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Organization and Function of State Government. Unit 8 Seminar. What is a Bureaucracy?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Organization and Function of State GovernmentUnit 8 Seminar

  • What is a Bureaucracy?

    A bureaucracy is a large administrative structure tasked with carrying out unnecessarily complicated procedures and rules to facilitate duties of the entity. It consists of multiple bureaus, petty officers, red tape and excessive waste. Bureaucracies are most often associated with governmental bodies, particularly at state and federal levels, but any large entity, such as a corporation or school district, can be bureaucratic in nature.

  • Deadly Bureaucracy In Katrina's wake, red tape too often trumped common sense.

  • BureaucracyThere were a number of instances in which an overly inhibitive bureaucracy prevented an appropriate response to the disaster. For example, a company called the Governors office. With only three hours before rising waters would make the mission impossible, they were anxious to send a rescue helicopter for their stranded employees. They wanted to know who would give them a go-ahead.

    The Governors office could not identify the agency with authority. They heard that FEMA was in charge, that the FAA was in charge, and that the military was in charge. Governor Jindal went in person to talk with a FEMA representative and still could not get a straight answer. Finally Jindal told the company to avoid interfering with Coast Guard missions, but to proceed on its own. Sometimes, asking for forgiveness is better than asking for permission.

  • Hurricane KatrinaThis is not the only story of red tape triumphing over common sense. After so many years of drills and exercises, we were still unprepared for Hurricane Katrina.

  • Hurricane KatrinaBobby Jindals Bureaucratic problems:

    This is not the only story of red tape triumphing over common sense. After so many years of drills and exercises, we were still unprepared for Hurricane Katrina.

    A mayor in my district tried to get supplies for his constituents, who were hit directly by the hurricane. He called for help and was put on hold for 45 minutes. Eventually, a bureaucrat promised to write a memo to his supervisor. Evacuees on a boat from St. Bernard Parish could not find anyone to give them permission to dock along the Mississippi River. Security forces, they say, were prepared to turn them away at one port.

    A sheriff in my district office reported being told that he would not get the resources his office needed to do its job unless he emailed a request. The parish was flooded and without electricity!

  • Hurricane KatrinaUnbelievably, first responders were hindered by a lack of interoperable communications. Do you recall how New York police and fire departments on 9/11 could not talk with each other? Four years later, despite billions spent on homeland security, state, federal, and local officials in Louisiana had the same problem.

    My office became so frustrated with the bureaucracy that we often turned to private companies. They responded more quickly and flexibly.

    After our staff visited communities to assess local needs, Budweiser delivered truckloads of water and ice. Ford provided vehicles for search and rescue. Every company we contacted provided goods and services without compensation.

  • Newark Airport Breach: TSA Waited 80 Minutes Before Calling Police The Transportation Security Administration, a federal agency within the Department of Homeland Security, waited more than an hour before calling the Port Authority Police Department once they suspected that a man had breached security at Newark Liberty International Airport last Sunday night.

  • Newark Airport Breach The breach occurred at 5:20 p.m., but that the PAPD -- which is primarily responsible for policing the airport and its facilities, but does not conduct passenger security screening -- did not hear about the incident until 6:40 p.m.

  • Newark Airport Breach The TSA said that officials needed time to investigate and verify the traveler's claims before requesting a shutdown of the terminal. That required calls up the chain of command, and ultimately a review of the surveillance tape. Only then, 80 minutes after the possible threat, did the TSA call for help.

  • The Case FOR Bureaucracy Most criticisms of government bureaucracy are based more on myth than reality. These agencies actually play a valuable and indispensable role in making our society a better place to live.

  • The Case FOR BureaucracySeventy percent of Americans agree that when something is run by government, it is usually wasteful and inefficient.Investigations by the Government Accounting Office and various blue-ribbon commissions have found that waste amounts to only a small fraction of that figure and it was discovered that the federal bureaucracy waste consisted of less than two cents of every tax dollar.

  • The Case FOR BureaucracyThere have been many empirical studies examining the efficiency of government bureaucracies versus business in a variety of areas, including refuse collection, electrical utilities, public transportation, water supply systems, and hospital administration.

    Some studies of electric utilities have found that publicly owned ones were more efficient and charged lower prices than privately owned utilities.

    Charles Goodsell is a professor of Public Administration and Public Affairs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has spent much of his life studying bureaucracy. The assumption that business always does better than government is not upheld. When you add up all these study results, the basis for the mantra that business is always better evaporates.7

  • The Case FOR Bureaucracy Further evidence that business is not always superior to government bureaucracy can be found in the area of health care.

  • Bureaucracy and Healthcare This is a critical issue today and it is well worth examining in some detail the question of whether market-based health care is superior to government run programs.

  • Bureaucracy and Healthcare Every other developed country has some form of universal health care with a substantial amount of public funding and administration. In contrast, while the U.S. has a few programs like Medicare and Medicaid, most of our health care system is privately funded and administered.

  • Bureaucracy and Healthcare Studies have found that the U.S. health care system is by far the most expensive in the world. We spend 13.6% of our gross domestic product on health care the highest in the world.

  • Bureaucracy and Healthcare Research has shown that the U.S. ranks poorly compared to many other countries in terms of some common measures of health.

    For example, we rank 26th among industrialized countries for infant mortality rates. We also do much less well in terms of life expectancy.

    In one typical study, the World Health Organizations (WHO) looked at disability adjusted life expectancy the number of years that one can expect to lead a healthy life. The U.S. came in a disappointing 24th on this measure. As one WHO official concluded: The position of the United States is one of the major surprises of the new rating system. Basically, you die earlier and spend more time disabled if youre an American rather than a member of most other advanced countries.

  • Question Should we implement a Nationalized Health Care System?

  • Question If we do implement a Nationalized Health Care System, how do we fund it?

  • Question What other issues should Bureaucracies play a role in?

  • Questions

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