Political Science at Huntingdon College
Huntingdon College | Political Science | Courses | SPS | What's New?
PSC 306: Public Organizations

Fesler, James and Donald Kettl, Politics of the Administrative Process. 3/e, 2007

Students' Outlines

Note: the case studies are new to 3e, with revisions to the chapters.  Notes are from 3e, 2007, unless otherwise noted.
Revised 30 Apr. 2009 by Dr. Jeremy Lewis

01: Introduction | Case 1: Speed Limits
02: What Government Does | Case 2: Flu Vaccine Shortage
03: Foundations of Organization Theory | Case 3: National security coordination
04: Strategies and Tactics for Administrative Reform | Case 4: FEMA Disaster Relief
05: Executive Branch | Case 5—9/11 Commission’s call for a National Intelligence Director
06: Organization Problems | Case 6: Schwarzenegger's Performance Review
07: The Civil Service, 2e, 2005 | Case 7, Privatization of Virginia City’s trash collection
08: Managing Human Capital | Case 8: GAO, OPM and OMB's combined strategy on Human Capital
09: Decision Making | Case 9: Federal Reserve Board
10: Budgeting, 2e, 2005 | Case 10: PA's SEPTA system and politics of Budgeting NEW
11: Implementation | Case 11: Taser Gun use by FL police
12: Regulation and the Courts | Case 12, Regulation: Eliot Spitzer sues the EPA
13: Legislative Control of Administration | Case 13: Legislative Oversight & Vioxx
14: Conclusion | Case 14: Government Ethics

1: Introduction.
Notes by Charles Walters, spring ‘07

1. What is an administrative state?—A state where the government’s role has become pervasive and encompassing of policy administration and implementation in many facets of society (a multiplicity of administrative agencies, a larger number of civil servants, and higher government spending=the expansion of government).

The bottom line for government (though many claim there is not bottom line) is administrative responsibility

2. How does the US compare to other OECD countries in size of government?—24/27 where we encompass a little over 1/3 of our domestic GDP. Our government actually shrunk between 84 and 04 because of more reliance on citizens and private companies.

Bureaucracy problem?—red-tape-bound set of citizens who are viewed as inefficient, negative, impolite, and unhelpful to citizens in need of services, or, too-efficient users/abusers of power who decide matters without due process of law. Yet the Red Cross/Catholic Church are still bureaucracies.

3. How large are US bureaus compared to the private corporations in the Fortune 500?—Each of the government’s four largest departments (Health and Human Services/SS Administration/Defense/and the Treasury) spend more than the world’s biggest company—Wal-Mart (2004) of course the government has about 300 million customers.

How can we define ``public'' and ``administration''?—according to Fesler, it is nigh impossible to come up with a common definition—to have a standard definition appears to be confining. However the crucial differences in distinguishing public from private (or the mingling thereof) is: public sets out to do the public’s business—administer law; character differences—public organizations have different fundamental processes from private organizations (and work in a different environment)

5. What is the distinction between policy formation and execution?—Policy execution deals with administration translating the print of statute books (law) into changed behavior by members of society. Policy formation deals with providing lawmakers being with information about issues, and therefore aiding in formation of the policy. It also deals with administrators interpreting laws that are already on the books, and making sense of sometimes difficult wording.

6. In what sense should administration be responsible in a democracy? – the administrators serve the government and must be sensitive to the legitimate roles of other elements of government. They have a loyalty to the agencies and programs entrusted to them. They are loyal to their professions’ standards and motivated to win regard. All these build administrative responsibility.

7. How universal is public administration?—Public administration is timeless but time-bound, universal but cultural bound and varies from situation to situation, it is also complex but intelligible by a simplified model or step by step combinations of such models

Alexis de Tocqueville—amazed by Americans’ prejudices to the art of government and said that the art of administration is a science that must be studied and improved by discoveries and observations of successive generations

Woodrow Wilson: See Stillman 1

Case 1: Speed Limits  (From the Front Lines of the Administrative State)
By Charles U Walters, Spring ‘07

