Describe various Administrative Relationships.
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POST # 1 Administrative Relationships The elected decision-makers, including the county supervisors and the council members, are the citizens, and the civil-service employees such as engineers, IT professionals, and management specialists representing the experts who enable the government to run its activities successfully. The role of the appointed decision-makers is to set the priorities for the district, and the civil service employees know how they can turn the set priorities into realities. These experts also have an institutional history that helps in the creation of a solid plan that is implemented to enable the decision-makers to put the decision into practice when devising solutions to local and county issues (Hanawalt, 2017). Additionally, districts elect the decision-makers in municipalities to help serve the city. On the contrary, civil-service employees ensure that they fulfill all the needs of the entire town or city. Therefore, the relationship between the appointed decision-makers and the staff members play a significant role in the creation of rules and regulations. Hanawalt (2017) suggests that when the council in a secure mayor system or a council-manager form of government makes policy decisions, the mayor ensures that the choices are carried out by the civil-service workers. In contrast, the elected decision-makers are responsible for hiring and firing the city manager, as well as the city attorney, but they are not involved in the personal problems of the civil-service employees. These relationships are also seen through the lens of the virtue of respect. For instance, the civil-service workers should show respect to all the council decisions and the elected decision-makers should respect the employees and consider the solutions that they propose during the decision-making process (Hanawalt, 2017). However, tension might arise from these relationships such as the misunderstanding in the division of labor. References Hanawalt, B. A. (2017). Civic rituals and elected officials. Oxford scholarship online. DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190490393.003.0004 POST # 2 The federal bureaucracy is composed of people who have chosen to pursue a career in government, as well as political appointees who enter government to serve a presidential administration. Civil servants enter government through competitive means (such as via exams and through open competition for vacancies), while political appointees are selected by the incumbent administration. Most federal officials do their jobs because they want to make government, and thus our country, work better. But to some extent, how they do their jobs depends on their status as career or appointed officials. If you work with both career officials and political appointees, here are some differences you may notice: • Political appointees are more likely to rely on other political appointees when seeking advice or action; Civil Servants are more likely to trust and take advantage of existing bureaucratic structures (Thompson 2006). • Civil servants are generally more tolerant of longer time horizons for results; political appointees are very conscious of their limited opportunity to influence events. Not only is there a distinct contrast between the two bureaucrats, but their relationship impacts the creation and implementation of rules and regulations. Researchers argues that career bureaucrats are resistant to change and are so invested in the programs and policies they administer that political appointees must be superimposed on them to enforce responsiveness to the Administration, the Congress, and the public (Thompson 2006). Most civil servants are committed, and care deeply about what they are doing. But it is often forgotten that they do not create the laws and programs they administer. As a result, blaming the career civil servant is a classic case of shooting the messenger (Garrett et. al. 2006). Political appointees have little incentive to mend their managerial ways. They are not answerable for their performance, or nonperformance. No one holds them accountable. Here the issue is not political accountability, being held responsible for supporting the Administration’s political philosophy and priorities, but managerial accountability, being held responsible for effective administrative or operational performance (Miller 2011). Even when an appointee is held in low esteem by his or her colleagues or superiors, corrective action is seldom taken. At worst, the appointee may be isolated from the center of power, shut out of key meetings, or simply ignored. Some of his or her responsibilities may be reassigned elsewhere. Even if forceful action is unavoidable, the appointee is seldom removed, but “promoted upstairs” or shifted to a less critical job. Only in extraordinary circumstances, such as a major public political gaffe or conflict-of-interest scandal is the appointee fired or allowed to resign. References Garrett, R. S., Thurber J. A., Fritschler, A. L., & Rosenbloom, D. H. (2006). Assessing the impact of bureaucracy bashing by electoral campaigns. Public Administration Review, 66(2), 228–240. Miller, H. T. (2011). Is bureaucracy no longer the technically superior form of organization? Administrative Theory and Praxis, 33(3), 447–452. Thompson, J. R. (2006). The Federal Civil Service: The Demise of an Institution. Public Administration Review, 66(4), 496–503. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.200h The 2 posts above were based on this discussion: Discussion 1: Administrative Relationships The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are composed of the legislators (supported by legions of staff, committee assistants, and personal aides) who are charged with introducing bills in the Congress. They also vote on bills that make it through the lengthy and often tortuous committee processes. However, the public policy formation process does not end when Congress passes a bill and the president signs it. Instead, bills that become law are then delegated to the wide range of agencies, departments, and quasi-government agencies that are in charge of creating rules and regulations to promulgate the public policy. Think of it this way: When Congress and the president sign a new law, the law usually provides only the broadest contours of a given public policy; it is for civil servants and public policy professionals, who are not elected by the public, to form the rules and regulations that will execute the policy. You can examine the rulemaking process of the federal government by touring the Federal Register, linked in this week’s Learning Resources, where proposed rules can be reviewed by and commented on by the public. Congress and the president create laws, but not the intricate rules and regulations that provide substance to those laws. Federal agencies and career civil servants have enormous responsibility and power in defining and specifying the scope of new laws. In addition, the intent of Congress and the president is of paramount consideration in creating rules and regulations; civil servants need to be cognizant of the debates, hearings, and findings of Congress. Even after rules and regulations have become finalized concerning a new law, there is often conflict between the executive and civil servants concerning a law’s enforcement. There are differing interpretations of the language of regulations. In short, the passage of a law and the creation of rules and regulations do not end debate and conflict about its enforcement or its intent. As you review the Learning Resources, pay particular attention to the relationship between elected and/or appointed decision-makers and civil-servant employees within the three branches of government. For international students, reflect upon the relationships between civil servants and elected/appointed officials in your home country.

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