User:Satarupa/Temp/Basic concepts of Public Administration.doc
Public administration can be broadly described as the development, implementation and study of branches of government policy. It is the management of affairs of the government at all levels --- national, state, local. It is a branch of the wider field of administration dealing with machinery & procedures of government activities. It is the systematic ordering of affairs & the calculated use of resources aimed at making desired things happen.
Public administration is carried out by public servants who work in public departments and agencies, at all levels of government, and perform a wide range of tasks. Public administrators collect and analyze data (statistics), monitor budgets, draft legislation, develop policy, and execute legally mandated government activities. Public administrators serve in many roles: ranging from "front-line" positions serving the public (e.g., peace officers, parole officers, border guards); administrators (e.g., auditors); analysts (e.g., policy analysts); and managers and executives of government branches and agencies.
The use of word “public” in public administration restricts the area of administration. However defining the restricted area is debatable issue. There are two views regarding it: a) It refers to the study of the government (legislature, executive or judiciary) or b) it is restricted to the executive. In any case it means government. Public administration is also an academic field. In comparison with related fields such as political science, public administration is relatively new, having emerged in the 19th century. Multidisciplinary in character, it draws on theories and concepts from political science, economics, sociology, administrative law, behavioral science, management and a range of related fields. The goals of the field of public administration are related to the democratic values of improving equality, justice, security, efficiency, effectiveness of public services usually in a non-profit, non-taxable venue; business administration, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with taxable profit. For a field built on concepts (accountability, governance, decentralization, clientele), these concepts are often ill-defined and typologies often ignore certain aspects of these concepts (Dubois & Fattore 2009)
International public administration
There are several organizations that are active. The oldest is the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA). Based in Brussels, Belgium, IASIA is an association of organizations and individuals whose activities and interests focus on public administration and management. The activities of its members include education and training of administrators and managers. It is the only worldwide scholarly association in the field of public management. Visit their Web site at www.iiasiisa.be/schools/aeacc.htm.
Also the International Committee of the US-based National Association of School of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) has developed a number of relationships around the world. They include sub regional and National forums like CLAD, INPAE and NISPAcee, APSA, ASPA. For general information about these regional networks, visit www.GlobalMPA.net.
The Center for Latin American Administration for Development (CLAD), based in Caracas, Venezuela, this regional network of schools of public administration set up by the governments in Latin America is the oldest in the region. Information about CLAD is accessible at www.clad.org.ve.
The Institute is a founding member and played a central role in organizing the Inter-American Network of Public Administration Education (INPAE). Created in 2000, this regional network of schools is unique in that it is the only organization to be composed of institutions from North and Latin America and the Caribbean working in public administration and policy analysis. It has more than 49 members from top research schools in various countries throughout the hemisphere, www.ebape.fgv.br/inpae.
NISPAcee is a network of experts, scholars and practitioners who work in the field of public administration in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Russian Federation and the Caucasus and Central Asia. Their English Web site is located at www.nispa.sk/_portal/homepage.php.
The US public administration and political science associations like NASPA, APSA and ASPA. These organizations have helped to create the fundamental establishment of modern public administration. For more information visit the Web sites of American Political Science Association, www.apsanet.org, and the American Society of Public Administration www.aspanet.org.
It is widely acknowledged that the scope of the discipline of Public Administration has to be wide enough to respond to the complex social realities of today. Major concerns of the discipline are:
- Promoting (public ness): In a democratic society, Public Administration has to be 'public' in terms of democratic values, power-sharing and openness. This calls a new climate in the bureaucracy. Public Administration, in practice, has to absorb the of democracy as an overarching form of the government.
- Policy Sensitivity: As governments are called upon to play increasingly active roles in of rapid changes and social crisis, innovative and timely policy formulation becomes a prime necessity in the government. This would necessitate a new preparedness within the administrative set-up that had hardly any precedence in the past.
