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Public Interest, Administrative Responsibility, and Recent Ethical Obligations of Public Administrators

Discuss public interest, administrative responsibility and some of the recent ethical obligations confronting public administrators in their day to day decision making. Also examine the recent trend in privatizing government functions and discuss if it posses any dilemma for the attainment of public interest. Be sure to use relevant examples to illustrate your point.

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I gave you an outline here. I provided a bunch of good sources concerning this topic, both in terms of bureaucratic self-interest and privatization of state functions. Thanks for using BrainMass!

You have to include James Q. Wilson. He is a must and the pioneer in this particular area. The main work came out in 1975 and is called The Rise of the Bureaucratic State. It is an article that sets the stage for the rest of the field. It can be found here: http://www.nationalaffairs.com/public_interest/detail/the-rise-of-the-bureaucratic-state

There are three ethical concerns dealing with bureaucracy and the public interest. First, that the size of the administration will become so large that it will be immune to popular control or even comprehension. Second, this means that the bureaucracy becomes an interest group of itself, with its own interest that can be opposed to the common good. Finally, basic decision-making power is in the hands of those who are well-unionized, career bureaucrats, unknown to the public and largely insulated from public outrage.

Another essential point Wilson makes concerns the life span of these institutions. At first, a social problem is discovered and the state takes action against it. It creates a set of programs to tackle the issue, which of course, means more public money spent and an administration hired and trained. The unintended consequence of this is to create a group of people who have an interest in the system's survival. It, in Wilson's word, becomes based on a clientele that seek to maintain funding for the program or system regardless of its actual impact on the public.

The above should be self-explanatory. The basic ethical issues have to do with the responsiveness of the government itself (not politicians, but the state as a set of ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines administrative responsibility and the recent ethical obligations.

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