Holding Government Bureaucracies Accountable

By Bernard Rosen | Go to book overview

appeal and therefore coverage is minimal unless the administrative action seriously affects the powerful or the poor, or is otherwise newsworthy.

Probably the most important continuing actions taken by the news media that enhance accountability are reports made about activities of individuals or groups who seek to influence public policy and the controversy they generate. Wide publicity about significant differences over policy, program, and performance between agency administrators and other executive agencies, legislative committees, interest groups, and courts alerts and educates the citizenry.


AN OVERALL VIEW

Individual citizens and all of the institutions discussed in this chapter have some capacity for holding public administrators accountable. At various times their actions are redundant, intimidating, harassing, costly, and ineffective. More often they are constructive and productive. Strengths and weaknesses of these accountability agents will be apparent as specific policies and processes are discussed in succeeding chapters.


NOTES
1.
James Madison, "Checks and Balances", in Hamilton, Madison, and Jay on the Constitution, ed. Ralph H. Gabriel ( New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1954), pp. 72-77.
2.
Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 ( 1926).
3.
William McNeill, The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), p. 53.
4.
U.S. Constitution, Art. 2, Sec. 2.
5.
272 U.S. 52 ( 1926).
6.
Bernard Rosen, Monograph on the Merit System in the United States Civil Service, prepared for the U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, 94th Cong., 1st sess., 1975.
7.
Report on the Presidency ( Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Public Administration, 1988), chapter 4.
8.
Washington Post, August 12, 1979, sec. 1, p. 1.
9.
Survey conducted by author in spring of 1988.
10.
"Can the Government Regulate Itself?" The Public Interest (Winter 1977), pp. 3-14.
11.
Information Security ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. General Accounting Office, GAO/AIMD-96-110, September 1996).
12.
60 Stat. 132, Sect. 136 ( 1946).
13.
421 U.S. 491 ( 1975).
14.
Watergate: Its Implications for Responsible Government (Report prepared by panel of the National Academy of Public Administration at the request of the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, 1974), pp. 71-72.

-31-

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Holding Government Bureaucracies Accountable
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Part I - The Substance of Accountability 1
  • 1 - Public Administrators: Accountable for What? 3
  • Notes 17
  • 2 - Public Administrators: Accountable to Whom? 19
  • Notes 31
  • Part II - The Processes of Accountability 33
  • 3 - Accountability Processes Within the Executive Branch 35
  • Notes 59
  • 4 - Accountability Mechanisms and Methods Used by the Legislative Branch 63
  • Notes 88
  • 5 - Citizen Participation in the Accountability Processes 91
  • Notes 115
  • 6 - Judicial Review of Administrative Actions 117
  • Notes 134
  • 7 - Other Instruments for Accountability 137
  • Notes 172
  • Part III - The Future 177
  • 8 - New Initiatives for Improving Accountability 179
  • Notes 205
  • 9 - In Retrospect 209
  • Notes 221
  • Selected Bibliography 223
  • Index 225
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