Accountability in pubic administration is very important aspect to be taken care in every country. The integrity, transparency and accountability are basic principles of public administration and governments must have a check and balance methods to check their bureaucracy for their integrity and honesty. These principles must be adopted and exercised in the country as well as in public administration. The accountability must be done in administration for having transparent and integral government system. Transparency refers to the reliable information keeping and providing citizen services of the country and integrity refers to the honesty and making sure that is no corruption in public and citizens dealings and also no misuse of powers by the public administrators.
Public administrators and state heads must develop accountability criteria and the process of accountability must be fair and not one sided. All public administrators and political leaders must be aware of these rules and regulations to abide by so that there are no weaknesses in the process which can be taken for granted by the public servants and politicians. The first basic step in accountability process in public administration is to recognize the efficacy of power. The power or authority is necessary to carry out any development programs and transparency, integrity and accountability can not be obtained by simply cutting powers of administrators (McKinney and Howard, 1998).
There is another issue with power that the struggle for attaining more and more powers between bureaucrats, if not eliminated, this conflict can be taken as advantage in future. Accountability is a complex process rather than just tackling the abuses but this practice is essential to attain governmental and public goals. Public trust on departments and government is very important in a democratic country and this can be only achieved by having a fair and strong accountability process in the country. When some public officer misuses its powers and he use these powers for himself instead of using for public service delivery. This also breaks trust of citizens towards public administrators and the government itself. The unethical decisions and acts performed by the public officials are also accountable. The other types of issues in public administration which may arise are blaming of errors on other officer then himself, leaking confidential information, fabricating time/quality/quantity and reports, misusing of expenses allowed, taking gifts/favors in exchange of preference or personal benefits to clients, taking unnecessary days off and taking extra time for breaks like lunch and dinner etc are some examples of acts by public administrators which must be accountable for ensuring integrity and transparency (Gordon and Milakovich, 2009).
In short, accountability is the process for ensuring that public money and powers must be used effectively and with honesty for only public services and country. There must be no misuse of any public power or money by the public administrators and government itself. This also brings trust relationship between the public and the government and its departments. Accountability is a process which must be adopted in every department of the country.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
Efficiency and effectiveness are important in public administration. Efficiency and effectiveness is desired in every aspect of public administration like utilization of funds by tax payers effectively and efficiency of utilization must be careful, constructive and productive for the public. Effective public administration and services are important because this respond well to the public needs and in a timely situations which are also the political demands of the ruling government and adopt such low cost efficient and effective process which are well targeted, honest, transparent and according to the public interest of the country.
Efficiency refers to attaining a goal with least possible cost and resources which is also important to public administration. It is always much more needed to be done in public services and administration than before with spending least resources and achieving more and more productivity. Effectiveness refers to make sure the work done is according to public demands, accountability process is carried out and democratic process is observed (Box, 2009).The decisions made in public sector are according to demands of public which are concluded by the discussions of citizens, discovering issues, developing policies and rules, and managing public administrators to implement these services and programs.
Public administration can be effective and efficient if the processes adopted by public administrators are efficient, fast and according to needs of the government and public. E-government processes bring efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector by minimizing the time scales on public level and inter-department communication and processes. E-government enables the public administrators and departments to offer citizen service through one click and their precious time saved. E-government includes online services provided to citizens of the country. This increases the efficiency and effectiveness in spending public money and for right purpose (Cloete and Petroni, 2005).
The success of any government and public administration can be measured by efficiency and effectiveness. People’s point of view regarding the effectiveness and efficiency can be measured time to time by conducting satisfaction surveys, consultations with people directly, and direct individual interaction. The policies must be made keeping in mind about what public requires and where it must be spend and where it must not be spend.
In conclusion, efficiency and effectiveness are two basic principles of public administration which must be present in any successful administration. Public administrators who make their policies with consultation of public, consider their requirements and also take feedback about their policies are successful and spending public money honestly, effectively and reliably. The spending of public money must be done according to citizens needs and different tools can be adopted for finding what public needs and requires by the government and public administration. Public services must be delivered effectively and efficiently so that there most of the output can be achieved with the public money and resources.
