In our complex and fragmented political system, there is often no… In our complex and fragmented political system, there is often no single dominant majority capable of determining the appropriate policy for all types of public programs at all levels of government. However, there are strong expectations that public programs will be efficiently managed and achieve results. Effective management requires expertise, ethics, motivation, executive and managerial leadership skills, as well as sound decision making regarding policy, organizational structure, performance management, personnel selection, and budgeting.The reality of public policymaking in America is often different from the public’s expectations and perceptions. Among the most enduring myths about policymaking are the following: (1) governments have clearly defined policies, established in advance, on most problems; (2) policies are established deliberately; (3) all actions follow existing policies; (4)the general public accurately perceives and understands policies, and (5)policies are widely agreed upon and supported. None of these statements is entirely true. Many people contribute many different perspectives to each policy as it develops, but managers are expected to manage well despite the chaos. Policies are categorized according to their basic rationales, impacts on society, and the functions of the agencies carrying out the policy. In addition to categorizing policies by function, there are four types of policies that can be classified by their impact: (1) distributive, (2) redistributive, (3)regulatory, and (4) self-regulatory. An example of a recent controversial distributive policy was President Bush’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) legislation passed in 2008. In early 2009, the Obama administration promoted and Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as a similar policy attempt to stimulate the weak economy (See Chapter 3).Governments try to create new policy-making environments for reasons other than increasing administrative efficiency or affecting policy outcomes. These reasons can be ideological, or pragmatic, including facilitating new partnerships with private and nonprofit entities. Such reasons can and do often conflict with each other during public policy-making processes. A classic example of this conflict is the politics-administration dichotomy, which refers to trade-off between political values and administrative values in public administration (See Chapter 2). Many public agencies have been applying various performance management concepts so as to manage more like competitive market-based businesses: they are rediscovering the connection between politics and the private sector. However, public agencies are inhibited in their ability to run operations strictly like a business because they must serve broad social interests and adhere to the conventions of government (equality, fairness, response to special interests, and redistribution of public resources). There has been a trend towards “shared-governance” (i.e. contracting out), which can include active participation from private and public stakeholders. The long-term trend in policymaking has been toward more partnerships and shared-government with active participation by private, as well as public, stakeholders. Contracting out and privatization are obvious examples of shared-governance, which may well continue to grow as a means of policymaking because of intensified fiscal stress at all levels of government.The contracting for or purchasing of products or services from the private sector has always been necessary but has become increasingly controversial. No-bid or limited-competition contracts are a modern form of the spoils system. Defense contractors, such as Bechtel, Halliburton, KBR (Kellogg Brown and Root), and security consulting firm Blackwater Worldwide (now known as Xe), have come under public scrutiny because the owners have close relationships with high-level American politicians in the Bush administration, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Should administrators be prohibited from contracting out services to companies with whom they have closeaffiliations?Governments are unique entities that serve broader social interests and lack the opportunity or obligation to “sell” their products or services at costs suited to prevailing markets. Given the selective nature of political decision making, legitimate concerns have been raised about just how much authority can and should be transferred from the public to the private sector. Arguments for such a change are: (1) government needs more flexibility in operations and procurement practices, and transfer of authority would achieve this; (2) outsourcing government services reduces the size of agencies and creates a private market environment, and (3) transfer of power to private companies stimulates competition and reduces the costs of government programs. Arguments against privatization of government authority include: (1) transfer of authority allows political influences to corrupt administrative systems and processes; (2) transfer of authority can lead to private monopolies and corruption; and (3) raises questions about accountability, liability, performance, and the promise of more efficient service delivery.The policy-making process is highly decentralized, largely uncoordinated, complex, competitive, highly incremental, and specialized. This frequently produces inconsistent and sometimes contradictory policies. Where policy-making is centralized, it occurs in four stages: (1) legislative, drafting and enacting legislation, (2) administrative, writing rules and regulations which govern applications of the law, and (3) implementation, affecting the program, and (4)review, overseeing the implementation of the policy by Congress, the courts, or both. Policymaking is a cyclical process. (See Figure 9-1.) Administrative involvement in policymaking is most evident in stages two and three, but it can occur in all phases. Major forms of involvement can include rulemaking, adjudication, law enforcement, and program