Introduction To Comparative Public Administration



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INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION OBJECTIVES By the end of this unit, you should be able to: 1. Explain public policy and its role in the governing of a state 2. Describe the major functions of public administrators 3. Analyze the various categories of public policy 4. Identify the key differences between public administration and private administration. 5. Analyze and describe the various levels at which administration takes place 3.1.1 MEANING OF PUBLIC POLICY Government exists to provide for the welfare and happiness of the citizens. Crucial to the effective performance of this function by government is the satisfaction of the basic needs of the people which include food, shelter, clothing and physical security. Government must also shoulder the responsibility of providing basic ingredients for economic and social development by making available the essential social infrastructure, such as good roads, treated water, electricity, telecommunication and other amenities. These government programmes and activities are duly referred to as public policy. Public policy can therefore be technically defined as government decisions or actions on how to resolve the various societal problems or issues that are perceived as requiring collective rather than individual actions. It can also be seen as “policy developed by a governmental body and officials for the benefit of a society” (Kunle Ajayi, 1998:450-452). Public policy aims at promoting public good and public interests rather than a narrow private interest. 3.1.2 Deductions from the definition of Public Policy We can draw certain deductions, from the above descriptions of public policy. These deductions, in the analysis of Ajayi (IBLD are: 1 Public Policy is a predetermined action with a goal or purpose. This means, public policy is not a random action or chance behaviour of government but an action or decision purposely carried out by public officials 2 Public Policy is a decision of governmental officials and not a private or personal decision of an individual outside government. 3 Public policy, for its public orientation in terms of its source and target of action, is backed up by modalities for its implementation and enforcement. For instance, the universal Basic Education Poverty Reduction and Anti-Corruption Policies of the Obasanjo regime. These policies are backed by Acts of Parliament for their implementation and where necessary, spell out penalties where necessary. 4 Public policy is what has been actually decided and carried out bygovernment and not just what government is planning or intend to do. It is therefore what is actually done in concrete terms and not mere policy pronouncements. 5 Public Policy is regarded as positive when its effects are specifically directed at a particular problem. For instance, the Babangida regime’s Anti-smoking Policy was directed at reducing cigarette smoking induced ailment and death. 6 Public Policy is authoritative and legitimate as it is based on law. Public policy is made by constitutionally powered governmental officials in the various arms of government. It is on this basis that public laws and policies are seen as binding on all. 3.1.3 TYPES OF PUBLIC POLICY Public policy can be classified into three major categories based on its intention and purpose. These categories are: (a) Distributive Public Policy: These are policies which concern large scale service delivery or benefits to specific sections of the population or groups. Examples of these policies include the National Directorate of Employment, the peoples Bank, Better Life for Rural Women, Poverty Reduction and Family Support programmes by successive regimes in Nigeria. These programmes have specific objectives. for instance, the Poverty Reduction Programme of the Obasanjo regime is to provide atleast 10,000 job opportunities in each state of the federation. Likewise, the regime’s Universal Basic Education Policy, is to reduce the level of illiteracy in the country. (b) Regulatory Public Policies: These are policies to regulate the activities and behaviour of individuals in certain aspects and fields. Significant among these policies are those regulating business activities such as those dealing with food and drinks consumption. Pharmacy department of the Ministry of Health regulates the issuance of patient medicine licensed for the sale of drugs. The National Agency for Food and Drugs Control and Administration (NAFDAC) regulates the preparation of food items and drugs including the sale of “pure water” in Nigeria, poor quality foods, drugs and drinks are usually impounded by the Agency. The Anti-corruption Act and the Code of Conduct Bureau in Nigeria are meant to check political and administrative corruption by public officials. (c) Redistributive Policies These are policies that government deliberately want to employ measure to correct social injustice or provide some level of equality in the population. For instance, the free education and free medical treatment for the underprivileged people such as the under –age and the aged by some state governments. The Land Redistribution Policy by the Mugabe government in Zimbabwe aims to redress the gross inequality in land ownership between blacks and whites in the country. Progressive Taxation System also aims to re-distribute wealth in a country where such is adopted. EXERCISE 1.1 1 What are the essential natures of Public Policy that are derivable from its interpretations as a concept? 2 What is Public Policy? 4.0 CONCLUSION This unit has treated the basic interpretations of Public Policy and the deductions from these interpretations. It also deals with the types of public COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: policy. The task of government is to provide for the welfare and happiness of citizens through the provision of certain basic amenities and opportunities concretely translated into actions through policies made by public/political leaders and implemented by public administrators who are loyal civil servants. 