  •  This case explores how useful our bureaucracy is in implementation of policy.
  • In this case it is expressed how speed limits are determined less by what the posted limit is than by how police officers choose to enforce them.
  • Chapter 1 Introduction to Fesler
    Al Zachos, 2005
    Some people fear the arrival of the “administrative state.” Some fear the bureaucratization of our lives.
    Some other people argue for “businesslike” public administration and doubt that public and private administration are, or should be, different in character.
    The main issue of public administration: the administrative responsibility within the American Constitutional system.
    An “Administrative State”
    Citizen’s demand of government has increased, and that increase has led to a variety of administrative agencies, a large number of civil servants, and swelling national budgets.
    The idea of an “administrative state” describes the bigness of the governmental bureaucracy in the current era.  It also describes the huge amount of discretion held by administrators.
    The Bureaucracy Problem
    Bureaucracy comes from 14th century France., Balzac describes it as “a gigantic power manipulated by dwarfs.”
    Bureaucracy has two modern meanings, that are contradictory
    1. Bureaucracy refers to a set of civil servants that are inefficient, negative, bored, impolite, and unhelpful to citizens
    2. On the other hand it speaks of a body of all-too efficient  excercisors, arbitrarily abusing their discretion and power.
    A third definition is offered, a bit more to the favorable side, referring to the formal, rational organization of relations among persons vested with administrative authority, and the staffing of full time, qualified, civil servants
    Bureaucracy and Size
    In our era, public administration is mostly large-scale administration.  The federal government’s total outlays are a third of the total sales of the 500 largest selling companies.
    The complexity and variety of the administrative programs is another factor.  It is a possibility that a set of programs or agencies may have distinct, identical, or overlapping groups of customers, and may have contradictory objectives.
    The scale and complexity of programs is greater even than private companies.
    “Public” and “Administration”
    Must first define administration and then public.  Scholars first define administration as the cooperative human action that has a high degree of rationality.
    Also public administration is almost always developed in the executive branch of government.
    However, to truly understand, one must compare public and private organizations.
    Public versus Private Administration
    The most fundamental distinction between public and private organizations is the rule of law.  Public organizations exist to administer the law.  Private firms can generally take any action, or use any means of operation that is not specifically prohibited.
    Six main differences
    1. Time perspective- Private sector organizations tend to be led by individuals who devote their careers to organizations . . .public workers tend to be headed by amateurs whose tenure is short
    2. Measuring performance- The private sector has the market to test its performance, on the other hand, most public organizations have no direct way of evaluating their outputs.
    3. Competing Standards- Efficiency is the ultimate private standard; however, public administrators are expected to manage both efficiently and equitably.
    4. Public scrutiny- Public administrators work under public scrutiny, whereas private organizations receive very little public scrutiny.
    5. Persuasion- In the private sector, managers manage very much by authority.  In the public sector administration depends far more on persuasion.
    6. Oversight- Public administrators must also answer not only to their superiors, but to legislators and the courts.  Private organizations do not have to worry about this
    Sometimes we separate public from private activities by the profit motive.
    To sum, public organizations are public because they administer the law and because their very existence comes from the law.  Public workers operate in much a different environment from private workers.  Finally, it is the challenge of public service that distinguishes public from private administration.

    Fesler, Chap. 1 continued: Policy Execution versus Policy Formation
    By Felix Parker, PSC 306, 2005.
    Policy Execution means that lawmakers have enacted a law forbidding, directing, or permitting members of the society to behave in specific ways. The task of the public is to translate the print of statue books into changed behavior by individual members of the society, to convert words into action.
    Administration is what translates these paper declarations of intent into reality altering the behavior of citizens towards conformity with the statutory mandates and delivering promised benefits.
     Policy Formation
    (1) Before the constitutionally empowered legislature and chief executive have made their policy decisions. And many of the most important amendments come from these “agencies”. An agency in a given program field is likely to process much factual information about needs and trends in that particular field, to have an expert staff for the analysis of such data, to have discovered the defects that existed when tested by experience of trying to apply them and to have a strong devoted to the programs objective and so to the fuller realization.
    (2) A second stage of the policy formation process occurs after statues are on the books often, and particularly in important and complex fields, the statues are not clear enough for us to regard what happens afterwards as execution in the narrow sense. At times the legislative process itself is so stormy and full of crosscurrents that the statue passed incorporates a number of contradictory policy guidelines, and the agency has to use its own judgment in making sense out of the mishmash.
    In essence, then public administration includes the shaping of policy on the way up, execution of policy after it has been made, and as a necessary part of the execution –decision making about policy matters on the way down.
      The Policy/ Administration Dichotomy
    The need to identify a distinctive field of study and probably more, from the efforts to reform city governments in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, but to conceive of the permanent staff as in distinguish able from politicians in motivation and behavior is to mold two sets of people with very different roles in society.
      Administrative Responsibility
    Members of the large congressional staff closely monitor administrative actions in agencies of interest to their superiors. The office of Management and Budget acting for the president or under congressional instruction reviews proposed regulations and information gathering proposals in addition to reviewing budgetary requests and setting personal ceiling.
      The Study of Public Administration
    One way to break down the “Study” of public administration is to claim that administration and policy are separate spheres. Nicholas Henry id’s 1900 to 1926 as the period when the politics/ administration dichotomy. 1927 to 1937 when students affirmed the existence of clear principles of public administration, 1938 to 1950 marked rejection of the politics/administration dichotomy and loss of confidence in principles, along with reactions leading to the next period. 1950 to 1970 years of reorientation  to public administration as political science; and overlapping and contradicting that, a 1956 -1970 emphasis on management, often borrowing from business management, together with the post 1970 reversion to a self –aware orientation often lodged in distinct schools of public administration hospitable to management methods but also sensitive to the public  interest commitment of administrators of governmental affairs.
      Complexity and Simplicity
    It is both a top –down system of authority, conformity, and compliance. Also a down –top system for  the top of innovative ideas, proposed solutions to problems claim on resources, and reports of the trouble sign in program execution.
    It can be likened to a physical system such as a machine or it can be likened to the system of a biological organism such as an animal or a living plant.
    Finally organization theorist do not agree on a single model, on any correct study of Public Administration.

    Fesler 2: What Government Does
    By Charles Walters, spring ‘07
    1. What are the functions of government?
  • We expect the government to keep the environment clean, provide the elderly with adequate health care, research cures for diseases, ensure national defense, prevent/manage disasters. Postal service, social security, education, police/fire protection—many, many functions that vary by level.
  • 2. How are functions divided up in the US intergovernmental system? 3. What TOOLS does US government use to deliver programs?

    Case 2—Flu Vaccine Shortage
    From the Front Lines of What Government Does
    Charles U Walters Spring ‘07
  • Should government take over the vaccination program?
  • Flu Annual kills 36,000 people in the US.

  • Fesler 3: Foundations of Organizational Theory
    Amanda Spiegel, 3e, Spring 2007

    There are two general theories of public administration, consisting of structural theory and systems theory.

    I.   Structural Theory
    The structural theory focuses on the hierarchical organization of an administration illustrated through Gulick’s classical model and Weber’s bureaucratic model.