- Implementation Capability: Effective policy implementation is going to test the coping of the governments in today's complex situations. Goals have to be clearly set;programming and projections have to be followed step by step; and project in all its ramifications has to have top priority in government. The strength of the government itself would depend more and more on the administration's capacity to deliver the goods in time and in response to the demands of the citizens.
- Shared understanding of social reality: The capacity to cope with social and complexity can be enhanced by a deliberate policy of organizational The underlying assumption here is the administration needs to understand the interests and influences. In today's complex administrative world, construction of reality has to be based on the shared understanding of its actors such as the men at the top, the middle managers, the employees and the citizens.The centralized,insular bureaucracy does not fit in with the contemporaneous socio-administrative reality.
- Administration as a learning experience: Shifting social reality and complex conditions impose certain rigorous conditions on Public Administration today. Principles of the past or the administrative recipes of bureaucratic routine are no longer appropriate tools for analysis of today’s problems & solutions. Public Administration in modern time has to be proactive, innovative, risk-taking, and often adventurous. This new, entrepreneurial zeal is expected to transform 'bureaucracy' into a new kind of learning organization, more adaptable to changes, more open to new insights and innovations, and more accessible to the clientele.
Distinction between Public & Private Administration
Distinction between the public and the private sector is however, greatly influenced by the political philosophy of each nation. In the USA, for instance, the private sector plays a very important role in the American economy and society.The public sector is in many days dependent on the private sector for the supply of goods and services. Hence,the tendency in that country is toward a blurring of lines rather than a distinct bifurcation of responsibilities. In India, by contrast, the public sector is slowly emerging as the dominant sector in the context of mixed economy. The steady expansion of the public sector in India if continues unabated, is expected to draw a sharper distinction between the public and private management.
Considerations of general welfare should be the common concern of both public and private business administration.. At the other hand, Public administration hardly ignore the needs of, efficient management. Yet, the 2 types are basically different, as discussed below:
- The major purpose of Public Administration is to serve the public hence general welfare and,in specific cases, public satisfaction are the ends that public administration must serve.By contrast business administration is basically oriented toward earning profit for the business proprietors. Inability to earn profit will soon drive a private enterprise out of business.
- Public Administration has to operate strictly according to law, rules & regulations.Adherence to law brings in a degree of rigidity & operation in the public sector.There is always the fear of audit or accountability that acts as a.constraint on performance.On the contrary business administration is relatively free from such constraints of law and regulations. There are of course general laws regulating business, but individual business firms have considerable flexibility to adapt their operations to changing situations. This is possible because of their relative freedom from specific laws and rules that abound in Public Administration.
- The actions of Public Administration are much more exposed to the public gaze.An achievement rarely gets publicity, but a little fault hits the newspaper headline.Organizations like the police have to be on their toes to make sure that their operations do not incur the public wrath. This wide publicity is not to be found in business administration, nor is it so very closely watched by the public and the media.
- In Public Administration, any show of discrimination or partiality will evoke public censure or legislative commotion. Hence, the administrators are to be very consistent and impartial in their dealings with the public. In business administration,discrimination is freely practiced due to competitive demands. In the choice of products and in fixing prices, business administration overtly practices discrimination which is almost a part of business culture.
- Public Administration, especially at higher levels of government, is exceedingly complex.There are many pulls and pressures, many minds have to meet and discuss,consultations go on in several rounds of meetings before decisions are taken.Activities in open department have ramifications that spread over several other departments.By contrast, business administration is, generally speaking, much more well-knit and single-minded in operation. There is much less complexity in organization and operations. The pressures are certainly almost non-existent.
- Public Administration as organization is thus much more complex,compared to business or private organization. Any unit of government administration is 'tied' up with network of allied public organizations and has to work in close interaction with them.A private organization by contrast, has more compactness, insularity and autonomy of action.
- Public Administration has overarching responsibilities in terms of nation-building, and shaping the future society. It is therefore, much more. Value oriented.Business organizations have to follow the guidelines laid down by the public authorities.
To be continued...
|Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.|