The Legitimacy of the Administrative State
The legitimacy of the administrative state claims that it offers opportunities to community engagement and also provides a method for scientific decision making. Rohr (1986) emphasized that the blending of executive, legislative, and judicial powers are aligned according to the separation of powers in a democratic community. He argued that the legitimacy of the administrative state was originally meant for American Senate. It provides a sustainability and permanence to the government system of America and playing a balance role in different constitutional departments of the country government. It also focused on the limitations present in representations in the House of Representatives.
The legitimacy of the administrative state empowers future public administrators for playing their own autonomous role by selecting one of constitutional masters where might be clash with one another (Spicer, 2007). Rohr worked on two basic principles: the people of the country if follow illegitimate powers and this is happening in present political environment, a legitimate state must be present to avoid such things. The question of legitimacy of the administrative state was emerged two centuries ago. The legitimacy was questioned because the constitution was not providing base for such an organization.
Legitimacy can be accomplished by the state itself by focusing on how it functions and progress for supporting legislations and government. It was supposed before that elected members of the house policy making activities and other relevant activities with evolvement of such policies and how these activities are carried out to present the legitimacy of the administration as well as government itself. Bureaucratic legitimacy is based on the scientific method and professionally. To ensure legitimacy in the administrative state, administrative staff plays their part professionally and specialty.
Citizens must trust government because the legitimacy can only be achieved in this case. The legitimacy of the public administrative state can be accomplished by means of expertise, public service, leadership qualities, and vision. Public administrators are responsible for the legitimacy of the state by having direct communication with the community by using their bureaucratic expertise, vision of the government, political leadership and best public service delivery. The legitimacy of the administrative state brings the sustainability to the country and ultimately to the state itself.
In conclusion, the legitimacy of the administrative state is the responsibility of the public administrators. They must deliver effective citizen services with honesty and ensuring that the vision of the government is achieved. These efforts bring the legitimacy of the state in view point of the people of the country. The state is considered as stable and strong in terms of its constitution and legislative actions. The legitimacy of administrative state also empowers the government to accomplish their policies and people who elected them to the house must trust them to bring legitimacy.
The Politics-Administration Dichotomy
The Politics/Administration Dichotomy idea was suggested by Woodrow Wilson in his article “The Study of Administration”. This article is considered as the base of public administration. The dichotomy offers an enduring image to elected political members, public officers, and students of the public administration. This depicts the real issues of policy and administration decisions which struck in government. Politicians or elected members are liable to make policies agenda and decisions on policies and public servants are liable to administrator programs and providing public services to the community. This dichotomy is meant for eliminating politics in the government departments and leaving politicians to make policies who are elected members by people of democratic country.
This has been observed that it is effective to create boundaries of public administration and developing a normative relationship between the public administrators and elected politicians in a democratic community (Svara, 1998). Wilson’s suggested that a dichotomy must be present between determinations of government policies must be via politics while its enforcement must be non-political administration. He also emphasized on public sector approach of business like and science of administration. These all formed the public administration early 1940’s. This politics-administration dichotomy was used already in Europe a century earlier.
It is observed that Wilson essay regarding politics-administration dichotomy is ambiguous (Sapru, 2006). It presented for the first time in American history which focused on the required scientific and systematic study of public administration. His politics-administration dichotomy also urged on professional education which is important of higher education to bring professional bureaucracy in the country. By adopting this dichotomy he appointed on the partisan basis and implies his political power to support his policies and programs. He also successful to bring image of government where administrators were dependent on political and partisan chief executive of the country by adopting approach of centralization and executive leadership while allowing administrator to administrator the internal management matters by giving discretionary powers.
Brownlow (1956) was a famous consultant of public administration matters praised the idea of politics-administration dichotomy presented by Woodrow Wilson. In his essay he wrote that Wilson laid a foundation for the study programme which is for everyone in the country who is interested in art or science of public administration. In the modern era, Woodrow Wilson’s role in the public administration is not denied. However, it might be argued whether he is founder of the public administration or only a dominant personality for the growth of public administration in America. Wilson’s essay about the public administration was part of the administration and politics as the social, political and intellectual ferment till the 19th century. This essay presented the ideas on how to tackle the rapidly changing American economy, social and political-administrative order.