    A problem with the structuring of governmental power exists with establishing and maintaining legitimacy. Developing the structure of public administration is based on legitimate power with principals and agents, narrow defined specialization, internal specialized structure, rules of the game, staff of experts, and outside definition of roles and responsibilities.

    The classical model of organization (by Gulick) focuses on efficiency and objective principles within organization through clear jurisdiction of authority.

    The bureaucratic model of organization (by Weber) focuses on the legitimacy of the system of authority. Has the “pure” models of authority with: traditional, charismatic, and rational-legal.

    II.   Systems Theory
    The systems theory of organization generalizes about all organizations. (Public, private, large, small, etc). They are divided as closed systems or open systems. Closed systems focus on the internal workings of an organization, while open systems focus on a system and the interaction with the environment. The systems theory views an organization as receiving resources to produce outputs, utilizing the feedback loop to adjust.

    III. Challenges to Both Structural and Systems Theories
    The following challenges and approaches exist among organizational theory: humanist, pluralist, third party, and formal. The humanist view limits human creativity and states an approach that should be responsive to the individual. The pluralist view is that the models ignore the political system and its effects. The third-party view says that government agencies rely on other levels of government and other organizations to administer functions, and formal view relies on relationships among the bureaucratic model.

    These models of bureaucracy allow us to realize the functions of bureaucracy. Challenges to this, such as the increase in third party administration, the importance of societal and political environment, as well as the effectiveness when focusing on the individual allow us to view the adaptations of organizational theory.

    Case 3:  National Security Coordination
    Amanda Spiegel, Spring 2007

    Prior to 9/11, government intelligence agencies lacked coordination of intelligence information due to “bureaucratic barriers”.

    A general agreement of need of coordination would protect the United States. The conflicts among agencies were overpowering the main issue at hand--- national security.

    The 9/11 Commission said that the US couldn’t protect its citizens because of “failures of policy, management, capability, and failure of imagination.”

    The solution? Create a cabinet level director above all security agencies to improve coordination. But the problem with this is that each organization or intelligence agency has a distinctive culture. Examples include the CIA as a circular style of organization vs. the FBI as a linear organization. The different styles of each lead to different operations.

    The issue is that post 9/11 there is a need for intelligence coordination and cooperation for the sake of national security.

    Ch. 4 “Strategies and Tactics for Administrative Reform”
    Charles U Walters, Spring ‘07

    Reform in America:
     Nearly every politician has promised devotion to some reform since America’s early days
     The most innovative reform has occurred in the private sector
    Reforms tend to “bubble up” from the local and state governments into the federal government rather than from up to down.
    Confliction Theories: downsizing, reengineering, and continuous improvement

    —often contradicting universal principles of delegation by expertise and democratic accountability through hierarchical control
    Downsizing—Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), The Grace Commission (Private Sector Survey on Cost Control), Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act (Gramm-Rudman), Osborne and Gaebler’s Reinventing Government—all examples of downsizing
    Reengineering—starting from scratch considering the three C’s— customers, competition, and change —redesign processes using the latest technology searching for break through strategies, not improvement upon quality—they try to do the job not 10% better but 10 times or 100 times better. (customer service movement, performance management)
    Continuous Improvement — more gradual, continuous bottom-up movement—total quality management—workers themselves are the experts who improve the work, solve problems, serve customers.
    Assessing the Reforms: See chart page 99
     Downsizing seeks lower government expenditures (forced by citizens) driven by assumption there is abundant waste, wish to shrink government size through intervention hitting blunt targets—focuses on size
     Reengineering seeks greater organizational efficiency through radical change urging service to customers and harnessing competition—focuses on process
     Continuous improvement seeks responsiveness, and is an ongoing process to improve products where workers are the key using cooperation—focuses on interpersonal relations
    All the World is a Stage:
    Administrative reform is a fixture of governments everywhere and there is no single set of ideas driving it. Many nations rely on training and closer/better measurement
     many ideas have had contradictory ideas built into them and these plurality of ideas have been mixed and matched together with little regard for the contradictions. What is responsible for negative change and for positive change? The outputs are going to be different in every system, the models need to lose their contradictions. It is the politics of administration that matters most in administrative reform. Many reforms have created more problems (downsizing—imbalances in the workforce, etc). Therefore, public managers need to be ready to accommodate conflicting demands. Also theorists need to realize that the central ideas of public management have come from private managers. And they also face reconciling the contradictions that political realities impose upon the “neat” organizational theories.

    Case 4: FEMA Disaster Relief
    From the Front Lines of Administrative Reform
    Charles U Walters Spring ‘07
  • In 1992 FEMA failed. Emergency water and food supplies to hurricane victims in Florida were slow to arrive and emergency shelter was worse.
  • James Lee Witt came in with the Clinton administration and totally redid the agency.
  • Witt’s keystone—“customer service”—this reconstruction cut processing aid applications from $59 to $14 and cut waiting days from 30-45 to 5-10.