5.0 SUMMARY In this unit, you have learned that public policy refers to government decisions or actions on how to resolve the various societal problems or issues that are perceived as requiring collective action rather than individual action. You were also told that public policy aims at promoting public good and public interests rather than a narrow private interest. You also learned about certain deductions derived from the definitions of public policy which include the facts that; one public policy is a predetermined action with a goal or purpose. Two, public policy is a decision of government rather than that of private decision of people or organizations outside government. You also learned that public policy has three major categories namely: distributive public policy; regulatory public policies and re-distributive public policies INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION "As long as we only know ourselves, we know nothing" (Woodrow Wilson) Comparative Public Administration (CPA) is an applied, intercultural, interdisciplinary, explanatory field of study which carries out cross-cultural investigations in order to provide solutions for management problems sooner and develop management technologies further. It is no accident that the field focuses upon growth, reform and capacity building since CPA is in many ways about identifying those "best practices" which promote the most desirable organizational structures and processes. This idealistic goal involves finding functional patterns of organization and management that are transferable from one system to another. Sometimes the way something "works best" in more than one cultural environment is the way that something "works best" in many environments. Comparison is the essence of scientific explanation. CPA is not about exporting the "best" U.S. practices to foreign countries (unless, of course, the evidence supports that), and further, the field is not about celebrating some obscure "foreign" practice for the sake of diversity. Beyond the obvious benefits of comparison to obtain usable results, a little-known secret is that CPA is intimately connected with the development of the science of public administration itself, as Dahl (1947) once pointed out: "The comparative aspects of public administration have largely been ignored; and as long as the study of public administration is not comparative, claims for a science of public administration sound rather hollow. Conceivably there might be a science of American public administration and a science of British public administration and a science of French public administration, but can there be a 'science of public administration' in the sense of a body of generalized principles independent of their peculiar national setting?" CPA attempts to find universal patterns and regularities through comparison, irrespective of level of development and irrespective of place and time, although it is certainly the case that CPA is the field in which the modernization vs. development debates took place from 1959-1973. Those debates crossed over the fields of sociology, political science, and public administration and involved argument over grand schemes of nationbuilding for making some parts of the world (the Islamic-Confucian states) more like the Anglo-American part of the world (England and America). The debates spawned several theoretical schools of thought -- neo-Marxist postindustrialism (Touraine 1971); nonMarxist postindustrialism (Bell 1973); anti-colonialism dependency theory (Sofranko & Bealer 1972); and rejection of ethnocentric bias (Kautsky 1972) -- all critical of the modernization stance that it is good to be modern like England and America. Those arguing for "development studies" won the debates. Today, scholars only rarely talk about capacity-building, state-building, or clash of civilizations. Far more common is tolerance and acceptance of "third way" alternatives to growth and stability. Today, no grand theory prevails. Like the field of history, scholars in CPA usually study their material in slices, like Education Policy in Sweden from 1967 to 1997 or Thatcherism in Great Britain from 1979 to 1990. While some statistical studies may analyze variables across several nations over large stretches of time, most researchers in the field clearly favor the use of case studies and/or focused comparisons (Theodoulou 2002). Case studies allow the building of theory and focused comparisons allow limited testing of theories. The field of CPA reached its heyday from 1962 to 1972 when a voluminous amount of research was produced (Heady 2001). The field remains in preparadigmatic status and is likely to remain so until the parent discipline of public administration achieves some escape from paradigmatic uncertainties. Gone is the ambitious goal of becoming the master field of public administration. Nonetheless, CPA has a noble heritage. Throughout history, advisors to rulers and governments have often tendered some good practical opinion and commentary, sometimes in religiously inspired ways, like with the Bible, the Koran, or the Torah, and sometimes in ruthlessly secular ways, like with Aristotle's Politics and Machiavelli's The Prince. A comparative religion course would properly study the aforementioned religious works, but the latter works (particularly Aristotle's take on creating wealth and Machiavelli's emphasis on gaining power) should not be considered too old to be relevant. In fact, Aristotle's critique of Plato's Republic stands as a wonderful explanation of how good government (defined as a not excessively unified government) can rule in the common interest (defined as citizen-friends who share things in common despite having their private interests separate). Also of relevance is the debt that the field of public administration owes to certain European practices of the eighteenth century, especially from within the historic state of Prussia (which became the dominant state of the German Empire from 1871-1918). As early as 1727, Frederick William I of Prussia established university programs in cameralism (the scientific study of efficient administration). In 1808 (the date when "bureaucracy" was invented), Prussia gained the distinction