Tx Govt Ch 10 Vocab

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1

Bureaucracy

The system of officials and their employees administering or managing government policies and programs.

2

Attorney general’s opinion

Interpretation of the constitution, statutory laws, or administrative laws by Texas’s attorney general. Government officials may request opinions, and although they are not legally binding, government officials usually follow them.

3

Privatization

The hiring of private contractors to perform government services and functions

4

Spoils system

A system that gives elected officials considerable discretion in employment and promotion decisions.

5

Contract spoils

The practice by which public officials award government contracts to benefit their campaign contributors, supporters, and allies. Also referred to as contract patronage.

6

Hierarchy

A pyramid shaped administrative organization in which several employees report to a single higher administrator until only one person with ultimate authority remains at the top

7

Civil service

(merit) system An employment system used by governments that takes merit into account in hiring and promotions.

8

Clientele interest groups

The groups most concerned with the laws and policies being administered by a government agency.

9

Iron Texas Star

A model depicting policy making in Texas by a coalition of interests that includes interest groups, the lieutenant governor, the speaker, standing committees, the governor, administrators, and boards and commissions.

10

Administrative law

The rules and regulations written by administrators to administer a law. The effectiveness of a law is often determined by how administrative law is written.

11

Administrative review

Administrators’ study and interpretation of a law and writing the rules and regulations to implement the law’s enforcement. All laws undergo administrative review, whereas relatively few undergo judicial review, which is the courts’ interpretation of the law.

12

Elective accountability

The obligation of officials to be directly answerable to the voters for their actions. This allows elected administrators to ignore the wishes of the chief executive.

13

Cabinet system

A system that allows the chief executive to appoint and remove top level administrators, thereby giving the chief executive more control over the administration.

14

Open meetings laws

With some exceptions, laws that require meetings of government bodies that make decisions concerning the public interest to be open to public scrutiny.

15

Open records laws

Laws that require most records kept by government to be open for the examination of the parties involved.

16

Whistle blowers

Government employees who expose corruption, incompetence, and criminal acts by other government employees.

17

Ombudsman

An official who hears complaints of employees and citizens concerning government administrators or policy administration. Ombudsmen usually lack authority to force administrative compliance, but they can bring the complaints to the proper authorities and represent the interests of the complaining individual within the administration.