    Charles U Walters Spring ‘07

    Administration is about people and politics. Peoples’ personalities/qualities affect public decisions (because of the give and take world in politics). Rufus Miles Law: “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”
    Components of the Executive Branch:
    Cabinet Departments – 80% of all federal funding, they range in size from the Department of Defense to the Department of Education
    o The Inner Cabinet – State, Defense, Treasury, and Justice Department Heads.
    o The Outer Cabinet – Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, and all the others.
    Independent Agencies – includes the Social Security Administration (accounts for most of spending), FCC, Federal Reserve Board—these bodies were originally created by Congress to be insulated from presidential control—they have broad discretionary powers over sectors of our economy. Regulatory Commissions monitor features of transportation and communications, banking, etc. There are service-based independent agencies such as the Peace Corps, also some of these agencies are government corporations such as the FDIC and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the U.S. Postal Service
    • Bureaus – principal organizations of government (IRS, FHA, etc). Bureaus are needed to deal with safety, public health, and transportation.
    Field Offices – creates a functional system of field administration rather than an areal or prefectoral field administration system
    Congress creates all executive branches and most of the outside agencies. The top executive often finds management difficult due to: top elected officials rarely have a lively interest in administration, often they are ineffective due to lack of experience and short tenure, interdepartmental frictions, and top executives have time constraints and often disinterest in administrative problems. Therefore much of the work falls on aides and staff agencies. Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed with the Brownlow Committee saying that it was humanly impossible for the president to carry out all his duties. Roosevelt established the Executive Office.
    The Office of Management and Budget is the largest unit of the E.O. OMB duties include: legislative clearance, review of legislation by Congress, review of agencies proposed regulations, management review, and executive branch intelligence.
    The National Security Council: established in1947 to advise the president on integration of domestic, foreign and military policies relating to national security. Over time the NSC has become the focus of presidential foreign policy making
    Office of Policy Development: never had a strong role due to high turnover of directors. It spends much of its time meeting day-to-day requests of the president and crises
    E-government: Internet has rapidly transformed government especially in filing taxes, it allows citizens to be more in contact with government

    Case 5—9/11 Commission’s call for a National Intelligence Director
    From the Front Lines of the Executive Branch Organization
    by Charles U Walters Spring ‘07
  • Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield was giving conflicting signals to members of Congress over proposed legislation to create a national intelligence director and pull together the separate branches of the nation’s intelligence.
  • The proposal was shot down under the assumption that it was not good timing due to the war.



    Case 6—Schwarzenegger’s Performance Review
     From the Front Lines of Organizational Problems
    Charles U Walters Spring ‘07

  • Seeing eye dogs and other programs of the state were analyzed by the governor’s California Performance Review in order to cut waste and inefficiency, and hopefully in the long run save money and bring the bureaucracy to a controllable level
  • the governor has done quite a lot of restructuring on the bureaucracy, more than expected.

  • Fesler 7 “The Civil Service”
    Walker Garrett (2005)

    -System of employment values: judgment by merit, equal pay for equal work, due
    process in disciplinary actions, and nondiscrimination by sex or race.

    -Public Employment
                -82% of Public employment is within state and local government, Federal 18%
                -Over half of public employees serve education and health and hospitals
                -Over 60% of Federal Government serves national defense/international relations and the postal service.
                -Major reductions in spending correlate with eliminating or reducing government
    programs, not just cutting back on employees carrying out the programs.

    -Managing the System
                -Managers include the legislative branch, chief executive, budget agency, central
    personnel agencies
                -Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is charged with executing, administering, and
    enforcing the civil service laws, rules and regulations.
                -Merit Systems Protection Board and Federal Labor Relations Authority
                -1978 Civil Service Reform Act gave strength to federal employees and their values
    needed to improve the employment structure
                -A tension exists between OPM and Agency heads over authority delegation
                -1989, National Commission on the Public Service (Volcker Commission) issued a
    major report arguing for decentralization of federal departments and agencies
                -Response came under Clinton with OPM director James King eliminating the Federal
    Personnel Manual, dumping SF-171 Resume form, and delegating more responsibility to
    agency heads for managing the personnel system.

    -Position Classification
        -General Schedule Classification and Pay System (GSC) - White Collar, 75%+ workers
        -Federal Wage System- Blue Collar, Pentagon, 16% works
        -Postal Service

    GSC is main system, uses position description by series of evaluators in creating “class”
                -GSC quickly out of date, distorts organization by shifting personnel to positions they
    aren’t best suited for, change in composition of workforce creates weakness
                -Reforms- Decentralization or dropping from 15 GS grades to 5

                -Recruitment and Appointment- OPM, examinations, the rule of three, delegation to the
    agency, veterans’ preference, affirmative action (goal of representative bureaucracy
    corresponding to the make up of the total population, labor force, and pool of applicants
               -Federal government employs proportionately as many women and more members of
    minorities than does private industry
                -Advancement after entry seems unaffected by race, but women lag behind
                -College Education and sometimes Postgraduate school needed for advancement
                -Examinations- PACE, 1974, then eliminated 1982, led to agency appointments
                -Decentralization with central oversight has proved successful
                -The Public service attracts through pay, promotional opportunities, and conditions of
    work which are affected by the political stance towards bureaucracy
                -Administrative Careers with America (ACWA) examination- designed to achieve
    PACE’s scope with non-discriminatory way, used six OPM occupational-group exams

                -Focused on lifelong careers, morale within, ability judged on the job, rewards

                -Civil Service Reform Act- due notice, opportunity to improve or responds, evidence,
    then removal
                -Alternative: encourage transfer or new employment with good recommendations
                -Reductions in Force (RIF) - budget cut, personnel ceiling reduced, programs
    terminated or reorganized
                -Clinton tried cash incentives to get employees to leave federal employment, but it
    backfired with the fed losing some of its most qualified employees taking the offer

                -Government’s capacity to attract and keep depends on salary and fringe benefits
                -Comparability with private sector pay is overridden by president’s clause which allows
    for alternative pay-adjustment plans
                -Some say private industry will get the best, but others say the government cannot settle
    for the private sector’s leftovers with sectors such as defense, foreign affairs, and economy

                -The Volcker Commission recommended a pay system recognizing location and living
    costs, competition from the private sector, and shortages in occupations

                -Comparable Worth-Equal pays for jobs of comparable value
                -Pay within Grade- Bonus, range of increase, strong incentives to be compassionate

    -Employee Rights and Obligation
                -Open competitive examinations, merit, and comparable pay within and with private
    sector, nondiscrimination by political party, race, national origin, religion, sex, age, or physical

    -Unionization and Collective Bargaining
                -Private sector model is what is sought by unions in public sector
                -Private sector unions can bargain about pay, fringe benefits, promotion, hours of work,
    and working conditions.
                -Public Employees do strike, but the government may respond negatively, such as
    Reagan firing 11,000 air traffic controllers in 1981.

