CHAPTER-I INTRODUCTION The nature of administration to a great extent depends on the nature of the state. In a colonial state the two main functions of administration were maintenance of law and order and revenue collection. Welfare state means more government functions where government is involved in almost all aspects of the life of citizens economic, cultural, social, regulatory, productive and many others. Unlike the developed west, the third world’s development has basically been government led. Public Administration is a system of organization and action concerned with public serving activities. It can best be looked at as an instrument that is used for the realization of the goals of government. 1 As an aspect of government activity, Public Administration has been co existing with every political system as the action part of government for the fulfillment of the objectives set by the political decision makers. Kautilya’s Arthshastra, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana contain many insightful observations about the organization and working of government. In the history of western political thought, Aristotle’s “Politics” and Machiavelli’s “The Prince” are important contributions to both politics and administrative issues and ideas.2 Public Administration as a specialized academic field deals essentially with machinery and procedures of government as these are used in effective performance of government activities. It is the action part of government, the means by which the purposes and goals of government are realized. Public administration is not a study of the administrative structures in isolation, instead, it is a study in which the importance of socio-political and economic background is sought to be assessed to grasp the nature and type of administration of a particular country.3
Bhattcharya, Mohit. New Horizons of Public Administration, Jawahar Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, 2008, p.1. Ibid. Bidyut Chakrabarty and Mohit, Bhattacharya (eds), Public Administration: A Reader. Oxford, New Delhi, 2003, pp. 2-3.
Functionally, administration was separated from politics, administration it was argued, is concerned with implementation of policy decisions taken politically. Politics has to do with policies or expressions of the state will. Administration has to do with the execution of these policies. Apart from this distinction, the instituted locations of these two functions were differentiated. The location of politics was identified as the legislature and the higher echelons of government where major policy decisions would be made and the larger questions of allocation of values decided upon. By contrast, the location of administration was identified as the executive arm of the government, the bureaucracy. In other words, politics is an area of change and indeterminacy and administration is one of stability and routine.1 The evolution of Public Administration as a specialized field of study dates back to1887 when Woodrow Wilson’s article entitled “The science of administration was published. It was written at a time when there was crying need to defuse the crisis in administration, eliminate corruption, improve efficiency and streamline service delivery in pursuit of public interest. This stage in the evolution of public administration can be called the era of (a) politics-administration dichotomy (b) factvalue dichotomy. Max Weber is the first theoretician who provided the discipline with a solid theoretical base. What is distinctive in Weberian formulation is the attempt to construct an ideal type or a mental map of a fully developed bureaucracy which he calls the most rational and efficient form of organization. His ideal type bureaucracy consists of features like hierarchy, division of work and strict adherence to rules. Dwight Waldo’s asserted during the 1960s that if there was a paradigm in public administration it was undoubtedly Weber’s bureaucratic model. 2
Self, Peter. Administrative Theories and Practices: An Enquiry into the Structure and Processes of Modern Government, S. Chand, New Delhi, 1981, p.151. Arora, Ramesh K. Recent Perspectives in Public Administration. Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur, 2011, pp.2-3.
A more powerful movement at the empirical plane was the Scientific Management Movement by F.W. Taylor. He reaffirmed the idea of politics-administration dichotomy and called for the evolution of a value free ‘Science of Management’ .The emphasis at this stage was totally on efficiency. Scientific Management of business became the slogan given by F.W. Taylor. The administrators and the business schools joined hands to emphasize the mechanistic aspect of management. Economy, efficiency, hierarchy, rules, regulations was the thrust of the classical school-Gullick (POSDCORB), Urwick, Mooney, Reiley, Fayol. Later studies on private firms revealed new findings about the actual working of all organizations both private and public. The most notable contribution in this connection came from the famous Hawthorne experiments in the late 1920’s and 1930s carried out by a group of scholars at the Hawthorne Plant of the West Electric Company. The Hawthorne experiments pioneered a movement which came to be known as Human Relations approach to Management, marking the third stage of evolution of Administrative thought. It pointed out the shortcomings of Scientific Management and highlighted the importance of informal organization, participatory management, influence of social and psychological factors at work place and human side of enterprise. Late 1930’s and 1940’s Decisional Analysis was introduced into the Administrative Theory through the writings of Chester Barnard and Herbert Simon. According to Simon decision making is at the heart of administration. Two significant publications invite attention in the 1940s, - Herbert Simon’s “Administrative Behavior” and Robert Dahl’s essay entitled “The Science of Public Administration: Three Problems”. Simon’s book is a critique of older public administration. The substantive focus was on “decision-making” and as Simon insisted; if any theory is involved, it is that decision making is the heart of administration, and that the vocabulary of administrative theory must be derived from
the logic and psychology of human choice.
