatest advances in the federal government. It’s first fruit was the federal Civil Service Act of 1883.

The Civil Service Commission built a wall between politicians and gov’t bureaucracy and, with the aid of new legislation, reduced civil servants political activities to little more than voting.

The training of civil servants became more formal and systematic as time passed.
Neutral competence is still a living value among students of gov’t, career civil servants, and the general populace.
 

D.) The Quest for Executive Leadership
The great stress on neutral competence proved to be a mixed blessing.

The weaknesses of the gov’t resulting from the work of the prior two quest gave impetus to the supporters of executive leadership.

For both earlier philosophies, and the mechanisms to which they gave rise, created a thrust toward fragmentation of government, toward the formation of highly independent islands of decision-making occupied by officials who went about their business without much reference to each other or other organs of the gov’t.

As officials and agencies became more accomplished in their respective areas of specialization, they tended to resent efforts of “laymen” or “amateurs” to intervene.

The drive towards fragmentation could not be effectively countered by legislative bodies and investigative powers.
Congress has confined itself to providing general standards guiding the exercise of administrative discretion and to occasional intervention to correct abuses or to force specific changes in policy.

Legislatures are general too fragmented and too slow to perform effectively.
Courts have not succeeded in integrating effective performance of the government either. On the contrary they have come to accept this reality.
The centrifugal drives of the representativeness and neutral competence institutions thus found no importance counter-force in the legislatures or the dispersion of governmental policy-making processes.

There were widespread criticisms of this fragmentation.

The office of the chief executives had became their hope because it furnished the only available means to achieve the end sought.

The 20th century was well on its way b4 executive leadership became a systematic quest and gathered great speed. One of the 1st signs of the new emphasis was the rapid spread of the executive budget in gov’t.

A 2nd sign was the administrative reorganization movement in 1917, which caused the reduction of a # of agencies, and they were grouped into comparatively few departments headed by officials appointed by the governor.
An administrative pyramid, with the governor standing at the apex was the commonly unreached goals.

“functional integration,” “grouping of related services,” and “need for coordination” echoded through state capitols to country court houses as chief executives became the center of governmental design.

There were occasional adjustments and readjustments in the machinery of government in the early part of the century, particularly during the emergence of WWII.

The 1st Hoover Commission was considerably less empathetic about strengthening the chief executive, the 2nd has displayed coldness to the concept.

A index of the developments in budgeting and administrative reorganization, is the increase in the size of the executive staffs.

Doctrinally, the sharp conceptual cleavage between politics and administration, which gained currency during the years when neutral competence was ascendant became an impedeiment to the justification of executive leadership.




Issue 2: Can Public Administration be International in Scope?

B. Guy Peters says NO
Notes by V. Katy Garren, Fall 2015
 
Public Admin allows us to understand the effect which cultural, structural values have on each other.
There is a malaise in the study of Public Admin
 Uniformity would be overwhelming
 No common language
 Usually a subset of Comparative Government
Major problems with Public Admin Internationally
1) Cross Nationally: using county by country might not be effective due to structural differences; e.g. extremely fragmented policy making in U.S. is not indicative of national character, but of our framework; so much conceptual thinking is based on U.S. nature

2) Low Level of Development: Comparative Admin was once a subset of Comparative Government; There was a peak in the 60’s and 70’s but has declined as the focus shifts towards the “politics” side; There are more similarities than differences in Public Admin, makes for little comparison; Bureaucratic governments are more focused on the execution of law rather than politics; problem in the dichotomy of governments

3) Policy Studies: This field overtook Public Admin because of the focus on politics rather than implementation

Major Problems in Generating Data
1) Absence of theoretical language- major focus period was during the 60’s and 70’s so the current language reflects past
2) Absences of indicators of similarities- based on structural and cultural differences
3) Subtle differences can make a huge difference- e.g. Germany vs. U.S.



Issue 3: Is bureaucracy the best option for organizing Government?

