Political Oversight

Task: Write a descriptive essay in which you review the errors of political system run publically.
Essay Topic: Political Oversight
Essay Type: Descriptive essay
Length: 2 pages
Formatting: APA
Requirements: Identify at least three barriers that hinder political oversight of public administration. Determine the implications of these barriers on the concepts of accountability and responsibility in public administration.
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Identify at least three barriers that hinder political oversight of public administration. What are the implications of these barriers on the concepts of accountability and responsibility in public administration?

The government has a duty to its citizens to ensure that its policies are implemented and they are adhered to; this is the role of public administrators. Their roles have been compromised sometimes leading to poor oversight in matters of protecting the citizens. In Amsterdam, for example, the national government gave the local authorities the mandate to implement policies I regard to the drugs that were sold in local coffee shops and eating houses. This was to protect the tourists that go the capital city mainly because unlike other states, the country allows the purchase and selling of otherwise banned drugs. Such a policy would ensure that the important tourists who are a good source of foreign revenue to the government are protected from the back alley drug dealers whom they would go to if the drugs were banned. The local authorities have however not implemented any of the policies mandated to them. The poor enforcement will harm the oversight in the administration of safer trading environment for the tourists. A similar scenario of poor enforcement harming oversight of public administration was also witnessed in the Bush administration when Congress banned the torture of suspected terrorists. There were at least nine cases of torture that had been allowed in the prisons even after the passing of the law that prohibited it. This shows that the lack of implementation and enforcement greatly harms the oversight aspect.

The micromanagement of the public system has also become a hindrance to the public administration oversight. A good case of that is the investigative reports after the 2001 Twin Tower blasts where it was discovered that the officials in immigration have too much paperwork and other laws that are not as important as scrutinizing the entrants of the state. Had the government conducted a performance examination, they had realized that the immigration department was failing in its public administration oversight duties. Congress and other government officials are the biggest contributors to this barrier. This is because they do not deem oversight as important because it does help build their reputation or improve their reelection bids. The laws that they constantly pass in order to have “a strong public opinion” makes the paperwork even greater in quantity.

Decentralization of the government administration system has been a budding barrier. In the US, for example, the power spread has led to barrier to the flow of information from the executive part of the system. Now Congress has to source for information from outside. The information that the executive gets is at times kept from them because of their “secrecy” policies. This has reduced the oversight capability of that part of the government because good public administration oversight needs good information. Sometimes, however, information can be given to Congress all at once leading to stacks of work and reviews that need to be done. Such cases have led to the use of support agencies as opposed to increasing staff numbers.

Public administrators have to be made accountable if we expect oversight to be done better. The government should set goals for them and periodically measure their performance so that the public can witness better results. The administrators, however, have to be willing to comply, after which the government needs to outline the consequences that will befall anyone who does not meet the set criteria. That is the only way that the standards will be met and maintained. The consequences expressed should however be subtle enough to make them adhere to the systems guidelines and not harm the entire process before the public administration oversight mandate is achieved.

Political Oversight
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