of being the first modern state to introduce a system of entrance requirements for public service. Prussian virtues are well-known, and include: perfect organization, sacrifice, rule of law, obedience to authority, militarism, reliability, religious tolerance, sobriety, pragmatism, thriftiness, punctuality, modesty, and diligence. Cameralism is the name for the Prussian science of administration which aimed to not only maintain law and order but promote collective prosperity and draw every citizen into participating for the common good. The name "cameralism" also implies a distinction from mixed-government organizations like bicameralism (two legislative houses), the system that most Americans are familiar with. Cameralism can also be distinguished from mercantilism (another eighteenth century invention) which argues for protectionist trade policy and a gold standard to back the value of currency. Mercantilism fueled much of European imperialism, and unfortunately, was a dominant economic ideology for many years (some would say it's still dominant, or that American laissez-faire capitalism has certain neo-mercantilist features). Mercantilism is a zero-sum game (somebody wins; somebody loses), while cameralism strives toward a win-win situation for all. Cameralism has been called the German equivalent of mercantilism (Johnson 1964). There were many "cameralists" employed during the German Empire, almost all of whom were consultants or government administrators (Small 1909). The best known professor of cameralism was named von Justi, and he advocated only short-term intervention by governments into social affairs. So, while in Germany, the field of public administration got its start in the 1720s, it was not until the 1890s and early 1900s when it emerged as a separate field of study in England and America. GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK Almost every aspect of public administration is contingent upon a political context. There is no getting around this. Administrative systems do not stand alone. They require some embracing organization, some kind of imposed hierarchic order, something other than anarchy or chaos. Being dependent upon politics presents many challenges, not the least of which is how to study perfection (which can be said to be the quest of public administration) under imperfect conditions (which can be said to be the quest of political science). For many years, it seemed the solution to this puzzle was to focus on the scientific efficiency of nation-states; i.e., the economic efficiency of government (this economicallydriven perspective also being termed the "new public management" -- a minority viewpoint which continually recurs from time to time and essentially holds that the public sector ought to be managed like the private sector) It has always been assumed that just as there can be no law without a sovereign, there can be no administrative state without a nation-state. Then came those (e.g., Dwight Waldo in 1948) who argued that perfect efficiency should not be the quest of public administration, but that a focus upon bureaucracy in service to the public good might be a better focus. It should be noted that Dwight Waldo (1913-2000) was perhaps the pivotal figure in this regard and his shift to a focus upon good bureaucratic governance is largely reflected in the way many academics changed the name of their field of study from public administration to public management. For example, those who advocate a bright line of differentiation between public management and other fields like political science, sociology, and business administration often see public management as asking larger and more philosophical questions about the meaning, purpose, and morality of government, governance, and power. This differentiation is most easily seen with the difference between an MBA and an MPA. Study for an MPA often involves coursework in philosophical matters that no business school would give much thought to -- like whether societies are best served by free market enterprise, governments operate best with monopolies over critical infrastructure, laws provide leeway for administrative discretion, or inherent organizational defects cause well-intentioned policy failure. The relationship between politics and administration is one of the oldest and most controversial issues in public administration. Woodrow Wilson in 1887 was the first America to call for the separation of administration from politics. In Wilson's view, politics ought to be about policy formulation and administration ought to be about policy implementation. This distinction between policy-making and policy-executing never turned out to be a distinction worth holding. The problem is that bureaucrats and agencylevel executives often make discretionary choices and exercise initiatives which are just as much the development of policy as anything politicians could do. In other words, there is no hard-and-fast difference between "expressing" the will of the state (thru policy formulation) and "executing" the will of the state (thru policy implementation). As Appleby (1949: 170) put it: "public administration is policy-making." Further, the field has always assumed that, in many cases, often the lower-level bureaucrats (who are closest to the problem) are in the best position to make policy recommendations (free from political influence). This idea is part of the reason why public managers down to the lowest-ranking clerk ought to seek professionalization, so that their expertise with respect to public policy can be taken seriously. It is helpful to ask: are public managers accountable to their political leaders or the public interest? There's no question that from a hierarchical perspective, all agency personnel are accountable to their executives, but then again, one might ask if this hierarchical arrangement is the best thing for the public interest. After all, bureaucrats tend to not only be responsible for quality of service to "customers" but daily deal with the rise and fall of public opinion, support among clientele groups, and various levels of cooperation between different agencies of government. These horizontal relationships