Public administration refers to the rules and processes followed by the government when using public resources. Efficient management of resources, transparency, accountability and good policies ensure that the relationship between the government and the public is based on mutual respect. Significant reforms in the U. S have been achieved in the public administration by the government to achieve the above goals.
Public administration should ensure that good ethics are achieved in the financial administration and other offices. Public administration has been said to move from theories competition of interest groups and the electoral, of games, of winners and losers and is taking its focus towards theories of cooperation, institutional building and maintenance, networking and governance. It is moving to deal with daunting problems connected with state disarticulation. This has been termed as repositioned public administration.
The government was earlier concerned with issues of maintaining a culture of ‘winning’ on its part but it has taken a great shift into largely incorporating other needs-ranging from the issues of administration to formulation of rules and regulation. Formulation of various Acts to cater for various needs has been successful though with failure in the U. S public administration history. This is in an attempt to improve in terms of public care, business regulation and governance improvements. The Northern Ordinance of 1787 shaped orientation of America to local public administration.
This legislation made it possible for direct local democracy and an overarching umbrella of local administrative responsibilities and obligations for essential services like justice, health care, schools, roads and law enforcement under direct local control. Local administration took over all activities except defense, during the nineteenth century. National government didn’t play key role in administration of the locals and the state government left rural administration and policy making to the local administrators.
In the nineteenth century, the policy decisions flowed from local levels to top level, the rural communities communicated between or amongst them if there were close proximity and common problem, and policy making was not significantly by the village. Government added and expanded its supervisory and regulative role to rural areas during the first half of the twentieth century, as the rurals were being integrated into the national economy.
The needs of the more developed and populous urbanized political centers have been closed to those of the rurals by the leadership amongst the federal and state governments in collaboration with the rural governments over time. The latter part of the twentieth century saw increased government mission and scope particularly growth of the local and state government, and the intergovernmental mandates and demands on local units of government.
Eventually, there was the formation of the policies for the federal and state governments and they imposed their demands and priorities in a standard manner with little consideration of these policies in an environment of low population density. A gap between the rural and urban administrating units resulted from the growth of control over the local administrative discretions by the federal and state government. Local governments were falling sort if interest to implement services primarily designed for the urbanized areas and were lacking the personnel and resources to implement them effectively.
In the twentieth century, the local administration had little capacity to influence the administration by other governments and the urbanized centers which were the decision and policy controllers. Rural residents often withdrew from governance and rural areas were an issue for federal and state governments to cater for (Audirac, 1997). There was latter devolution of the authority. Provision of services, construction and maintenance The Interstate Commerce Act was passed by the U. S Congress in 1887 to prevent discrimination in the charge rates in rail roads.
They charged lesser for competitive long haul than for monopolistic short haul due to competition for traffic in some places. Merchants, communities, farmers and regions who were the pricing practices turned to politics for redress and protesting made several states regulate railroads. Reformers and railroads disliked the ideas in the some of the provisions of this act which also received opposition from California and Northeast. The act established the Interstate Commerce Commission.
The Supreme Court denied the commission power to set rates and prevent the abuse in charges for the short and long haul latter in 1897, but again the Congress amended the ICA through the Hepburn act of 1906 empowering the on the setting of maximum freight charges and extend its authority over oil pipelines and express companies. Further powers were given via various acts like the Transportation Act (1920), Transportation Act (1940) and The Motor Carrier Act (1935) after World War 1 and after the World War 2, due to arising competition difficulties from motor and water carriers, further amendments by the Congress were made but failed.
By 1970s and 1980s critics declared the Act a failure. Staggers Rail Act of 1980 made competition of railroads with tracks possible and The Motor Carrier Act of the same year deregulated trucking business. In December 1995 the Interstate Commerce Act became dead letter due to carrying out of a proposal by the Office of Management and Budget with the cutting of budget in Washington (Paul, S. Boyer ‘Interstate Commerce Act’ The Oxford Companion to United States History).
Cash payments The Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) was amended by the U. S Congress and declared illegal every contract, combination (in form of trust or otherwise) or conspiracy in restraint of interstate and foreign trade and imposed a fine. It gave power to federal government to institute proceeding against trusts. The Supreme Court ruling prevented federal authorities to use the act for some years. President Theodore politically championed against this and Taft employed it in 1911 against Standard Oil Trust and the American Tobacco. Other acts were formed latter to supplement it or replace it (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition).
Employment and Regulation The Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883) gave chance to the system of permanent federal employment based on merit as opposed to the earlier which was based on political party affiliation. A competitive examination by a civil service commission would be used to select government employees. Before then only 10 % were covered by the law but latter on the scope was moved to include more than 90 % of federal employees (Britanicca Concise Encyclopedia). The government has since been involved in the improvement not only of workers employment terms but also their pay.