Bureaucracy And The Branches Of Government

671 words - 3 pages

Often, when the discussion of American bureaucracy is broached in conversation, those holding these conversations often think of the many men and women who operate behind the scenes within the government. This same cross section of Americans is looked upon as the real power within the federal government and unlike the other branches of government, has little to no oversight. A search of EBSCO resulted in the following definition, an organization “structure with a rigid hierarchy of personnel, regulated by set rules and procedures” (Bureaucracy, 2007). Max Weber believed that a bureaucracy was technically the most efficient form of organization, one structured around official functions ...view middle of the document...

Bureaucrats' specialized knowledge gives them a position of authority as compared to other political actors. Bureaucratic tenure is also a source of power because bureaucrats' institutional memory can provide stability for the system. Furthermore, it also depends on which agency the bureaucrat works for. The more support an agency has from, let’s say, Congress, the more power the bureaucracy has.
If you were take a quick look at a cross section of the executive branch of government and what the bureaucracy looks like, you would see that it contains the following departments: State, Defense, Treasury, Justice, and Homeland Security (1994). While all of these departments wield power and have very influential leaders, many within the political system have the tools to limit and check this power. Staying within the executive branch and with the aforementioned departments, Congress can exercise its checks and balances over the bureaucracy by using its most important function, controlling the purse strings that feed these departments. Similarly, the president...

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