Charles T. Goodsell says it is.
By Blair Casebere, Fall 2015

Addresses that bureaucracy being the best option sounds ludicrous.
Goes through some life stories. Ex: cop car unrightfully pulling him over.
Goodsell uses these stories to say when we interact bureaucrats, their conduct often isn’t what we expect.
Although we have a negative light on incompetent and ineffective, on the whole and in comparison to most countries and even the business sector in this country, performed surprisingly well.
The media often does not mention the profession of the public administration of the call to public service and has been dramatically misleading about public employees and government agencies.
These is a wide gap between bureaucracy’s reputation and its record.
(Argument is very ethos-based without any evidence outside of personal experience.)
Big government agencies often face the same characteristics of being imperfect, very complex, usually reliable, and seem to only come to our attention only when they break down.
We tend to see the one letter that was a few days late and not the thousands that are delivered on time to shape our view of the whole.
We need to realize that our bureaucracy is FAR better than that found in many other parts of the world.
 In other countries:
The principle aim of bureaucrats is not to help the public, but to put the minimum amount of work in.
Most ppl. in the world  would be thrilled to receive their mail on time and safely.

Addresses that we should have an American standard of comparison.
US government bureaucracy measures up to US private businesses.
The mantra that business works and government fails must be reexamined.

1.) The Cigler-Neiswender study concluded that American government textbooks stress bureaucracy’s size, power, and uncontrollability.
However, we later see that huge size is not necessarily characteristic of bureaucracy—in fact, small size is more common.
2.) Bureaucracies are continuously monitored and investigated by auditors, performance evaluators, legislative committees, ect., to the point that it is disabling.
Concludes with a definition of bureaucracy: The institutions of public administration in the US; Organizations and their unit officers whose employees are paid from public funds, at all levels of gov’t in the US.
 Ex: Environmental Protection Agency,
       Department of Transportation (DOT)
       Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The vase range of organizations included cries out for thoughtful assessment of individual bureaucracies rather than a characterization by stereotype.
Max Weber regarded his model of bureaucracy as ideal: useful, for description and analysis.
Many academic theorist and researchers contend that by possessing these characteristics, an organization tends to exhibit certain patterns of behavior.
Goodsell does deny that much if not most of American public administration is made up of organizations that answer to many if not all of Weber’s basic structural characteristics.
Most administrative component of US gov’t are still essentially “bureaucracies” in the Weberian sense. However, they are not necessarily big.
Bureaucracy and its administrations make crucial contributions to society.



Issue 4. Is it possible to balance efficiency and equity in public policy?

NO: Julian Le Grand (1990)
Skye Esry, Fall 2013

Equity vs Efficiency: The Elusive Trade Off
I. Intro: There is a trade off

An increase in social welfare may lead to a decrease in desire to work which creates inefficiency
Does the notion of this trade off actually make sense?
II. Two Types of Trade Offs
A. Values
i. not necessarily looking to achieve one certain goal. Rather look at the extent to which one goal was attained as to another
ii. the values must be substitutable for one another
B. Production
i. is it possible to allocate resources within the economy that are fully equitable and efficient?
ii. an allocation of resources is efficient if it is impossible to move toward the attainment of one social objective without moving away from another
iii. Productive capacities--how much of one value must be sacrificed to achieve the other
III. Efficiency as Economic Growth
A. efficiency is incompatible with equity in economic growth (as a trade off)
B. Increasing economic production is not a sensible objective on its own--only if it generates utility in some way (usefulness)
i. Objective then becomes generating utility
C. Is there a trade off?
i. difficult to measure
ii. very complex and multi-layered
IV. Efficiency as Pareto-Optimality
A. an allocation of resources is efficient if it is impossible to make one individual better off without making another worse
i. equity/efficiency trade off will exist if there is no feasible allocation that is simultaneously equitable and efficient
V. Equity
A. allocation of resources is equitable if no individual envies any other's position
i. "I cut; you choose"
ii. ie - fairness
VI. Conclusion
A. value vs production trade off
B. efficiency vs equity trade off does not make sense
i. by making one the objective, you are devaluing the other
ii. objectives must be equal to measure a trade off


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Issue 5: Do bureaucrats have more influence on public policy than other branches of government do?
Notes by Jonashua Montgomery, Fall 2017


No Douglas J. Amy, "Stereotypical Bureaucracy"
notes by Nick Howell, Fall 2013

Provokes images of inefficiency, Massive waste, poor service, mindless drones etc.