The Issue of Representation
The issue of representation is present across the globe in public administration. This issue comprises on gender, race, or ethnicity factors. The public administration of any country must be comprised of all races, genders and ethnic groups. The effective representative bureaucracy offers a public administration of all people in terms of demographics so that true representation of all groups is involved in decision making process of the public administration and government. The active representation occurs in bureaucracy when they represent the views of those with similar demographic backgrounds (Kellough, 2010).
The representation issues must be tackled down to increase public services quality. Female representation is another major issue in public administration. Because females can only understand better what females of the country need and what policies must be developed to make sure that the public services are offered effectively and efficiently. The demographic diversity must be present in the public officials for tackling diversified issues like religious, ethnic, gender or any other demographic issues. Poor people must be provided with their representation in public administration and government so that all representatives of the community are present. If there is no representation of the poor than there are chances that policies are made only for the landlords, businessmen and corporations. The black people representation is very less in American government and public administration departments and these also created problems for black community. This lack of representation evolved many problems and the trust of black people broken on government (Mosher, 1994).
The representation issues are more emerged when there are immigrants and these people representation is not present in the administration. This also creates miscommunication and does not develop trust relationship among immigrants and the public administration. Similarly, the race, ethnic and gender issues creates such problems. The communication gap bears obstacles in developing a trust relationship among government, administration and public. The effectiveness and efficiency is also compromised due to such environment. The representation must be according to the demographics of the country, state and local level. All people must have their proper representation. Females must have their own representation in the public administration as well as in House of Representatives so that all policies and rules are made according to the needs of the females in the country. Minorities must also be represented in the government and in public administration so that the laws must be aligned according to their beliefs and religious independence not compromised.
In conclusion, the true representation of every class must be present in the administrative departments and government. This true representation enables government and administrators to develop and implement according to the needs of the people in specific demographics. Equal gender rights must be present in the country and community and this is only possible than there is equal representation of males and females in decision making process.
The responsible public administrator
Cooper presented the idea of “The responsible public administrator” in which suggested that the primary responsibility of the public administrator to deal with public interest with honesty and common good responsibility emerged from the fiduciary role of public administration (Boje, 2008). In this the public administrators were the individuals possessing and relied on their own expertise and neutrality. The action taken by such administrators was relied on the scientific and neutral principles.
Cooper emphasized on that responsible public administrator knows how to decide an ethical choice in which one might be involved in right action versus wrong action and even sometimes right action versus right action. The individual must build up the skills of moral imagination which involves the capability to create a “movie in our minds” which must consider the dynamics of the environment in which ethical choice must be taken care (Menzel, 2007).
The goal for the responsible public administrator is to bring up the ethical situation of the public servant and develop creative reflection of this situation while not only laying down the public service values (Cooper, 1990). This emphasized on how the public servants are responsible to act ethically and not to take advantage of their powers. Also, public administrators must behave ethically during their public service and do the value-based decisions during while performing their duties. The responsible public administrator must know how to act in a situation where the right action versus the wrong action and in some cases, right action against the right action. The decisions for such actions must be ethical no matter what environment is and also according to values of the government business.
Cooper’s framework provides a solid base for all aspects of public administration involved in decision making and make sure that the public administrator must balance the professional, personal, and organizational values. This framework enables the public servants while they are performing their duties to take decisions neutrally and ethically. Their decisions must be according to the rules and regulations of the government and must not violate any political and governmental rules. The framework not only literate the public administrators about ethics, in fact it demands the actions ethically and practically neutral.
In conclusion, the responsible public administrators are important for the democratic government and citizens of the country because these administrators take decisions on all public and national matters neutrally and ethically and also take care of their actions must be according to the law. The democratic government must be successful if they have responsible public servants because there are the people who act upon the government decisions. The democratic government only succeeds by fair play and the public administrators are one of key players of this fair play. These administrators take decisions based upon actions which are right and valuable for community and the country rather than just decision making.