Bessette/Pitney’s AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: DELIBERATION, DEMOCRACY AND CITIZENSHIP reviews the idea of "deliberative democracy." Building on the book, this blog offers insights, analysis, and facts about recent events.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011
Bureaucracy and the Obama Administration
Our chapter on bureaucracy and the administrative state discusses the relationship between political appointees and careerists in government agencies. National Journal reports that this relationship has not been good lately:
A new survey shows strained relationships between senior career federal managers and executives and the political appointees they work with.
In the survey, respondents rated Obama appointees lower than those in previous administrations. Obama appointees earned a C average, or 2.0, compared with a 2.3 for those in the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations. More than 30 percent gave Obama appointees a D or an F for overall job performance, while only 20 percent awarded past appointees such low marks.
The study, conducted in April by Government Executive's research division, the Government Business Council, involved surveying 148 Senior Executive Service members and GS-15s about their attitudes toward current challenges and Obama administration initiatives.
The survey revealed skepticism about the ability of current political appointees to improve agency performance. One respondent said, "The role [of senior leadership] has increased, but the effectiveness, skill and knowledge has dramatically decreased."