Charlton Heston said
“Of course, government is the problem. The armies of bureaucrats proliferating like gerbils, scurrying like lemmings in pursuit of the ever-expanding federal agenda testify to that amply.”
Actual bureaucracy play many valuable and indispensable roles in society
Myth #1 bureaucracies are immensely wasteful
70% of Americans agree that when something is run by the government, it is usually wasteful and inefficient
waste actually only constitutes for 2 cents of every tax dollar
Myth #2 business is always better than bureaucracy
Findings about Gov vs businesses
mixed results
Charles Goodsell “in short, there is much evidence that is ambivalent. The assumption that business always does better than government is not upheld...when you add up all these study results the basis for the mantra that business is always better evaporates
Government funded universal health care plans provide better care to more people at lower cost.
Myth #3 we want gov to act like a business
we don’t want the cheapest system for dispensing justice in our society
unlike business, public agencies are not just concerned with the bottom line.
Myth #4 Bureaucracy is a major cause of government growth
when a program is out dated it is terminated not kept around for no reason
Myth #5 Bureaucracies usually provide poor service
majority of government service is good. There will always be bad service but you get that in the private sector as well.
We must look past the government bureaucratic stereotypes

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Issue 6: Is it possible to coordinate federal, state and local governments in a way that allows policy making to be more efficient?
Jenna Bednar says yes
Notes By Blair Casebere, 2015
Many goals are competing, so that sometimes we need to have tradeoffs.
Many of the economic and political claims about federalism rely on 2 principles:
 The Tiebout Hypothesis of citizen mobility and Oates’ Decentralization Theorem.
The Tiebout Hypothesis of beneficial intergovernmental competition leads to a principle for assignment of authority between national and subnational governments: subsidiarity.
While most justifications for subsidiarity are normative, in order for the Tiebout forces to work, policy must be decentralized, factors must be mobile, and externalities must not be problematic.
Scholars claim that decentralized policy provision enhances governmental honesty, efficiency, and gives governments the chance to innovate policy.
Arguments made by Madison in Federalist 10: as politicians seek higher office they will be put in competition with one another to see who can build a reputation of honesty. Unitary gov’ts lack this advantage, as any leader elected has every incentive to be corrupt.
As citizens settle into communities that match their own preferences, at the local level the sorting produces homogeneity, while at the regional level, communities will be heterogeneous.
With sufficient learning, aggregate national welfare is improved, when compared to a centralized solution.
Local gov’ts are not more efficient. Elected politicians are eager to please their constituents by providing services, and will spend the money to boost their electoral success.
Some scholars suggest that federalism promotes economic growth.
When there is interstate competition, with high mobility, and centralized control over monetary policy, there comes to be a hard budget constraint and encouraging the states to practice prudent fiscal policy.
The lack of corruption and pro-growth institutions that occur when this method is applied has been seen in China, India, Russia, the EU and the US.
Federalism is often claimed to improve political out-comes, such as respect for individual rights, group autonomy and preservation, and improved representation.
Just as with economic claims based on Tiebout forces, the theory of right-preserving federalism is limited by the extent on which voters are mobile.
The potential for states to discriminate against some citizens prompts some to suggest that rights should be provided at the national level, and such may be needed for the creation of new rights, such as recognition of same-sex marriages, if not state experimentation first.
Democratic outcomes only improve when ppl feel that their vote will make a difference, making them more likely to show up to smaller scale elections. Thus, the more authority local gov’t has, the more voters will sense it important enough to participate.
Federalism may improve electoral accountability if voters are more likely to get accurate information about their local politicians, but other institutional factors such as electoral rules muddle the improvement.
The principles of Tiebout sorting and subsidiary from Oats suggest that federalism would be a fine resolution to ethnic tension.
To defend the boundaries of federalism, research on safeguards will continue, but increasingly it will recognize a broad array of safeguards, and consider how those safeguards complement one another to defend the boundaries.
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Issue 7: Do bureaucrats need to be politically neutral to be effective?

