What is bureaucracy? According to Rad in bureaucracy is an organization made up of appointed individuals. There are many forms of bureaucracy such as large corporations and government agencies. Bureaucratic government has become a modern feature of all modern societies, those that are democratic and those that are not democratic. But, in American bureaucracy there are four characteristics that operate as aspects under the constitution. One of those characteristics is political authority. Unfortunately, the political authority in a bureaucratic government is shared.
So, that means that no one individual has absolute power over the other. Secondly, along with shared authority federal agency share functions with those governments at the state and local levels. But only those agencies that do not deal with the people share their functions, such as education and employment agencies. Thirdly, since the late 1950 s there has been an expansion for personal rights. Finally, the range of the American bureaucratic government differs from that of other countries. For instance the American bureaucratic government regulates the private owned enterprise.
In countries such as Europe the bureaucratic government operates and owns the economy. Since the first congress in 1789, bureaucracy has grown. In 1789 there was a vote on what is now bureaucracy, but none of the four fathers but forth a distinct statement on whom would control the bureaucracy. But as we the American people know it bureaucracy is a product of the 1930 s depression and WWII. Since, then many agencies have been added but the main functions of bureaucracy had been set forth. After those events the government was to play an active role in social events and the economy.
WWII was the first case when the government played an active role in using the federal income taxes as a source to finance war activities. In return the war created a financial boom in the economy and government that caused expansion of programs and a large number of administrators. With that created support of administrators came a sense of mission. That sense of mission is whether or not an organization has a clear understanding of what the purposes and methods are and shared by members. Of course with or without that sense there were also constraints that were imposed on the bureaucrats by the government s rules and laws. Such constraints would be laws that allow equal treatment for minorities and women when hiring.
Another of those constraints was the Administrative Procedure Act. But, the most important constraint on bureaucratic power is that federal agencies are complex organizations. Meaning that each department must consult with the other department before taking any action. This particular process is called concurrence.
These constraints on bureaucracy does not mean that bureaucracy is ineffective. But, what is does mean is that it is easier to block an action than to implement one. These constraints on bureaucratic power are not apparent to the American people, but they are apparent to those that enter government fervent to take over. Bureaucrats appear in a spectrum of political forces in and outside the government. But there are many outside political forces that bureaucrats must cope with. Most government bureaucrats have a need for independence.
They basically wish to do their work as they please and be left alone. More government agencies would like more independence, but like fads, independence fades. The Congressional supervision of bureaucracy has shaped into many forms. One those forms is that no agency can exist without the approval from Congress. Secondly, no many may be spent unless authorized and appropriated by Congress. Thirdly, even though monies have been authorized they can not be spent unless they have been appropriated.
Therefore, many monies are not spent because Congress only makes appropriations annually. Meaning that Congress oversees many things. Since, Congress supervises bureaucracy; they also control the President, which gives Congress power to veto. Apparently Congress uses this power as often as possible to get what they want. That power that Congress has brings about some problems and it seems to be several major problems with bureaucracies. Some of those problems is red tape which is the protocol to follow to get something done.
Critics of bureaucracy rally continuously against red tape for reasons good are bad. Other problems with bureaucracies are waste and conflict. Waste means that bureaucracies spend more than necessary to purchase a certain product or service. Conflict comes about because agencies seem to be working at alternative purposes with other agencies.
There is also duplication, which is a problem because it occurs when two agencies are doing the same thing. Finally, imperialism causes a problem for bureaucracies, because agencies develop without relation to the benefits that their programs confer or the costs that they make necessary. Mostly the problems result from the nature of government itself. For instance there is a great amount of red tape in the government as a result for the need to satisfy legal and political requirements. Imperialism results from the governments largely vague goals. Wastes is probably the largest problem because it is criticized the most.
It is easy to see why the problems with bureaucracies are hard to correct. Today the power of bureaucracies have grown greatly. Since Congress has supervision they have delegated authority to administrative agencies in three important areas and they are paying subsidies, transferring money, and devising and enforcing regulations.