He rejected the idea of politics-
administration dichotomy and considered classical principles as mere proverbs. Post Second World War saw the emergence of a host of developing nations in Asia and Africa. At this juncture of third world history we find the birth of development administration which was a government-led effort for the purpose of Socio-Economic transformation of these countries. F. W. Riggs Prismatic-Sala model is an important contribution in this field. The evolutionary perspective must include an account of the New Public Administration movement which marked a turning point in the growth of the discipline. The literature on New Public Administration lays emphasis on four major themes:Relevance:- to contemporary problems and issues oriented towards the realities of modern day public life. Value:- Value Neutrality was totally rejected. Value neutrality in public administration is an impossibility and the discipline should explicitly further the cause of the disadvantaged sections in society. The champions of the new movement advocate openness about the values being served through administrative action. Social Equity:- New public administrative believed in reduction of economic and social disparities, and enhancement of life opportunities for all social groups inside the organization. Change:- To serve the cause of social equity is to actively work for social change. The attack is on status- quo, call for debureaucratisation, and basic qualitative transformation. The word “Public” in public administration essentially means government hence public administration is basically government administration, the emphasis
being on public bureaucracy. It is an agency of the public but public here is supposed to be an active participant in change rather than a passive receiver of orders. “Public” in public administration has been expanded to include any administration that has considerable impact on the public. It is here that a line between public and “private” gets blurred because “public” is being appropriated to achieve private ends. It has always been difficult for scholars to define “Public” in public Administration. Public and private in any society can be defined on the basis of three dimensions. Agency - An agent acting on his or her own behalf or a government official whose actions affect others. Interest- It is concerned with who the beneficiary is and who the sufferer is. Hence the interest of the private firm is to benefit only the people involved in it or those who own it, the interest of a government is to serve the entire community at large, rather, take special care of the disadvantaged or the subaltern. Access- encompasses access to activities, space, information and resources. For a long time Public Administration was defined in agency terms. This agency was “the bureaucracy” which constituted the locus of public administration that held sway over the field’s focus for a long time. With privatization, rise of non-state actors, definition of public administration focused not on government agencies as such, but on those more dynamic phenomenon that affected the public interest. The problem with this interest dominated definition was that on person’s idea of public interest might not be shared by another. Hence, a third option for defining the “Public” in public administration came up: the organization. What the literature on organization is contending is that the influence of the outside environment on its inner workings is far more crucial to the general behavior of public organizations than to the private ones.