                -Congress, state legislatures, and city councils prescribe the classification, appointment,
    and salary systems; vote appropriations; and have the last word on general pay increases. They
    are the bargainers, not those in executive positions.

                -Unions possess voting strength, lobbying skill, and collective bargaining tactics which
    reinforce one another.
                -Unions work for those already in positions not those applying
                -Unions support promotion by seniority; this is opposed to minorities and women
                -Bargaining among the public sector is different from the private sector:
                -Strikes on public services, who can represent management in bargaining?, the merit
    principle, and the democracy compared to the bargaining through union management (doesn’t
    take account of all affected interests)

                -Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) - administers the bargaining system
    between unions and the government.

                -Main issues are work-week definition, temporary assignments, shift hours, work
    breaks, grievance and other procedures, safety, employee counseling, technological

    -The Right to Privacy
                -Mandatory drug testing seen as infringing on 4th Amendment rights

    -Political Activity
                -Political participation is limited because of the threat of partisan union activity, the
    public employee’s rising proportion of the electorate; unions might capitalize on public sector in
    the rewarding of friends and punishing of enemies politically.

                -The Hatch Act- 1939, Act to prevent employees of executive branch of Fed from
    taking part in political management or political campaigns

                -Hatch Act Revision- 1993, reforms passed which allow most federal employees to
    take part in political campaigns, run for office within political parties, and solicit contributions.
    There was continued prohibition on running for elective political office, or perform political acts
    on the job or even display partisanship on the job.

                -Patronage Restrictions
                            -3 court cases covering dismissals, appointments, promotions, and transfers,
    outlawing the patronage system at all levels of government with the exception of high-level
    policymaking positions: Elrod v. Burns (1976), Branti v Finkel (1980), Rutan v Republican
    Party of Illinois (1990)

     The civil service system, the collective bargaining system, and the political system come from
    different premises, embody different values, and are on a collision course with conflicts
    occurring within the different organizations of the federal government.

    Fesler Case 7, “The Privatization of a Virginia City’s trash collection service”
    By: Brady Lamborne, spring 2007

    In 1995 the city council told the public works director to get bids from private companies for collecting trash in the city’s “Western Branch” the area collected on Mondays. The public works responded with a “managed competition.”

    The city’s solid waste division found a way to change its waste collection process: instead of using two different trucks, stuffed by two different crews, to collect overflow garbage and yard waste, it could use a single truck with a single crew and with its capacity split between two loads. Had it not been for competition, officials might not have devised this plan.

    The public sector out- competed the private sector.

    Public industry can be cheaper and cost – effective than private industry and the public should be able to bid on services that the private industry bids on.

    The problem with government efficiency isn’t government itself – or the people who work for it. Rather, it is the set of restrictions that limit their flexibility and the lack of incentives to improve their productivity.

    Create a strong incentive such as the loss of jobs and city workers can produce remarkable efficiencies.

    Level the playing field, and they can even win out over the private sector and be the best way of operating a service for the public sector instead of getting somebody else to do it in the private sector.

    The bidding out of city jobs to private businesses is not always the best way to go because the public sector can be cheaper and cost effective in the jobs that are being bid on.

    Case 8: Human Capital
    Charles U Walters, Spring ‘07
  • In 2003 The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the OMB and the General Accounting Office (GAO) joined forces to advance a joint strategy for human capital through the federal government.
  • OPM wanted to pursue for it was the core of the agency’s mission,
  • OMB because it was essential to Bush’s management agenda, and
  • GAO because Comptroller David Walker felt it necessary in his strategy to improve the federal government’s performance.
  • Their official executive summary involved:
  • --Each one of these factors in the summary contains critical factors that the group believed should be met in order to obtain success. (If I listed them I would have listed the entire case study for it is short and outlined already as its own autonomous chapter)



    Case 9: Federal Reserve Board
    From the Front Lines of Decision Making
    Rachel Nixon, Spring 2007

  • Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan perhaps one of the most powerful men in the world due to the fact that he controls the numbers of one of the most powerful institutions in the world.  He received a lot of criticism that he misses the chance to steer the economy back on tract after its recession in 2001.
  • Greenspan receives his authority through his leadership of the Federal Reserve, and the Fed’s power comes from its management of the nation’s money supply and its influence over the world’s economies.  Greenspan’s decisions have a global.
  • The Fed is a highly complex organization independent of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government.  Greenspan presides over a board with seven members who work in Washington.  They have unusual political independence partly due to the fact that they do not face voters and they have the second longest terms in the federal government,14 yrs, (second to the Comptroller General at the GAO 15 yrs).  There are twelve Federal Reserve Banks around the country, out of these twelve five rotating presidents join the seven members of the board to include the Federal Open Market Committee (sets the nation’s monetary policy).  The Fed does not set the interest rates or precisely maneuver the economy, but it utilizes its power and positions the rates that banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve and its capability to mold the supply of money and credit.
  • As the federal budget has grown, the Fed has seemed to be the only organization that can steer the economy back on track.
  • Ever since the 1930’s, the Federal officials have tried to foresee the direction of the economy so that they can regulate the monetary policy.  If the economy looked as of were going to slow down the Fed would make money easy (present a larger supply of money, this in return reduced the interest rates, made it cheaper to take out loans and accelerated the economy).  If the economy appeared as if were gaining too much speed, the Fed would make money tighter (harder to access) as a way of slowing down the sudden increase before prices had a chance to increase.  Critics often reason that the Fed guesses about the economy were incorrect.  They either acted too late or overreacted, hence making things worst.
  • Under Greenspan, the Fed had difficulty manipulating the economy because of the financial markets (analyst in these markets were trying to outguess the Fed and often did).  In the early 1990’s Greenspan and his colleagues channeled their energy towards a model of “Rational Expectations”: trying to influence the economy’s behavior not only by affecting the money supply but also by aiming to shape expectations about the money supply.  They found remarkable leverage over the markets by sending subtle signals about what they were likely to do.
  • They would only signal their direction of movement and executed the plan in small steps. (2001 rate changed 11 times from 6.5 to 1.75).  These incremental moves gave the Fed three advantages: 1 it could maintain maneuvering room to adjust it policies along the way, 2 It avoided giving signals to the markets, thus giving the Fed more flexibility, and 3 It kept the markets wondering what the Fed’s next move would be.



    Fesler 10: Budgeting
    Walker Garrett (2005)

    The Basic Parts of the budgetary process: Budget making, budget appropriation, and budget execution.

    -The Budget impacts the economy, and the economy increasingly has a role in shaping the budget
        -The budget can be used to steer the economy to boost employment, cut inflation, improve the nation's balance of trade abroad, and keep the value of the dollar secure.
        -President Reagan: "supply side" economics- government could increase both its revenues and the economy's growth by cutting taxes, the lower the level of taxes, the more money companies could invest and consumers could spend.
            -The larger the deficit, the more the federal budget must pay in interest.
    -There is a correlation between economic growth and the reduction in expenditures.
        -ex. Unemployment and welfare
    -Budget making depends on economic growth estimates involving unemployment, inflation, and interest rates as major factors to consider.
    -The federal budget reveals the government's relationship with the rest of the economy and of political officials' attempts to influence economic performance.
    -Political role
        -Congress was the central force in budgeting with the power to coin money, levy taxes, and appropriate money.
        -Rise of Presidential Power came with the passage of the 1921 Budget and Accounting Act. This gave the president the authority to produce his own budget, dividing control into: budget preparation and execution in the executive branch; budget appropriation and post-audit in the legislative branch; and shared executive-legislative authority over budget control.
                -Budgeting: Top-Down- set broad targets for overall spending and revenues, create ceilings for spending.
                -Budgeting: Bottom-Up- Incrementalism, relatively small increases over the existing base (old budget) that reflect the agency's share of changes in the budgetary pie.
                            -Negatives: No clear meaning of base, changes to budget are not always made in small increments, the real focus of budgetary politics is not changes in agencies' budgets but changes in their programs' budget.
                            -Attempts to reform Incrementalism
                                        -Nixon: "management by objectives" (MBO)
                                        -Carter: zero-base budgeting (ZZB)
                                        -Bush: "flexible freeze"
                            -"Uncontrollables"- mandatory spending, more than half the budget
    -Budget Appropriation- congress determines how revenues shall be obtained.
                -"rule of anticipated reactions"
                -"Washington monument ploy"- proposed cuts in strongly supported programs
                -Appropriations process: Authorizations and appropriations
                -Congressional Budget Act of 1974: more time to work on budget, president's "current services" budget projection.

                            -3 Part legislative process

                                        -Setting the totals: Preparation of legislative budget, (CBO) Congressional Budget Office
                                        -Authorizing programs: subject-area committees
                                        -Appropriating money: recommendation of budget authority to be enacted by Congress
                            -Shrinking Power for Authorizers and Appropriators
                                        -rise of budget committees and intractable budget deficits
                                        -Permanent appropriations
                                        -"black programs"
                                        -"continuing resolutions"
                -Gramm-Rudman-Holling and its Successors
                            -"Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985"
                                        -Enforcement provision ruled unconstitutional by Supreme Court in 1986, and then Congress revised in 1987 to extend deadlines and limit cuts.
                            -Negatives of plan, led to agencies to: spend the money faster, slow down spending, don't count spending by moving it off budget, count the same savings over and over, engage in wishful thinking.
                -1990, Budget Enforcement Act- separated mandatory from discretionary spending. Caps set for each category of discretionary spending: "pay-as-you-go rule"
    -Reforming the Budget Process
                -Create a biennial Budget
                -Create a capital Budget: the cost of programs should be paid by those who benefit from them.
                -Give the president a line item veto: assumes the deficit problem stems from congressional spending in excess of the president's requests.
                -Enact a balanced-budget constitutional amendment
    -Procedure vs. Substance: All the above proposals are procedural fixes for the budget's substantive problems.
    -Back-Door Tactics for Increasing Spending
                -Trust funds and Lending through off-budget entities
    -Budget Execution
                -Legislative Controls on Execution
                -Impoundment: 1974, Impoundment Control Act- Rescind or defer budget authority goes before Congress
    -Management Control
                -Flow of money
                            -Money trail, executive can control direction and pace of governmental activity, reporting and evaluating an agency's performance
                -Management control systems built on accounts
                -Overall trend towards performance management
                -1993, Government Performance and Results Act: decade-long management improvement effort to develop annual strategic plans, prepare annual performance plans, and report annually on actual performance

    -Budgeting is the arena that most fundamentally shapes public policy decisions because policy makers provide the resources needed to bring programs to life.