operations.Planning and analysis are integral to the process of defining and choosing the operational goals of an organization, analyzing alternative choices for resource distribution, and choosing the methods used to achieve those goals over a specified time period. Essential steps in program or project planning include identifying desired outcomes, predicting what will take place, and assessing the probabilities of achieving desired outcomes. Significant interrelationships exist among goals, plans, programs, and projects and among different sets and levels of goals. Many parties take part in the process of goal definition and external influences are frequently significant. The analysis of project and program options is crucial. Agency performance can depend on the quality of projections of the impact of programming alternatives. Various types of analysis can be performed, including policy analysis, systems analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and operations research. Sound analysis significantly affects the level of results that are achieved by aprogram.The implementation of programs and policies is a complex process. It requires agencies to interpret, organize, and apply legislative directives, many of which are unclear and ambiguous. Also, if the political consensus changes in the course of implementing a law, the implementation of that law will probably be modified to accommodate the change. Approaches to implementation include, among others, the program evaluation and review technique (PERT), the critical path method (CPM), and management by objectives (MBO). The elements of implementation include persuading subordinates to cooperate, developing productive working relationships, overcoming resistance to change, and adjusting to possible changes in legislative or chief executives’ purposes.Program evaluation is an ongoing function in many public organizations but, in recent years, it has become both more important and more systematic. Evaluation can be used to learn about a program’s operations and effects, create accountability for implementation, and influence the program’s external political environment.Evaluation methods range from institutional and/or informal assessments to more formal techniques. Five commonly used evaluation designs include: (1)before-versus-after program comparisons; (2) comparisons of time-trend projections of preprogram data to actual post-program data; (3)comparisons with jurisdictions or population segments not served by the program; (4) comparisons of planned versus actual performance; and (5) controlled experiments. How evaluation data is used depends on the adequacy of performance indicators and the purposes, motives, and needs of those responsible for managing the program and/or evaluation (Chapter 10). Evaluation causes public officials to focus on fundamental value choices in policy and program decisions. Programs can be evaluated properly only if the capacity to be evaluated is built into them during the planning and design stages. Program evaluations are difficult to achieve because their validity relies on something else’s methodology. Often, those evaluating results are deeply involved in the program and may not provide an objective analysis of outcomes.The Obama administration introduced town hall meetings to seek the opinions of local citizens when instituting policies such as high-stakes testing in the education sector. President Obama visited schools and education centers throughout the country to stress the importance of testing to understand student’s needs. Although the meetings were designed to seek program implementation and evaluation, they were also a good public relations tool for the administration to promote the new programIn Waiting for “Superman” filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows the stories of five promising young students within the failing American public education system. The Academy Award-nominated film seeks to emphasize that even with the best intentions the public education system in the United States leaves much to be desired and is in dire need of reform and change. Reduced workforce size and declining manpower and financial resources (in many cases) present a real need to re-examine the public education system across the country. The film introduces several children waiting to be accepted into charter schools without a clear delineation of why these non-union schools are in all instances superior to public schools. The film has been criticized for vilifying the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), a union created to protect teachers’ rights. Guggenheim’s message, however, is that unions need to be flexible and that Americans need to think more carefully about the ultimate purpose of a union such as the AFTthat is, teaching the children within the public school system. Attention needs to be given to how to fight for keeping the best teachers, how to assess all teachers, and how to handle teachers who are not competent or not performing at the level needed or desired. Most state and local government agencies have reduced the size of their workforces, including teachers. The remaining manpower must deal with increasing workloads, often using antiquated technology and resources. Should agency budgets be increased to compensate for this trend? What alternatives are there? Are these alternatives desirable? Why or why not? What else could be done to solve these issues? What effect does this have on the notion of Race to the Top?After reading answer the following questions:What did you learn from Chapter 9?What did you find interesting about what you learned?What questions do you have about what you learned?What were the main ideas in Chapter 9?What did you understand best?How do these ideas relate to what you have already learned?Apply the concepts that you learned in Chapter 9. How do these concepts affect your everyday learning?Arts & HumanitiesCommunicationsPublic Relations PUBLIC ADM PA 101-E01
solved : In our complex and fragmented political system, there is oft
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