The differences between public and private pertain to four broad aspects of executive work. The work environment of the organization:- More specifically relative to private managers, public administrators must deal with more complex, less competitive organizational environments and
more organizationally penetrating
environmental forces. Organizational Missions- The public sector’s goals are more distinctive, more numerous and less defined. Structural constraints- decision making in the public sector is more constrained by bureaucracy, red tape and less autonomy. Personal Values- Finally public administrators are less materialistic, less loyal to their organization and more committed to serving the public interest in facilitating social change.1 Public administration has from its inception witnessed periodic changes in dominant conceptualizations about what government does. Waves of reform have swept through the public sector over the past several decades under societal pressure and demands- both national and international. These changes have been piece-meal and fragmented without being integrated into clear ‘visions’ regarding plan change in government. The market model has been holding centre stage since the 80s- but there have been other models alongside it which have been equally powerful and deserve careful consideration. For example the ‘participatory model’ that concentrates on the participation of lower echelons of workers and even the clients and the citizenry has been a direct rebuttal of the traditional hierarchic, bureaucratic model in Public Administration. There has been the idea of ‘flexible government’ which goes against conventional model of permanent employment. Public organizations with much less full-time permanent employees, and increasing level of part-time and temporary
Boyne, George A. Public and Private Management: What’s the Difference, Journal of Management Studies. 39 (Jan 2002) pp. 97-122
workers has steadily come into existence at many places depending upon the nature of the labour market. Still, another model has been the deregulation government idea which one can immediately trace to ‘reinventing government’.1 Post 1990’s the notable trends to bring about fundamental change in administration such as: Globalization- Multi National Corporations (MNCs), freer and faster international trade and travel, among other developments are challenging the traditional place and powers of governments. Redefinition- Increasingly governments are “reinventing” themselves less in terms of power and hierarchy and more in terms of partnership and collaboration. Empowering government, workers and citizens, working with NGOs to deliver services, introducing competition, measuring performance, satisfying “customers” and related developments all reflect this definitional shift. Devolution- Government are relinquishing by design or default their traditional powers to individual citizens, groups of citizens, public-private partnerships, the nonprofit sector, the private’ sector etc. The impact of the above trends on public administration is: Blurring- The boundaries among public, private and non-profit organizations are blurring. Flattening- The Governments have always been hierarchical but now are adapting and restructuring their vertical organization to accommodate other sectors. This restructuring will further accelerate in future.
Bhattacharya, Mohit. Changing Profile of Public Administration, in R.K Arora, (ed.), Recent Perspectives in Public Administration. Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur, 2011, pp. 65.
Governments will reduce their capacity and scale- Redefinition and devolution persuade governments to reduce their responsibilities so that other entities in all three sectors may take them over and deliver public service. Government is institutional, governance is institutional and networked. More than a half century ago the distinguished scholar Paul Appleby described the process of public administration in terms that foretold governing by network. Public administration, Appleby said, is “making a mesh of things.” Government will remain the central institution of public administration even in its current governance paradigm, nevertheless, in what institutional setting public, private, non-profit-public administration will be done is more open to alternative than ever before.1
Public Administration & Globalization Issues arising out of globalization have considerably influenced public administration. Rooted in the movement towards ‘reinventing government’ the idea of ‘deregulatory government’ rests on the assumption ‘that if some of the constraints on action (in the form of bureaucratic formalities) were eliminated, the government could perform its current functions more efficiently and be able to undertake new and creative activities to improve the collective welfare of the society.2 That public administration is concerned with relationship among state, market and citizenship is being questioned. The change in the ideological climate, that of economic liberalization has set a new agenda for Public Administration. In the phase of globalization, markets are the coordinating mechanisms, in order to use markets to provide oil for the lamps of China, oil well owners must know that there exists a land in China where oil will be used in certain volumes at certain 1
Henry, Nicholas. Public Administration and Public Affairs, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Delhi, 2008, p.56. David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector, Prentice-Hall, New Delhi, 1992, p.28.
prices for at least the approximate future. (The relevant time horizon depending on the time required to produce the oil and amortize the investments) and the Chinese buyers will acquire oil lamps only if they believe that oil will be purchasable at a price that makes oil lamp competitive with alternative light sources. Substantial stability of manufacturing, consumption and trade is essential to markets working effectively. And of course, social institutions, and governmental organizations in particular play an essential role in maintaining (and occasionally destroying) that stability1. First and foremost the role of the state has transformed. State retreats and the space traditionally occupied by the state is now occupied by the market. “Hierarchy” the distinguishing feature of bureaucracy has taken a back seat due to downsizing and de-layering of organization. Globalization has led to pulling down the walls and boundaries not only between firms but within firms. The idea of flexible government goes against the conventional model of permanent employment. Full time employment has given way to part-time and temporary workers with a higher percentage of professionals. Also the new ideology strongly supports privatization which advocates greater role for the market and lesser role for the state. The more the freedom given to the private sector, the more is the need to regulate their operations. The state steering has been emphasised by all. However, under globalisation, the steering is not that easy because the roadblocks the governments have to face, the challenges posed by multinational corporations (MNCs) and their adversaries need to be met in the interest of the public who put their faith in their governments. Scholars who have studied the operations of the MNCs
Simon, Herbert. Public Administration in Today’s World of Organizations and Markets in R.K Arora (ed.) Recent Perspectives in Public Administration. Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur, 2011, p.28.