    Case: Funding PA’s SEPTA system
    By Cole Muzio, Spring 2009

    Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) motto: We’re getting there
    Motto illustrative of glaring fact: They weren’t there yet and they got a long way to go
    Overcrowded buses left commuters waiting at stops, delays on trolley, rising fares, and poor service resulted in upset patrons. Philadelphia had one of best mass transit systems, however budget problems led to increased prices and decreased services.
    In November the budget woes developed into statewide crisis as SEPTA organized riders, managers, and union members to go to Harrisburg (capital) to lobby for state aid. However, the issue of SEPTA’s budget was a recurring issue (some felt that SEPTA made this a strategy to get funding:  “SEPTA creates these budgets to create a crisis”). This time, though, PA Public Transit Association head insisted this crisis was real and effect to statewide economy would be devastating if SEPTA collapsed.
    SEPTA argues that the problem is with how they are funded and that they need a predictable flow of revenue from a dedicated funding stream (a revenue source from which proceeds would flow automatically to SEPTA). They suggested higher gas tax. Suggestion unpopular with GOP controlled legislature (Philadelphia, where this aid would be going, being Democratic anyway thus not giving them electoral incentive to warrant raising taxes.

    Fesler 12: Regulation and the Courts
    Charles U Walters, Spring ‘07 (another is below)
  • How much regulation is needed, and to what extent does it prod into our private lives and our private freedoms?
  • Regulation =core of most government policy and is used to change behavior of groups and individuals mostly when the unchecked behavior could harm others. A second objective is to control how government agencies and their employees go about tasks.
  • Kinds of Regulations:
  • Partial Preemption—federal and state governments sharing implementation
  • Statutory Mandates:
  • Expertise:
  • APA- Administrative Procedure Act of 1946
  • Courts Regulate the Regulators
  • Presidential Regulation of Regulators
  • Conclusion
  • Case 12: Regulation; Eliot Spitzer and the Clean Air Act
    by Charles U Walters Spring ‘07
  • New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer planned to sue the EPA for failing to enforce the nation’s pollution laws.
  • Activists convinced Congress through encouraging Earth Day and other environmental campaigns for tougher air pollution regulations.
  • Case 12: Regulation; Eliot Spitzer and the Clean Air Act
    notes by Cole Muzio, Spring 2009
  • NY AG Eliot Spitzer plans to attack Bush administration by suing the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for failing to enforce the nation’s air pollution laws
  • Congress’ compromise: New factories and remodeled factories must have the best anti-pollution technology
  • Chapter 12: Regulation and the Courts
    Sierra R. Turner, Spring 2005

    All governments regulate the behavior of individuals and organizations. The primary objective is to change the way that private individuals and corporations behave when pursuit of their self interest is likely to harm others- consumers, competitors, suppliers, distributors, workers, and members of future generations. A secondary, but vitally important, objective is to regulate how government agencies and their employees go about their administrative tasks, particularly those that involve regulation of private behavior.

    In order to achieve these two objectives, three features are central:

      1. The source of regulatory authority, namely, legislation that vests administrative discretion in agencies and specifies the limits of such discretion and the conditions governing how it shall be exercised.
      2. The resources that Congress and the president make available to the agencies for performance of their regulatory responsibilities.

      3. (Keep in mind that these two objectives are not are often not in harmony.)
      4. The interplay between, on the other hand, responsibility for regulating private behavior and, on the other hand, the rules that Congress, the president, and the courts establish for regulating agencies’ and employees’ behavior.
    The regulation of the behavior of private individuals and corporations to protect others from harm is a central responsibility of government.

    The range of regulation of private behavior is very wide. At one extreme are speed limits and stoplights, at the other extremes, restriction of entry into a business or profession and regulation of prices and wages. Regulation is as old as wide. The Constitution in 1789 gave Congress the power "to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."

    Regulatory agencies vary in the kinds of regulation they administer. They operate under both vague and highly specific statutory mandates.

    Government regulation is conventionally defined as composed of economic regulation and social regulation.

      1. The expansion of economic regulation began in the states; in the federal government it dates from 1887 when the Interstate Commerce Commission was established to regulate the railroads.
      2. Social regulation, though appearing early in this century (as with child labor and food and drug regulation), grew enormously in the 1960s and 1970s. It focuses on the quality of life through such activities as protection of the environment, protection of workers health and safety, assurance of the safety and quality of consumer products, and prohibition of discrimination on grounds of race, color, sex, age, or disability.
    Economic regulation and social regulation are not two sides of a single coin. In the political world, at least, they are two distinct coins. Otherwise, it would be hard to explain what happened in the late 1970s and in the 1980s. Economic deregulation occurred while social regulation expanded.

    Economic regulation and social regulation sharply differ in the content of legislative mandates. At both national and state levels, the economic regulation statutes have vested broad discretion in regulatory agencies.

    Courts regulate the regulatory system in many ways. Often this occurs through appeals from agency rules and specific decisions. Sometimes it is through suits filed against agencies to require them to issue rules mandated or implied in statutes. Sometimes an agency sues a company seeking to punish noncompliance with a rule or order and to get a court order requiring compliance.