with the "little people" supplement any vertical, hierarchical relationships with the "chain of command." Value conflicts are possible, in that "honesty" with the public may subvert "loyalty" to superiors, for instance. Public management is acutely aware of these potential problems, and a good deal of theoretical work is aimed at achieving fair and balanced accountability and performance measurement in this regard. The ethics of public service, like all attempts at professional ethics, presents practical problems. Does a code of ethics represent just a bunch of "I will ..." statements at a swearing-in ceremony or an internalized set of character traits? The answer is that any public service ethic worth its salt should be an ETHOS, which doesn't just involve integrity on the job, but a "calling" that comes before taking the job, and the willingness to face challenges both on and off the job, along with the principle that one is never "off" the job (never an "ex" employee, but a former employee). The notion of serving the "public good" is what differentiates public from private service. Ethos is the added value one brings to public service, and ethos is important to be cultivated or else we lose what it means to be a "public servant." A public servant does more than deliver services to customers and clients. They do more than consult with stakeholders. They do more than seek efficiencies in the interests of taxpayers. Rather, a public servant delivers nothing less than a model of "citizenry" to others, helping develop within the confines of law and other social institutions that civil society that all communities need to survive should governments fail to do their job. Within a democratic society, the delivery of such a message represents the transmission of public will and public self-interest. A public servant transparently delivers a public good that expresses a public intent, and a public servant is also a visible model of the ideal private citizen. Because public servants have access to the coercive powers of government, watchdog groups and the media will hold public servants to higher scrutiny, and the ultimate accountability here will be "to the people." This accountability may manifest itself at the level of policy determination, but does not preclude accountability at the implementation level. Public servants must never become a coddled, "master" class. Are Public Servants a Coddled Class? There was a time when government work paid lower wages than comparable jobs in the private sector. The only benefits were job security, slightly better benefits, and the occasional perk. These days, government workers make three to four times more money than comparable workers in the private sector, and their deluxe pension plans have eaten away at public finances. In the U.S., for example, the state of California continually goes broke every year because of all the pension payouts. In most parts of the world, becoming a government employee means escaping out of poverty. The phrase, "a lifestyle to which one has become accustomed" seems to characterize being on the government payroll. Lots of government workers also game the system by routinely pursuing disability claims that award them workers’ comp settlements. Public-sector unions (in existence in the U.S. since 1962) have exerted a growing influence, and their main objective has been to create bigger government with more government employees. They have also rigged the system so that there are few checks on their demands. For example, even when a public employee is found incompetent or abusive, they can be fired only after a long process and only for the most grievous offenses. Public servants have become a privileged elite that exploits political power for financial gain and special perks. Rank has its privileges, and government workers have definitely achieved a rank above the rest of the citizenry, but at what cost? What kind of rank or class do they represent? The study of bureaucracy or bureaucratic politics often involves the study of the class characteristics of public servants. One of the most frequently used terms in those areas of study is ossification. A bureaucracy becomes ossified, or set in stone, by the way it goes about its work. This may occur regardless of political change or whether boundaries exist between politics and administration. According to interest group theory (Chubb 1983), the usual pattern is for a "special relationship" to develop between certain agencies and certain private interests. Similar patterns involve government agencies becoming quite insulated from the public. When an agency becomes "encapsulated" by a private interest group, bureaucratic capture is said to occur; which can be said to be an extreme form of regulatory capture (Laffont & Tirole 1991), which occurs when an agency no longer serves the public interest but instead is serving special interests. Whenever capture occurs, in whatever form, and especially in milder forms (which might be called bureaucratic insulation), there is a need to inject democratic participation into the process somehow, either thru citizen surveys, administrative hearings, or ombudsman programs. In some extreme cases of capture, there may be a need to completely reshuffle or redesign the bureaucracy in some way. The public may or may not demand some truth-telling or accounting, but far more often, all that will happen is that colluding agency officials will be hauled before an investigative or oversight committees and the names of private individuals or firms may only be implicit. The field of politics has lots of terms for the study of interest group influence, and political scientists frequently study it, but offer little by way of suggestions. On this issue, politicians enjoy all the mystique, spin, and plausible deniability they want; public administrators can afford no such luxuries. There are considerable differences between politicians and public administrators. COMPARATIVE RESEARCH METHODS Historically, the most commonly used research method in CPA has been to compare and contrast Western and non-Western systems. This has resulted in the creation of a bunch of dualistic