have come out with very alarming details about the operational side of globalization.1 Not all regions are equally involved in the global economy. The Third World countries are linked to the global economy more through indebtedness than through global production and trade2. Role of Public Administration The 23rd International Congress of Administrative Science held in Dubai organised by the International Institute of Administrative Science (IIAS, Brussels), discussed in depth the challenges posed by globalization and the possible administrative responses to them. The participants felt that: "The government will have to undergo a total restructuring of roles, politics, organisations and practices to enable the public sector to contribute to the competitiveness of the national economy and to its integration in the global market."3 The congress took note of the serious challenges posed by MNCs on “manoeuvring around national policies and regulations” thus posing a serious challenge to the sovereignty of the state and it expressed the feeling that: There is theoretical vacuum with regard to national and international economic and development policies in the context of globalization. A new economic theory is needed to address the permeability of the national economies as driven by transnational corporations, economic blocks and the new GATT Agreement, and to guide public policies in this regard.4 Regarding privatization and minimalist state strategy the report of the congress added:
Valsan, E.H. Globalization and Public Administration, in R.K Arora (ed.) Recent Perspectives in Public Administration, Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur, 2011, p. 72. Sharma, Ashwani. Globalization, Liberalization and Health Policy in India, Link. Hongkong Vol.16, 1998, p.18. Ahmed, Sakr Ashour. General Report-Administration and Society: Administrative Response to Globalization and Social Change (Brussels; International Association of Schools and Institute of Administration. Annual conference, 1995, p.27. Ibid. p.10.
This strategy to be successful, the market must be well functioning; the private sector must be equitable and regulatory capacity of the state strong. Most of these requirements are lacking in developing countries.1 Another development that attracts enormous attention in the current era is of ‘transparency’ or ‘openness’ in governmental transactions. Since a monopoly over information gives them power, such a law will not be adopted without strong pressure from all segments of society that suffer under the traditional system of discretionary secrecy. 2 Another feature that is administrative accountability is undergoing a significant change in the Westminster democracies. There seem to have been several inter-related, long-term stimuli for change. The rise and persistence of the “Service Delivery” state has produced at least three relevant effects: first, it has led to a growth of administrative determinations which affect individuals’ entitlements to state benefits or to freedom from state imposed harms; second, there has been a growth of professionalism with attendant problems of control in the public sector and, third, it has given rise to more and closer relations between bureaucracy and citizen-clients, which has in turned produced pressure for various types of citizen participation in decision making. All these outcomes have arguably had significant consequences for accountability. Ministerial responsibility either is now incapable by itself of sustaining a system of administrative accountability or else is undesirable in this role because of its adverse effects on efficiency or on openness and responsiveness in government.3 The modern debate about administrative accountability in countries with Westminster- derived governmental arrangements is centred on the heavy reliance of those systems on a single principle of accountability- namely, the responsibility of 1 2
Ibid. p.10. Rowat, Donald C. (ed.), Administrative Secrecy in Developed Countries. Macmillan Surrey, UK, 1979, p.18 Stone, Bruce. Administrative Accountability in the ‘Westminster’ Democracies: Towards a New Conceptual Framework, Governance. Vol.8, No.4, October 1995, pp.505-526.