    The balance between effective and ineffective regulation shifts from time to time, largely reflecting public opinion, elections, and appointments and attitudes of administrators and judges.

    Presidents seek to control regulatory agencies, insisting that they are part of the executive branch and as such must be accountable to the president. Otherwise, goes the argument, their policymaking, via rules and regulations under broad delegations from Congress, would flout the democratic system of our government. The argument rests on three concepts: the need for coordination lest agencies contradict or duplicate one another; the need for consistency with the president’s policy agenda; and the need for the economy and efficiency, responsibilities of the president as chief administrator.

    The Review System:

    1. The Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush, and Clinton administrations all established processes for central review of agencies’ proposed significant regulations and required agencies to prepare analyses of their impact.
    2. The Reagan administration went much further. Its executive orders, effective until changed, require, first, that agencies prepare and submit to the OMB for review a cost-benefit analysis on each proposed major rule, and to the extent permitted by law, not act unless benefits exceed costs to society, net benefits are at a maximum, and among the alternative approaches the one with the least net cost to society is chosen. This system provoked much friction….

    Case 13: Legislative Oversight & Vioxx
    By Charles U. Walters, spring 2007

    Chapter 14 Conclusion
    Charles U Walters, Spring ‘07

    Bureaucratic Responsibility has two elements: Accountability and Ethical Behavior

    Bureaucratic Accountability is expected to follow the law and the constitution and be subordinate to sources of political legitimacy
    Theoretical Approaches:

    o 1st approach: bureaucratic authority= delegated authority
    o 2nd approach: democracy and efficiency are conflicting values (accountable officials and efficiency in administering the law seem to be incompatible)
    o 3rd approach: democracy is viewed as a process of exchange between sides/groups
    o theoretical features—representativeness of the people making up the bureaucracy and the fragmentation of the bureaucracy (which make it hard to threaten the democratic balance) seem to counteract the accountability problem
    Complications: multiple controllers operating simultaneous rather than a straightforward relationship between a principal and an agent.
    Accountability Systems: control of administrators can be positive or negative and the principal focus of it is to discover errors that need correction. Systems of Control have 4 elements:
    o voluntary compliance—foundation of control, people voluntarily complying with restrictions on behavior
    o standard setting—crafting of rules to guide administrative action, what administrators are supposed and what behavior is punishable.
    o monitoring—check if standards are met, review actions completed oftentimes, should they be used to identify/prevent/ or correct all possible errors?
    o sanctions—consequences that must be imposed if an overseer finds problems or else where is credibility? Mission cannot be disrupted but it must be taken serious.
    An Agency needs good internal and external controls, if internal are weak then an external crackdown often occurs.

    Who is going to watch the watchers? Who will keep the balance of external and internal controls right?—independence and redundancy seem to be the answers in America. Redundancy is the multiplying of control agencies and overlapping their functions—where one agency is most likely to see a problem if one arises.

    What should we seek to control?
     Fiscal Accountability—money going to only the programs it is supposed to
     Process Accountability—how agencies perform their tasks
     Program Accountability—is a public program achieving its purpose as defined in law?
    Who controls whom?—people ultimately in control, whistleblowers (may be a motivation to expose wrong or a malicious attempt against someone)

    Solutions—when hierarchy system becomes weak, administrators can: use best judgment to discover intent of policy, rely on their professional judgment, and consult with controllers

     Calvin Mackenzie wrote how the public sector requires much higher ethical standards than the private sector
     1989 Ethics Reform Act (requirements of presidential appointees) requires that each person submit income from preceding calendar year, very detailed description of almost all fiscal and property activity must be submitted with public and news media having access
     Overall public officials are scrutinized very carefully and criticized regularly. So many restrictions on candidates seem to paint a negative picture on human nature. Precautions are very detailed and burdensome.
     Public Service is determined by the individuals recruited and retained in the public service. Public service is one of the most important societal jobs and incentive is needed to allow ablest citizens to join in and to delight in public service.

    Kettl and Fesler, 3/e, Case 14, Problems with Contracting at the Pentagon
    By D. Coleman Muzio, spring 2009  (others below)

    Pentagon “rooting” for Boeing in its competition against European Airbus which was racing to capture the dominant share of the world aircraft market

    2003 Airbus delivers more planes than Boeing for first time (four years earlier Boeing had 67% of the market)

    Boeing complains of unfair competition as Airbus receiving aid from European governments. Boeing finds ally in Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) (eager to protect the jobs of Boeing workers in his home state and promising for congressional help in leveling the playing field).

    Boeing gets deal with Air Force (which will lease 100 of model 767 jetliners to be fitted for use as tankers for aerial refueling on long distance missions) that helps prop its sagging sales. While this solution was beneficial to Boeing, some were suspicious of the deal.

    Senator John McCain led the fight to discover whether undue political pressure had led the Air Force to buy something it didn’t need, at great expense, that was possibly not on par with the competition. McCain discovered embarrassing emails and concluded that the Air Force had NOT been impartial in its contract and put all of it into the Congressional record.

    McCain charges that the deal was a waste of taxpayer dollars. Darleen Druyan who had already violated ethics parlayed the deal into a job at Boeing and also had given major deals and insider information to the company.

    Secretary James G. Roche resigns due to political pressure (as does assistant Marvin Sambur). A few days later deputy secretary of defense Paul D. Wolfowitz announced there would be a full competition for the contract and the lease with Boeing would not be an option.

    Case 14: From the Front Lines of Government Ethics
    Charles U Walters Spring ‘07

    Fesler Case 14:  Unethical Contracting at Pentagon
    by Brandon Shrout, Spring 2007