Tx Govt Ch 10 Summary
Public administration can b seen as a govt. activity that applies the power of govt. 2 enforce its policies. Size, hierarchy, expertise, * neutrality characterize all bureaucracies. The size of the bureaucracy has ^ dramatically n the past century as demands 4 govt. action, assistance, & regulation have ^. Govt. bureaucracies n the US r large & may seem overwhelming 2 individuals r small businesses that must deal w/ them. This leads many people 2 conclude that we live n an 'administrative state' ruled by bureaucrats who r largely independent & lack real accountability 2 any politically responsible official. Thus, big govt., which is really big bureaucracy, is ^ criticized by people on both sides of the political spectrum.
Bureaucracies r legally organized n2 hierarchies w/ centralized control & accountability at the top. The lines of authority & communication r clearly established, although n practice they may not b followed. In contrast, the most notable characteristic of the Tx administration is that no single official is responsible 4 the execution of policy. Numerous elected & appointed officials sit atop a multitude of little hierarchies & r normally accountable 2 no 1 n particular except their clientele interest groups.
Bureaucrats develop extensive specialization and experience in particular job classifications. Ideally, this results in increased job efficiency, but it is also a major source of bureaucratic power.
Although administrative neutrality is a goal long pursued by reformists, it remains a myth because politics cannot be separated from administration. All attempts to develop neutrality, such as the civil service and independent boards and commissions, have simply substituted one kind of politics for another.
Elected officials and public interest groups have devised various techniques to hold Texas administrations accountable, but real administrative accountability will ultimately rest with the agency’s clientele interest group
Tx’s bureaucracy is less controlled by its chief executive than in most states. Tx’s governor is part of a plural executive system in which more independently elected officers share executive power than is typical. Tx is among the few states that lack a cabinet system to coordinate programs, to supervise agencies, and to advise the governor. The governor’s power to appoint, remove, and direct agency heads is more limited than in most states. In no state is the chief executive’s influence over agency budgets limited by the dominant influence of the competing Legislative Budget Board.
State and local employees in Texas outnumber federal government employees by a substantial number. The largest total of Texas’s government employees by far are those of cities, counties, and special districts. Most public services are provided by state and local governments rather than by federal agencies.