minister of state to the parliament—and concern about the continuing ability of the that principle to ensure democratic control of a large active, and increasingly complex executive branch of government. Ministerial responsibility either is now incapable by itself of sustaining a system of administrative accountability or else is undesirable in this role because of its adverse effects on openness and responsiveness in government. Both camps have influenced recent institutional trends. In Australia , for example , reforms designed to strengthen ministerial control of departments of state have followed closely upon other reforms , most notably in the field of administrative law which have reduced , the role of the ministers in the system of accountability. Managerial reforms everywhere, but perhaps most noticeably in the British “Next Steps” program, have pointed
towards innovative forms
accountability, but developments have been heavily restrained by the perceived need to preserve ministerial responsibility. In the Westminster democracies, the concept of accountability has traditionally been treated as subordinate to the concept of responsibility. The traditional understanding of accountability is thus strongly informed by a particular set of institutional arrangements. This limits its utility in contemporary circumstances. Three specific weaknesses can be identified. First , accountability has been closely associated with the idea of “giving an account” , that is explaining or justifying actions , ideally in formal terms as in the case of a minister answering a question in parliament . Accountability has an alternative root idea, that of “taking into account the consequences of one’s actions for the welfare of others”. This second, traditionally underdeveloped understanding is fruitful because it makes relevant to accountability a broad range of means through which the welfare of others can be incorporated in decision making. Secondly, it is implicit in the traditional approach that accountability is always a matter of interpersonal relations. The contributions of individuals to particular outcomes (which are increasingly the focus of attention in public administration) are
notoriously difficult to identify, let alone hold individuals accountable for. It is therefore untenable to maintain that accountability in contemporary public sectors can satisfactorily be reduced to simple relationships between pairs of individuals. The third weakness is that accountability has traditionally been very closely linked with the idea of top-down control in an administrative hierarchy. Forms of control within and over such structures have become correspondingly more complex. Accountability is better understood in terms of the various “means by which public agencies and their workers manage the diverse expectations generated within and outside the organisation. Relationships within accountability systems: Type of accountability system
Basis of relationship
Analogous relationship (Controller-Administrator)
A major factor shaping the evolution of accountability regimes in the Westminster democracies is the interest of executive in maintaining institutional arrangements which ensure their dominance. 1 Managerialism and marketisation may sometimes help move towards an increased volume and efficiency of public goods and services but even in such cases it can have very serious effects unless it remains within the constitutional, political, legal framework. Care must be taken in this regard for it is only government which can intervene and offer entitlement of its citizens through democratic processes of policy making. A failure to incorporate public law principles into contract will reduce or 1
muddy political accountability further. Already with the eagerness to separate policy from administration and the expectation that government refrain from interfering in matters of administration, reforms raise enough issues about accountability. Rhodes also points out that in the UK accountability gap has become wider with the coming of agencies because the government introduced no arrangements to preserve the constitutional convention of ministerial responsibility. “British government” he says “has undergone a significant decrease in accountability”.1 It is now however becoming increasingly clear that new policy making arrangements are required. Even Westminster- style democracies are being forced to change as witnessed the reforms which took place in New-Zealand in the late 1980s. These reforms were the result of legislations rather than internal reorganization, a fact which many commentators regard as highly influential in setting the agenda for change. This is not the place to analyze the reforms but it is useful to note that one of the driving forces was the isolation of responsibility for the performance of different task, in particular, making the minister clearly responsible for the outcomes and the permanent secretary (now styled as chief-executive) for outputs. There are those in the British scenes who believe that something similar needs to be attempted here. One suggestion made is that as well as executive agencies there be established policy agencies operating with a high degree of transparency. So there might be a family policy agency, an energy agency, a transport agency and so on. These new agencies might well include both ministers and external policy advisors. If the logic of citizen's charter is to be pursued- if as much emphasis is placed upon the policy making process as on improved standards of service delivery-then such arguments should be heard clearly at this time before exciting new developments harden into a new form of institutional inertia.2
Rod, Rhodes. "Reinventing Whitehall 1979-1995" in Walter J.M Kickert, (ed.), Public Management and Administrative Reform in Western Europe. Cheltanham: Edward Elgar, 1997, pp.43-49. Lewis, Norman. The Citizen’s Charter and Next Steps: A New Way of Governing, The Political Quarterly.Vol.64, Issue 3, July 1993, p.321.