concepts; e.g., collective - individualistic, diffused - specific, universalistic particularistic, etc. Although such concepts haven't been unhelpful, their dualistic character (as with dualism in general) tends to suggest that one end of the bipolar end point is "better" than the other, with the further presumption that the endpoint most represented by Western nations is the "best." Additionally, dualistic frameworks offer little by way of applied management recommendations. In fact, Wiarda (1999) argues that dualistic frameworks are entirely deficient when it comes to the study of development -how to increase the economic prospects and quality of life of lesser developed countries (LDCs). A far better framework (and research method) is description. Jreisat (2002) argues that descriptive concepts are more suitable for cross-cultural analysis because they more adequately deal with the facts of a situation and get at the all-important aspect of context. Getting from description to prescription is tricky, however, and since CPA is interested in getting there, the field is continually revisiting old contentious debates about the value of empirical versus normative approaches, and is currently is open to almost all kinds of methods. Some topics in CPA lend themselves to empirical study; others do not. Every framework, model, or theory has to have a starting point, a take-off point, or some map that guides research efforts. The most significant step that can be taken here is to identify what is called the "unit of analysis." When making comparisons across cultural contexts, it is important to consistently use the same unit of analysis. There are four units of analysis worth listing: • • • • individuals -- the study of leaders, elites, or officials (their socialization, backgrounds, or habits) groups -- the study of workgroups, interest groups, or parties (their behaviors and/or social movements) organizations -- the study of cities, regions, or agencies (their capacities or functions) bureaucracy -- the study of the whole government executive branch (their performance or efficacy) From a strict methodological standpoint, organizations ought to be the best unit of analysis because they have the most discrete boundaries and offer many other features worthy of study (March & Simon 1958). In fact, one would correctly surmise that the topic of organizational theory and behavior is one of the more relatively advanced areas of study in public administration, with Simon's 1947 book, Administrative Behavior, standing as much a classic in this regard as Waldo's 1947 book, The Administrative State. Both books are still popular in later, revised editions, but one could say it was these two books which "academized" the field of public administration in America. Of course, insights into organizations and leadership within them go back hundreds of years, but the customary structure of scientific inquiry has been pretty well set since 1947, and largely involves studying the following independent (causes) and dependent (effects) variables: • • independent variables -- the environment or context (societal characteristics, culture, political type of government, economic indicators, management slants or core operating system) dependent variables -- organizational structure, leadership, power and influence, internal decision-making processes, goals and goal accomplishment There is a tendency in CPA to strive toward what are called "middle-range" theories which only consider a few examples of administrative behavior at a time and only promise to link concepts together better or formulate hypotheses (rather than formally test empirical hypotheses). In addition, single-case studies are plentiful in the field, with few scholars having attempted to put together any kind of meta-analysis or synthesis. The field has evolved slowly and incrementally, despite all the repeated calls by management gurus for the adoption of some new management "revolution" or leadership technique. Much danger lurks in "borrowing" the ideas of management gurus (Micklethwait & Wooldridge 1996). The truth is there have been no revolutions other than the important realization that one must not adopt a framework which straitjackets their ability to truly comprehend what goes on in societies other than one's own. THE "NEW" PUBLIC MANAGEMENT The moniker New Public Management (NPM) applies to those in the field of budgeting (primarily) who argue that the public sector could benefit by adopting the ways of the private sector, and indeed, reforms in budgeting and financial management are the bedrock upon which many other management reforms are built. However, as previously stated, if NPM is solely thought of as the idea that the private sector can do it better, then this is a recurrent idea which probably doesn't do justice to the full scope of management reforms taking place in the world today. For that, Kettl (2005) suggests the moniker Global Public Management (GPM), and clearly what's global about GPM is globalization -the growing interconnectedness or flow of information, technology, capital, goods, services, and people throughout the world. This phenomenon will, sooner or later, require a reform-oriented shift toward "good governance" -- a sorting out of missions, roles, capacity, and relationships in furtherance of greater global prosperity and stability. Since public management has long had a thrust toward good governance, it is only natural to extend its concern to the global context. Hence, this section attempts to explain what the "new" public management (GPM) is all about. It should be noted that there is a corollary field of study called international administration which can be seen as an emerging subfield of comparative public management. The following countries have been involved with the new global public management: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States. New Zealand was the first to experiment with it as early as the late 1970s. The government reformers there took their cue from ideas coming out of the Chicago school of economics. The economics department at the University of Chicago had been producing Nobel Prize winners since the 1950s, and their ideas