U. S. Government: Democracy In Action

Chapter 10: The Federal Bureaucracy

Chapter Overviews

American citizens deal with many of the government bureaus and agencies that make up the federal bureaucracy. Chapter 10 introduces the components of a bureaucratic organization and discusses its advantages and disadvantages.

Section 1 deals with the components of bureaucratic organization and their functions in the federal government. Hundreds of agencies make up the federal bureaucracy. They are organized as cabinet departments, independent agencies, and regulatory commissions. The majority of these departments and agencies belong to the executive branch and help to see that laws are carried out.

Section 2 introduces the civil service system and evaluates its effectiveness. The civil service system was put in place in order to correct the spoils system. Under the spoils system, presidents were able to fire government employees and hire those that shared their views. The civil service system established employment on a basis of open, competitive examinations and merit.

Section 3 discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the bureaucratic system. In recent years federal agencies have begun to take a role in making key decisions. Decisions such as safety rules and regulations that help implement and carry out laws have been introduced. One of the disadvantages to this new role involves the great deal of paperwork created in successfully completing a task.

US Government: Democracy In Action
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