Two initiatives deserve mention during this phase of LiberalisationPrivatisation-Globalisation (LPG), i.e, late 1980s and 90s. One is the concept of Reinventing Government by Osborne and Gaebler, 1992. Osborne and Gaebler’s, “Reinventing Government” created a ripple among the anti-bureaucracy campaigners, and the publications was accorded a warm welcome, heralding as it were the birth of a new form of Public Management known as “entrepreneurial government” (EG). It meant that government has to be made competitive, consumer-driven, result oriented, quality governed, and more entrepreneurial. The major emphasis was on:- Improving Public management through performance management and evaluation. - Reducing budgets. - Cutting the size of government - Selective privatization of public enterprises - Contracting out in selective areas. We do not need to reinvent government. Governmental organizations are needed as they have always been needed to enforce the rule of the gain (including the rules of market contracting), to facilitate coordinate of private organizations and to perform services that are unlikely to be performed effectively by the private sector. The legal institutions must be vigorous and independent enough to curb corruption of the rules of the game by bribery and other illegal activities, and the rules of the game themselves, (e.g., rules of political campaign) contributions, must themselves not enable influence buying. In performing these functions, government agencies themselves become centres of power that help balance the power exerted by the private sector in its own interest. 1 The second concept is Good Governance. In this age of globalization, governance discourse has suddenly entered the vocabulary of public administration. 1
Hammond, J. L. and Barbara. The Rise of Modern Industry. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1926.
The concept of governance was for the first time highlighted in a World Bank document on the Sub-Saharan Africa. It received adequate attention in a 1992 report, entitled Governance and Development , which defines governance as “the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development”. In a way we can say that globalization should be supported by good governance. Therefore, globalization, good governance and the state are inextricably connected. Moreover, globalization can contribute significantly to good governance by applying pressure on national governments to revisit, assess and rectify the dysfunctional forces that threaten the very foundation of their system of governance, or their abilities to build effective systems.1 Governance is not synonymous with the government, the latter being endowed with formal authority. Governance refers to activities backed by shared goals which may or may not derive their legitimacy from the government. Other sources of legitimacy for activities and goals are civil society and the market. Thus, governance encapsulates government but goes beyond it and encompasses non-governmental mechanisms to meet the needs and aspirations of the citizens.2 The dismal performance of the states in Sub-Saharan Africa, statist failures in the Soviet bloc and deterioration elsewhere has led in the 1980s to a global crisis of confidence in the states. Western donor agencies such as the World Bank and the IMF are engaged in the funding of development projects in the debt- ridden third world and the conditional loans to developing countries by transnational agencies make them dependent on global capital. As was emphasized in the 1989 World Bank report, to be
Joseph, G. Jabbra and O.P. Dwivedi. Globalization and Administrative Culture: CrossCultural Challenges in Globalization and Good Governance Pressures for Constructive Reforms (ed.), by R.B. Jain, Deep & Deep Publications, New Delhi, 2005, p.51. Rosenau, J.N. Governance, Order and Change in World Politics, in J.N. Rosenau and Ernst Otto Czempiel (eds), Governance without Government, Order and Change in World Politics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992, pp. 1-16.
eligible for financial assistance from the World Bank, countries need to recast their socio-economic and political goals in accordance with World Bank prescriptions. In return for a new wave of loans from various international agencies including the World Bank several post-colonial states adopted structural adjustment programs that were a package of measures suggested by the World Bank and other donors1. Three aspects remain integral to Governance: (a)
The form of political regime.
The process in which the power is exercised
The capacity of the government to design, formulate and implement policies to discharge the government functions.
