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Role of Public Administration in Policy Making – Essay

A butcher becomes Minister of Militia, a baker assumes control of the Finance Department, where the candlestick maker, supervises the erection of light house the propagation and placing of new gas plant on the St. Lawrence.

In short, the task of running the government is entrusted to amateurs whose special knowledge, if it exists, lies in quite different fields. It is difficult to imagine the survival of the bank or railway whose president is chosen because of his knowledge of agriculture or electricity but such irrelevant qualifications govern the choice of Cabinet Ministers”.

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The minister has to depend upon the ‘permanent staff for advice and guidance to run the administration. This led Ramsay Muir to remark that “Bureaucracy thrives under the clock of ministerial responsibility”.

The senior civil servants participate both in the process of setting the goals of development plan and also in formulating the strategy for attaining goals.

Because of the lack of technical know-how of political leadership in the developing countries as pointed out by Valsan, the advisory role of administration becomes a very important factor in the determination of policies.

In fact, public administration has to concern itself with four P’s standing for; (a) policy making (b) planning; (c) programme (d) projects. These come under what Siffin calls the “development design strategy”. Besides participation in making policies, the civil servants are also involved in the traditional role of direction and execution of policy.

It is also the responsibility of the senior civil servant so interpret the policy set by themselves and the political leadership to the lower levels of administration and to train the latter in the methods to be adopted in order to achieve developmental goals.

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