Public administration is the implementation of the public policy by the government. These policies are meant to benefit the public and alleviate their living conditions. The implementation of public policy that have been set by the federal government, supported by the budget and approved by congress need be assessed. This is to make sure the administrators (civil servants) and the agencies which have been given the mandate to manage the resources and policies achieve their purpose and are accountable. The executive under the president has responsibility of achieving the public interest by making appropriate decisions on these policies and administrators (Kettl, p404, 2014). Thus, it must use its political influence to convince the congress to support its various initiatives. On the other hand, the congress, the nongovernmental organization, judiciary and the government must form oversight committees that will check the use of resources and accountability. However, there are barriers that obstruct effective oversight of public administration.
The biggest barrier on the oversight of the implementation of public policy is the constitution. This is because the law is silent on how the certain policy should be undertaken, who is in charge of the oversight or implementation of the policy and what the limitations are. Additionally, the constitution is also silent on how the implementation should be assessed and who should be held responsible. Thus, this has forced the congress to make amendments to the constitutions and this at times takes time before the bill is signed into law (Kettl, p403, 2014)
Lack of information on how the policies are implemented proved to be a hindrance on judging if the agency and civil servants are doing what is required of them (Kettl, 411, 2014). Most of the departments in the government don’t keep proper records to show how the policy is implemented and how the resources are used. Thus, this becomes difficult to hold the civil servants accountable and answerable in case of the policy is not implemented properly.
The claims of secrecy and confidentiality of information can form a barrier. In addition, lack of enough time to thoroughly investigate by the oversight body. Most of the government documents cannot be shared in public unless a court order is received (Kettl, p413, 2014). When the oversight body finally gets the order to investigates and access the documents, the exercise has been past by events hence irrelevant. Thus, the accountability is lost.
Kettl, D.F. (2014). Politics of the administrative process, 6th edition. Washington, DC: CQ Press. ISBN 13: 978-1-4833-3293-2