YES. David Lewis, "Testing Pendleton’s Premise: Do Political Appointees Make Worse Bureaucrats?"
Notes by Sydney Baumgartner, Fall 2017
    "Intro: Begins with a debate if appointees are better at government jobs instead of careerists (bureaucrats).
    There have been multiple studies with appointees and how efficient they are at the job, and there are multiple reasons why this has become a public question:
      An increase of political appointees in not just the US but foreign countries
      Different strategies for political control hurt agency performance
      When preferences between agencies/legislature diverges, legislatures reduce agency discretion by writing more specific statues, strengthen administrative procedures and monitoring it more carefully
      Efforts to restrict discretion can reduce incentives for bureaucrats to develop and use expertise Studying the relationship between appointees and performance can test whether another means of securing responsiveness also diminishes performance.
    There is no consensus about whether appointees or careerists are best for federal management "
    "Competing Views About Appointees and Management Performance
    Two waves of thought:
      A long tradition argues that political appointees drawn from outside the civil service bring needed energy and responsiveness to federal management
      Low wages and lack of pay for performance salary in the public sector pushes the best workers into the private sector
      Appointees drawn from the private sector have higher levels of human capital than their careerist counterparts
    Difference in perspective in the policy world → generalist v. specialist
    (A - C) Difference in political stakeholders → superior v. inferior
    Appointees are less likely to be specialist and be more likely to lean towards to preference of elected stakeholders and better able to do the work needed for proper program implementation.
    A position of praise for the management advantages of career politicians
    Career execs have subject area expertise, public management skills and longer tenure, which all improve management
    Reduces info asymmetries between the manager and staff
    Careerists more likely to have public management expertise
    " "Testing Competing Views
    Difficult to test these different views:
      Hard to define good performance objectively and in a manner acceptable to different stakeholders
      Hard to compare executives and agencies since agencies have different mandates, operating environments and constraints
    "Using the PART for Evaluating Management Performance
      The Bush Administration established the PART system to provide a way to overcome substantial difficulties with measuring performance
      It’s a grading scheme used by the Office of Management and Budget to evaluate the performance of federal programs numerically.
      Developed through the Federal Advisory Commission Act and the President’s Management Council, the National Academy of Public Administration and other parties from Congress
      Description:
      4 categories of performance get “grades” from 0-100 based on a series of 25-30 Y/N Questions filled out jointly by agencies and OMB examiners
      Categories
      Program Purpose and Design (20%)- to assess whether the program design and purpose are clear and defensible
      Strategic Planning (10%)- to assess whether to agency sets valid annual and long term goals for the program
      Program Management (20%)- to rate agency management of the program (financial oversight and program improvement efforts)
      Program Results (50%)- to rate program performance on goals reviewed in the strategic planning section and through other evaluations
      Useful because it shows the presence/absence of good management practices and it shows that the program is a product of management performance."
    "Problems with PART Scores
      Difference definitions of good management make it to where PART doesn’t measure all aspects of them
      Irregularities in the way PART is applied across programs due to differences in legal, budgetary and resource constraints
      Biased grades"