were an outgrowth of the small government movement started by the Austrian school of economics in the 1870s. The small government movement rejects Keynesian economics which calls for government intervention to stimulate the economy. Chicago school economics rejects government regulation of business in favor of laissez-faire capitalism and free market enterprise. Famous international institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund operate under principles of Chicago school economics. The school is known for its wideranging interests on such topics as marriage, education, race relations, and criminal justice, but in New Zealand, the influence took the form of using free market processes to shape the incentives of government employees. Rogernomics, named after New Zealand's finance minister Roger Douglas (1980), saved the country from the brink of economic collapse in the 1980s, and preceded the phenomenon known in America as Reaganomics, named after President Ronald Reagan, and both men reduced the number of government regulations over business. New Zealand reforms focused on reducing restrictions on overseas money coming into the economy, which had the effect of transforming New Zealand from an industrial "cocoon economy" to a global economy marked by a cosmopolitan hospitality industry which produced a bunch of affluent New Zealanders. Within the government sector, state-owned airlines and other public services were privatized, and workers were put on performance contracts which rewarded good results and resulted in firing for bad results as measured by output budgeting (an accrual-based method of budgeting which shifts accountability away from measurement of inputs, like tax dollars spent, toward outputs, like the quality of activities produced). Australia, Canada, and the UK followed similar approaches, and also implemented customer service in the form of less paperwork and problems (for citizens) to find the right agency. For example, in the UK, Tony Blair's "joined-up government" movement committed itself to agency integration by presenting citizens with a "no wrong door" policy. Internet-based information technology also helped with integration as well as reducing paperwork. The New Zealand reforms were the world's most aggressive and ambitious. In America, the GPM movement can be said to have arisen from a 1980s subfield of public administration called "implementation" (Pressman & Wildavsky 1984). This area of policy studies was devoted to the study of why so many government programs fail, the main reason being cost overruns like the infamous $436 hammers the government was being charged for that actually cost only $6. The presiding President at the time, Ronald Reagan (1981-1989), took these kinds of findings as evidence to support his belief that government, especially in Washington, was too big. Reagan also had an interest in welfare reform. In 1982, President Reagan appointed multimillionare J. Peter Grace to head up a commission to root out waste and inefficiency in government, and dozens of programs were privatized, from cafeteria services in federal buildings to maintenance services on military bases. The Grace Commission legacy still exists in the form of the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, which is perhaps best known for their seven criteria of what would qualify as "pork-barrel" spending: (1) requested by only one chamber of Congress (2) not specifically authorized (3) not competitively awarded (4) not requested by the President (5) greatly exceeds the budget request or previous year’s funding (6) not the subject of congressional hearings (7) serves only a local or special interest GPM really took off during the 1993-2001 President Clinton administration, and particularly with the "reinventing government" initiative of 1993. This was an initiative to make government smarter, cheaper, and more effective -- and Vice President Al Gore was charged with leading the effort. Gore's campaign was officially called the National Performance Review (NPR), and it was intended to root out waste, fraud, and other abuse in government as well as cut the size of the bureaucracy. Gore focused quite heavily on use of the Internet to improve customer service, with the website FirstGov (now - the nation's official web portal) being launched in 2000 (Note: an archive of the NPR website as it appeared in 2001 is available online). Gore also created the Hammer Awards to recognize the heroes of reinvention, the award being made out of a $6 hammer which parodied the infamous $436 hammers of years past. In all, 25 federal agencies were targeted for "reinvented" customer service because they had the most contact with the public. Downsizing took place, promising and delivering on the elimination of about 300,000 jobs; procurement reform enabled managers to purchase goods off the shelf, and all these things, along with other budget cuts, resulted in about $112 billion being saved (Kettl 2005). The NPR demonstrated that significant amounts of money could be saved by management reform. The extent to which Internet-based information technology made government services more friendly, convenient, and seamless is open to question. For example, governments can try to offer better toll-free telephone service, Internet form downloads, and accommodating office hours, but the fact of the matter is that citizens may never improve their "trust" of government simply because for the service they need, they have no choice but to go to the government. Lack of choice severely impairs government service delivery. Also, there is the issue of whether citizens are really consumers or "owners" of government. Governments cannot choose their customers, just as citizens cannot choose their governments. There are many reasons why people don't trust government, but they all rely upon this basic fact (Nye et. al. 1997). GPM under President George W. Bush (2001-2009) expanded "e-government" initiatives, the contracting out of services, and brought back performance budgeting (a type of PPBS -- Planning Programming Budgeting System that centralized agency accountability so they measure up to planned results via report cards over their progress). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) played a key role in this, and proved to be a tough grader on progress reports. The OMB is a unique cabinet-level agency, capped at 500 employees, most of whom cannot be fired when one administration succeeds another. OMB became as much "one-stop shopping" for agencies as Al Gore's plan for the FirstGov website was for citizens. When the Department of Homeland Security was set up during the Bush administration, a great deal of the thinking behind its formation was influenced by two factors: (1) a restructuring of agencies by function, which is not necessarily a part of the "new," but represented "old" public management reshuffling much like what the Hoover Commission recommendations reflected back in 1949 and 1955; and (2) the "new" idea of performance-driven pay in that DHS employees would be exempt from civil service protections. With both homeland security and the war on terror, the Bush administration made extensive inroads into privatization, in the form of contractors from the private sector. Kettl (2005) notes a difference between the American and New Zealand approach to privatization where the American approach rests upon an ideological belief, largely untested by evidence, about the superiority of the private sector, and the New Zealand approach rests upon a belief that the government's role is to define goals and not necessarily produce services itself. Of course, anything that cuts down on the time or "transaction costs" involved with procurement or contract bidding would likely result in significant cost savings since this is the area most implementation problems derive from (Pressman & Wildavsky 1984). Consider the fruitcake -- which is sent to American soldiers every Christmas -- the specifications for MIL-F-1499 (fruitcake) are 18 pages long, with procedures in place to guarantee the exact number of candied fruit and nuts, adequate shelf life, resistance to handling, and satisfactory palatability. TOWARD GOOD GOVERNANCE Any management reform must have the total support of the governance system in which it is applied. Take Internet-based reforms, for instance. In recent years, there has been quite an interest in "digital government" or "e-government," and although it's a good thing that paperless income tax filing is now possible, welfare recipients carry ATM cards instead of food stamps, and one can renew their license and register to vote all at the same drive-thru, such systems may bring convenience at the cost of security? Computer systems must not only be carefully calibrated and integrated, but they also must be secure and guarantee privacy. One problem arises from the fact that many government files are public records and thus can be viewed by anyone (such as motor vehicle files). Another problem arises from the existence of cyber-warfare going on between nations, elements of organized crime, and other unscrupulous transnational entities. Additionally, computers decrease production costs but increase overhead costs, and skimping on security is fairly common. Increasingly networked societies are rapidly eroding the traditional notions of hierarchy, authority, and bureaucracy because for much of the 20th century, the guiding notion of public administration was this: The Guiding Notion of 20th Century Public Administration Policymakers, elected by citizens, would craft decisions and delegate responsibility to administrators, clearly defining each agency's job, with the principle of hierarchy clearly defining each administrator's responsibilities and the principle of authority holding everyone in the system accountable, and in this way, delegating authority to the bureaucracy, with higher-level bureaucrats using authority to control what subordinates did, hence promoting efficiency by encouraging the creation of sophisticated bureaucracies full of highly skilled workers, and promoting accountability by specifying the exact relationship of every worker to others within their organizational boundaries (Kettl 2002). Clearly, the guiding notion (above) has not served as a good guide or model. For one thing, it is too focused on product rather than process. Governance is not the same as government. It is a word which means "steering" although Denhardt & Denhardt (2007) take exception to this meaning and argue in favor of a "listening up" conception, as in government ought to "listen up" to citizens who own the government, not try to "row" or "steer" anybody. Other conceptions abound having to do with notions of legitimacy and the like, and there is even a Governance for Dummies book (Gilbert & Welytok 2007). Nonetheless, it is unimaginable that anyone would set up a government without some way of making it work, so what governance really refers to are management or leadership processes which people expect governments to carry out, and do well, whether it involves verifying the making of decisions, delegating the responsibility to carry out decisions, or sanctioning those who make and/or carry out bad decisions after-the-fact. The most moral or natural purpose of governance consists of assuring, on behalf of those governed, a worthy pattern of good while avoiding an undesirable pattern of bad. Public sector governance involves issues such as corruption, procurement, transparency and public accountability. What people care about is whether or not there has been any improvement in their quality of life. Public management matters only to the extent that it produces results. Good governance is a term from the sustainable development literature (e.g., Sachs 1992) which argues that the ideal characteristics of governance have eight (8) qualities -- it is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive, and follows the rule of law. The following graphic provided by UNESCAP illustrates these characteristics: The quality of being participatory requires, at minimum, a civil society in which basic freedoms like the right to free expression and association are guaranteed. Consensusoriented means that the government should mediate conflicting interests in hopes of achieving social consensus on what is good for the society as a