Unit 4a: chapter 15 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 4a: chapter 15 Deck (24):

civil service

a system of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle and the desire to create a nonpartisan government service.


office of personnel management (opm)

the office in charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government, using elaborate rules in the process.


senior executive service (ses)

an elite cadre of about 9,000 federal government managers, established by the civil reform act of 1978, who are mostly career officials but include some political appointees who do not require senate confirmation.


party realignment

the displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election period.


fiscal federalism

the pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is the cornerstone of the national government's relations with state and local governments.



according to max weber, a hierarchical authority structure that uses task specialization, operates on the merit principle, and behaves with impersonality. bureaucracies govern modern states.


pendleton civil service act

passed in 1883, an act that created a federal civil service so that hiring and promotion would be based on merit rather than patronage.



one of the key inducements used by political machines. a patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.


merit principle

the idea that hiring should be based on entrance exams and promotion ratings to produce administration by people with talent and skill.


government corporations

a government organization that, like business corporations, provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically charges for its services. the US postal service is an example.


policy implementation

the stage of policymaking between the establishment of a policy and the consequences of the policy for the people whom it affects. implementation involves translating the goals and objectives of a policy into an operating, ongoing program.


administrative discretion

the authority of administrative actors to select among various responses to a given problem. discretion is greatest when routines, or standard operating procedures, do not fit a case.



the use of governmental authority to control or change some practice in the private sector. regulations pervade the daily lived of people and institutions.



the lifting of restrictions on business, industry, and professional activities for which government rules had been established and that bureaucracies had been created to administer.


iron triangles

entities composed of bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees, which have dominated some areas of domestic policymaking. iron triangles are characterized by mutual dependency, in which each element provides key services, information, or policy for the others.


gs (general schedule) rating

a schedule for federal employees, ranging from gs1 to gs18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience.


standard operating procedure

better known as SOPs, these procedures are used by bureaucrats to bring uniformity to complex organizations. uniformity improves fairness and makes personnel interchangeable.


command-and-control policy

according to charles shultze, the existing system of regulation whereby government tells businesses how to reach certain goals, checks that these commands are followed, and punishes offenders.


street-level bureaucrats

a phrase coined by michael lipsky, referring to those bureaucrats eho are in constant contact with the public and have considerable administrative discretion.


incentive system

according to charles shultze, a more effective and efficient policy than command-and-control; in the incentive system, market-like strategies are used to manage public policy.


executive orders

regulations originating from the executive branch. executive orders are one method presidents can use to control the bureaucracy; more often, though, presidents pass along their wishes through their aides.


independent executive agency

the government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules supposedly to protect the public interest. it also judges disputes over these rules.


hatch act

a federal law prohibiting government employees from active participation in partisan politics.


independent regulatory commission

a government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules supposedly to protect the public interest. it also judges disputes over these rules.