Issue 8: Should the Government be run like a Business Mantra?
Yes: Julia Beckett, The "Government Should be Run Like a Business" Mantra
Notes by Jada Howard, Fall 2017
    " When discussing government being run like a business, Julia Beckett focuses on three forms of business
      - the soul proprietor
      - the partnership
      - the corporation
    Beckett feels as though the government should be ran like a business mythology.
    Concepts are substituted; for example I want to replace a citizen and customer replace his client
    And governments are urged to be entrepreneurial and engage in partnerships.
    Some associate this with the widespread enduring new public management political reforms.
    "The mantra or phrase ""Government should run like business"" has entered the study of public administration theory and practice
    this academic movement is a broader approach to government based in part on a rejection of public administration and beer Cressy and in part of finding better methods to manage practical problems of government.
    The public management movement aspires to making a difference in public affairs.countries have instituted new public management reforms and techniques as a global revolution in public management.
    The purpose of the mantra in the progressive era was to increase community political action by encouraging citizens to consider themselves active owners of the municipal corporation.
    It has been stated that government should be run like a business it is just a metaphor but Beckett feels as though metaphors are a sensual to understanding but also can lead to misunderstandings."
    "The approach of administration as the business of government deals More with business being an activity of organizing resources in order to produce and distribute goods and services of society the operational commonality between government and business is a foundation of organization theory government is different from business because it is the public's business.
    Therefore making business and government on comparable in a way. But this does not mean the government can't take certain characteristics used in business and implement them as a beneficiary to help the government succeed in a more organized fashion. "
    "Since the government is the public's business this implements public choice.
    Public choice applies business ideas of exchange and self interest to the government.
    Business say since the government is the public's business this implements public choice.
    Public choice applies business ideas of exchange and self interest to the government.
    Businesses raise capital as investments with expected profitable returns and government raise revenues through taxing powers to pursue activities for the public good.
    These revenue categories of business exchange and sales are equated with government revenue from fees for services.
    Efficiency in business is focused on maximizing profits or the bottom line and efficiency in government has focused on minimizing cost.
    But like maybe habits the government adopted the viewpoint that business competition in the market is the basis of comparison between government and business.
    Competition is viewed as a catalyst for business. Customers are better served by competition. Innovations and improvements and services techniques and products come from competition.
    In this viewpoint competition is a casual agent for progress government should compete like successful businesses and reap similar rewards.
    The need to change and improve government performance and results have been considered essential.
    To achieve the change in performance and results the comparison again is government and business.
    Models and ideas for the new public management have come from Business and business literature. Government uses business practices and techniques to improve their service to the public.
    The new public management on enterprise economics which considers commercialism competition and risk-taking as beneficial.
    This viewpoint reflects the idea that the government should compete or get out-of-the-way. "
    One writer suggest that government administrators should just ignore the rules and laws that constrain them.
    The new public management literature has gathered serious attention important criticism.
    The nations federal state and local public service is in deep trouble.
    Many government agencies cannot attract and retain first right executive managers and line staff.
    Most do not operate in a way that inspires public confidence.
    The new public management brings in different business ideas and practices then the classic comparisons in addition to suggesting management techniques additional business forms entrepreneurs and partners are a part of the discussion.
    The public management literature also rises tensions about business.
    Beckett feels as though meaning of the government and business comparisons are lacking consideration of either whst business is and in differentiating forms of business entities.
    Business is expected to be so interested and self-supporting.
    Business is expected to take chances and bear the risk and rewards. business is expected to keep secrets all of which the government cannot do.
    Discussions of government may address the responsibilities of the executive and the management but these positions go beyond the point of considering the public.
    In the end back it feels as though business is an allegory. It is not real and it does not have to be Real.
    When government is compared to mythic business it pales or becomes vague.
    Although we have our myths, Beckett feels as though we need them to separate the ideal from the real.
    Beckett lastly states government can certainly learn from some business practices and procedures but caution and care are essential in comparing business and government we should be selective in our choices and clear on our concepts.



Issue 8: Privatization
NO: Paul Verkuil, "Why privatization of government functions threatens democracy and what we can do about it"
Notes by Quintez Pearson, Fall 2017