whole. Accountability requires, at minimum, that the public be able to know who is accountable to whom. Transparency means that decisions are made and enforced in an open environment where the following of rules and regulations matter. Responsiveness means that institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe. Effectiveness and efficiency refer to the production of results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of available resources. Equity and inclusiveness mean that all members of a society feel they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream. Rule of law refers to fair and impartial legal frameworks that respect human rights, and demonstrate an independent judiciary as well as an incorruptible police force. In many ways, the characteristics of good governance seem idealistic, but in other ways, they are just plain expressions of the ethics of public service. It may be difficult, but not impossible, to measure good governance, and these difficulties have relevance for comparative research methods. First of all, not all nations have strong accounting systems which allow tracking the real cost of government programs and the link between inputs and results. Secondly, management reforms are often entangled or commingled with highprofile political issues which makes it hard to separate the managerial from the political. Also, given the inability of second-guessing what track a society might have gone down (for baseline, comparative purposes), the best indicator of a successfully implemented program is probably its lifespan. However, beware the Darwinian fallacy of believing that all things which survive over time are automatically worthy of survival. Further, be aware of "reform fatigue" which occurs when the pace of change is too hectic for a society to cope. The pace (pattern) of reform can be modest (the government is seen as taking some action), incremental (a critical mass buildup takes place beforehand), or "big bang" (a quick response to a major crisis). The surest bet with all patterns is to concentrate on coordination and cooperation, especially as these things are affected by next-generation technology and globalization. If and when you get totally lost and confused, just remember the advice of former World Bank president James Wolfensohn who once said all you need are four things: • • • • good governance a justice system that works a financial system that works a social system that works TOWARD GOOD GLOBAL GOVERNANCE Good global governance will require institutionalizing reform. Public management reform is defined as "deliberate changes to the structures and processes of public sector organizations with the objective of getting them to run better" (Pollitt & Bouckaert 2004:8). Public sector reform usually comes in two varieties: structural reforms, which generally involve merging or splitting organizations (making them bigger or smaller); and process reforms, which generally involve redesigning quality of service or budgeting systems. By far, the reform with the most appeal to most countries is process reform, specifically the idea of redesigning quality of service; i.e., putting the client first, paying more attention to clients, delivering better results, or increasing customer satisfaction. The notion of putting people first is somewhat of a chimera because it depends a lot upon "perceptions" of satisfaction, which vary on their own, up and down, for psychological reasons. Sometimes, public perception does not improve no matter how hard the government tries, and sometimes public perception improves when the government hasn't tried at all. It is even possible for a government to manipulate public perception by providing such shoddy service that any improvement to client service would result in huge increases in perceptions of satisfaction. When perception matters most, there is usually a feeling of separation of ownership (by citizens) from control (by officials). This feeling of separation by the governed from their governors is usually addressed as an accountability or governance issue. Ingraham and Lynn (2004) call it public management in a governance context. The simpler phrase for it -- "public governance" (how to govern for strengthening democracy and human rights) -is an emerging field of study which has largely embraced principal-agent theory. Principal-agent theory involves ideas about how to get public managers (agents) to internalize the welfare of stakeholders (principals). It basically tries to address the lack of upward (vertical) communication problem in organizations so that supervisors can know if subordinates are, in fact, carrying out their responsibilities. Manipulation of various job incentives to produce a work culture designed around "a fair day's work" is typically recommended. Further, other ideas exist for improving not only public perception but democracy promotion as well. Better coordination and collaboration among associational networks usually works, as does making institutions less hierarchical, less reliant upon central authority, and less symptomatic of the defects of bureaucracy. There are, in fact, a number of good reforms associated with the idea of good global governance, and in recent years, the field of democracy promotion has come to rely upon an indicators-based approach which means that certain targets, metrics, or benchmarks become eligibility requirements for measuring goal accomplishment. The following chart illustrates some criteria that various international development organizations use: Public Governance Indicators Ruling Justly Investing in People Economic Freedom Civil Liberties and Political Health Expenditures and Cost of Starting a Business Rights (UN) Immunization (WHO) (WB/IFC) Voice and Accountability Educational Expenditures Fiscal Policy (IMF, WEO) (WBI) (WB) Fair Trade Policy (UN) Rule of Law (UN, WBI) Women's Primary Education Control of Inflation (IMF, Controlling Corruption (UN, Completion (WB) WEO, IFS) WBI) UN: United Nations; WBI: World Bank Institute; IFS: International Financial Statistics; WEO: World Economic Outlook; WB/IFC: World Bank, International Finance Corporation; WHO: World Health Organization