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POLI 370, Week 6

by: runnergal

POLI 370, Week 6 POLI 370 001


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About this Document

These notes cover what was discussed in class during the week of 2/15/16.
Introduction to Public Administration
Dr. Xuhong Su
Class Notes
political science, Government
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by runnergal on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 370 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Dr. Xuhong Su in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Public Administration in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 02/21/16
POLI 370 – Lecture 9  Executive Schedule o The executive schedule is the highest­ranked positions that people can apply for,  including members of the president’s cabinet and other subcabinet policymakers. o US Code 5 outlines politicians’ roles in the Executive Schedule, and Congress  lists those positions and their matching levels.  Executive Level o Level 1: 21 people on this level, with 15 department secretaries and 6 independent agencies, such as the Office of Management and Budget. o Level 2: 46 people, with deputy secretaries of departments, secretaries of sub­ departments, and other independent agencies. o Level 3: 127 people, with under­secretaries of departments, assistant secretaries of departments, and heads of sub­departmental agencies. o Level 4: 346 people, with assistant secretaries of departments, general counsel,  and chief officers o Level 5: 143 people, with associate administrators, associate directors, and deputy directors. o Total of 683 people. o Top level positions require presidential nomination and senate confirmation.  Notice of confirmation is published in the Federal Register except when the  president thinks it will threaten national security. o The president can place people in 34 positions in levels 3 and 4.  Who Are Civil Service Leaders o Senior executive service (SES, instituted by the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act) o Purpose: ensure that executive management of government is receptive to needs,  policies, and goals of the nation. o 7,000 people work in the SES; they are the links between presidential appointees  and the rest of federal workforce. They are also checks on the president.  Components of the Executive Branch o Cabinet departments (15 departments)  Inner cabinet: State, Defense, Treasury, and Justice.  Outer cabinet: all of the other cabinets.  They perform three functions:  They signal the importance of their functions.  They recognize important constituencies, like veterans and  educators.  They undergo influence tests, which reflect political and national  sentiments. These tests, therefore, are not always logical and  consistent. o Independent agencies  1/10 of federal government employees and 1/5 of government spending.  Includes agencies like Social Security, Tennessee Valley Authority, and  the federal reverse board.  Some types are:  Regulatory commissions: they monitor major features of  transportation, communication, etc.  Service­based: special historical conditions for particular missions  or services, like AMTRAK.  Government corps: engaged in lending, insurance, and other  business, like the FDIC, Freddie Mac, etc.  Some characteristics are of independent agencies:  They are bipartisan in membership.  They have overlapping terms that are longer than a presidency (so  Republican and Democratic nominations essentially cancel out in  the end).  They remove commissioners only for a good cause.  Do they have too much independence? Probably not – the Office of  Management and Budget reviews their budget proposals, the Justice  Department deals with cases, and these agencies need political support to  work with Congress. o Bureaus  They are the principal operating organizations of the government, like the  IRS, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, etc. o Field offices  Most government operations are performed in the field.  There are thousands of field offices in the states and overseas. o Executive Office and White House  Leadership of the Executive Branch o It forms budget proposals and has veto power. o The president must “faithfully execute the laws;” he does so through:  Executive orders; they help start new programs when Congress refuses to  do so.  Nominate and appoint people; the president is allowed to appoint lots of  people because of checks and balance in the other two branches of  government.  Has more power than state and local leaders.  Veto power: can overrule any bill, appropriation, or decision by Congress.  He does not have a line­item veto though, unlike most state and local  leaders.  Some legislative power: the president focuses this power on government  internal affairs, law enforcement, emergency management, etc.  Problems in Managing the Executive Branch 1. Presidents are not chosen for their administrative qualifications. 2. Presidents are dissatisfied when they rely on cabinet members to ensure  administrative effectiveness because:  Cabinet members have short tenure with an average of 2 years, since that  is when the campaign cycle begins again and a single person cannot  change an entire department in just 2 years.  They have limited power to assemble teams and reward political support  because secretaries, sub­secretaries, and deputy secretaries are all  nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate.  Bureaucratic resistance: bureaus emphasize gradualism and political  caution when dealing with new leadership, since bureaucrats have long  tenure and have lots of knowledge specific to the bureau.  Leadership is not stable or efficient; most top­down reforms are not  successful as a result.  Politicians have no organizational memory: knowing what works and  what does not work in an agency or department. POLI 370 – Lecture 10     Problems in Managing the Executive Branch Continued 3. Interdepartmental friction pints have multiplied because of an increase in cross­ cutting issues. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services and  the VA serve similar purposes but have different standards and systems.  The government is more involved in economic and social problems. For  instance, the Department of Defense wants to build pipeline abroad, but so does the Department of Energy.  Domestic and foreign problems have multiplied their interactions. For  example, one department promotes tariffs while another supports free  trade.  Interdependence of factor bearing on solutions are more recognized. Some issues must be solved by multiple departments; for instance, immigration  could fall under the Department of Health and Human Services, the  Department of Homeland Security, Medicaid, etc.  These problems result in ambiguous accountability. 4. Burden of top­level coordination falls on aides and staff agencies.  Executive Office of the President o The Executive Office has grown significantly since the 1930s. o 3 advisory agencies: the council of economic advisers, the council on  environmental quality, and the national security council. o 7 agencies in the White House  Executive Residence: keeps the president safe.  Office of Management and Budget: in charge of all of the money.  Office of Management and Administration: figures out how well the  government is working and what can be improved.  Office of National Drug Control Policy: gives money to inform and treat  people.  Office of Science and Technology: recommends which industries the U.S.  should prioritize. Departments fund research agencies to achieve their own ends.  Office of the Vice­President  Office of U.S. Trade Representatives  White House Office o The Executive Office of the President is not the same thing as the White House.  Office of Management and Budget o Its mission is to analyze proposals, make recommendations to the president, and  compile requests into a budget for Congress to review. o Roles: 1. Budget review: all departments submit budget proposals to the Office of  Management and Budget. This is the only comprehensive decision­making process in the executive branch. This is the main instrument of policy  decision. 2. Legislation and regulation (legislative clearance):  Review of regulations (rules) proposed by agencies. For example,  central clearance is when the OMB reviews agency proposals for  legislation. The OMB must approve it in order for it to arrive at  Congress and get registered on the Federal Register.  It also reviews legislation passed by Congress and recommends  whether the president should approve or veto it. 3. Management review: assures quality of agency programs, policies,  procedures, and conformity to the president’s policies. 4. Gathers intelligence about executive branch operations: it manages other  agencies’ financials, paperwork, and IT.  Office of Management and Budget Characteristics o Serve the president o Neutral competence: find the most efficient way to achieve a goal. o Mix of career bureaucrats and political appointees to promote the president’s  agenda. o Focused on budgeting and political orientation.  Organizational Values in Government o Neutral competence: creation of a highly skilled bureaucracy protected from  political interference.  Achieve this through exam­based recruitment, stable employment, routine  tasks, and regular job training.  Federal employees are more educated and have more experience than  private sector employees on average. o Executive leadership: need strong elected executives.  Get it through campaign mechanisms, appointment mechanisms, and  promotion mechanisms. o Representativeness: respond to legislators and constituents most affected by  agencies’ decisions. Representatives should think and behave like us so that they  can accurately represent us.  Should structure agencies based on clienteles, regions, etc. For example,  the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.


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