Public Administration Exam 1 Study Guide

An organization whose main purpose is to provide a service to the public, not make a profit

Nonprofit Organization

The part of our lives that is independent of government and the private sector. Voluntary and civic associations are a part of this. These organizations are needed for the proper functioning of society.

Civil Society

The federal government's management of the economy through the manipulation of the money supply, interest rates, and credit. The federal reserve is responsible for directing this policy.

Monetary Policy

Managing the economy through the use of the budget or in other words using government expenditures (spending) or revenues (taxes, fees) to direct the economy.
They can tax people and spend money

Fiscal Policy

Any decision making done on behalf of or affecting the public. Especially that which is done by the government.

Public Policy

Responsibility to a higher authority for your actions


An administrator's freedom to act or decide on his/her own ways to implement a law. In effect, this allows administrators to make public policy.

Administrative Discretion

Public agencies derive power from...

Expertise, Size & Stability, Administrative Authority

What are the 3 reasons the size of government and administration has grown?

Economic, Political, National Security

Something that is there for all of us to enjoy

Public Good

Examples of public goods

Clean Air, Clean Water, National Security

A political arrangement in which different sectors of society organize into groups to exert political influence


The right for us to choose what we care about

Public Choice

Created to solve common problems (Specific people with specific needs)

Client Agency

Department of Agriculture

Example of client agency

Why are public administrators held to a higher standard of ethics than managers in the private sector?

1. They spend the public's tax money
2.They have significant power to implement laws and to shape policy so citizens must work for the best interest of society
3.If they are not seen an trustworthy, they lose the confidence of the public

What does the Constitution set the purpose of?

The state/national/federal government

The authority to check up on people and making sure they are doing the right thing. (Congress has it over bureaucracy) (bureaucracy = public administrators)


Who does the Constitution guarantee powers to?

National and State governments

Who does the Supreme Court resolve disputes between?

states and the federal government

How does the federal government send money to the states?

Through grants

What is a block grant?

It's when the federal government gives you money and allows you to decide how you're going to spend it to benefit the people

What is a categorical grant?

The federal government telling you what to do.

State govt's create local govt's. Local govt's only do what state govt's want them to do. State govt's can disband a local gov't if they want to.

Dillon's Rule

Why is public administration important to you?

It can be a career choice, and you can work for a private corporation

Is the public or private sector more important?

At different times the public and private sector were more important

What are the different subject areas you can study in public administration?

Budgeting, finance, and organizational behavior

Out of the direct control of the president. FCC, SEC and National Labor Relations board

Independent Regulatory Commissions

Impartial examiner allows citizens to be heard and makes a decision on case


Misuse of power

Judicial Review

Support for other departments

Overhead Agency

Agency + interest group + sub committee

Iron Triangle

People are active in an issue but don't share strong links

Policy Network

Any frontline government workers with considerable administrative discretion

Street Level Bureaucrats

What are examples of a street level bureaucrat?

Teachers, police officers, case workers

What are the 3 main characteristics of the Federal Structure?

1. U.S. is a representative democracy
2. 3 branches of government
3. Federal System- states and national.
Government- limits each others power.

If a person meets certain criteria, they're entitled to benefits. (ex. social security)


What are the 3 different types of government a city can have?

1. Mayor-Council
2. Council manager
3. Commission Plan
(mayor kisses babies)

What is the glue that holds society together?

social capital

people who get together and petition government for things they want

interest groups