According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), governance should include the following major eight characteristics:Participation, Rule of Law, Transparency, Responsiveness, Consensus oriented Equality and Inclusiveness, Effectiveness and Efficiency, Accountability, Strategic Vision. Broadly speaking, good governance consists of three elements: - the first element of good governance is a respect for the Rule of Law, the second feature of good governance is to have special care for the disadvantaged and the weak. A third equally important aspect is that good governance implies tolerance and broad mindedness which allows us to accept and embrace unity and diversity. All studies in public administration till now have been by and large Eurocentric. Thus efforts at administrative restructuring and other types of public sector reforms in the developing countries must address the question of indigenous style, values and culture of governance. The nature of public administration in the 1
Chakrabarty, Bidyut. Reinventing Public Administration The Indian Experience. Orient Longman, New Delhi, 2007, pp.86-87.
developed societies is qualitative but in developing societies, it is more quantitative. Therefore public expectations from the government in the developing societies are different from that prevailing in the developed west. To force de-bureaucratization, privatization, shrinking the state apparatus can prove to be counterproductive. State minimalism and market friendliness are the recipes being prescribed for the third world development, as if what applies to the first world should also be applicable to the third world. Suffice it is to say that any standard prescription of development strategy is likely to fail, if it does not take into account the socio-historical specificity of a particular country.1 Under the new governance discourse, we find a shift from administration to management, from politics to market. Public administration is reduced to becoming service providers to its clients not citizens-the purpose of public administration is basically different from private administration. Governance is thus a mechanical act, governed not by any political ideal, but by the market where the satisfaction of the client takes priority over other considerations. Without politics, democracy has a restrictive meaning. The role of public administration is reduced if it does not take into consideration democratic governance but gives due consideration to managing public agencies. Hence John J. Kirlin argues that as long as democracy is valued, the big questions of public administration must go beyond the big questions of public management.2 What is relevant in the context of the third world is that public administration is being crippled in the name of structural adjustment increasingly invoking the market model of governance in utter disregard of the crucial social developmental role of the state in the developing countries. A distorted picture is emerging of the achievements of reforms because of the flawed analytical perspective and methods. Under pressure of market centred values, 1
Bhattacharya, Mohit. Restructuring Public Administration. Jawahar Publishers, New Delhi, 1997, p.26. Kirlin, John J. The Big Questions in a Democracy, Public Administration Review. September-October, 1996, p. 217.
organisations seek to increase their profits and their returns while many social and environmental costs do not enter their cost benefit analysis, thereby distorting the very meaning of improved performance and efficiency making compromises on public interest. Liberalisation, deregulation etc have placed heavy cost on environmental resources. The costs/resources required for addressing these emerging problems on account of measures to improve profitability and efficiency will be much more than the gains made through these reforms. Resorting to indiscriminate and narrowly conceived privatisation strategies with the objective of improving economic performance also appear questionable when assessed in terms of the context where these are introduced. In most third world countries where private sector is still underdeveloped, mismanaged and unlikely to either offer or take strong competition, the real brunt of public sector withdrawal in favour of private sector will have to be borne by the people whose needs would go unattended. The much proclaimed superiority of private sector on the grounds of competitiveness has also been questioned by many. As a result of the above developments, two concepts that have emerged in this area are NPM – New Public Management and Public Choice Theory. The conference of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management held in Canada in August 1994 created a rippled effect due to this new paradigmatic shift (NPM) in the discipline of public administration. The classical model of public administration was oriented towards:(a)
Specialization & division of work
Components of NPM The “new paradigm” called the new public management that has steadily emerged has the following important features:
Delivery of high quality of services that the citizens value.
Increased autonomy to the managers.
Rewards including pay structures are based on performance measurement of the individual.
Managerial support services to facilitate achievement of pre-set performance targets.
More and more private sector involvement in activities that were earlier considered to be the domain of the public sector. In the field of infrastructure development such as sound, electricity, etc., private sector is being invited to undertake constructional activities. NGOs are taking up projects in many countries in the social sector specially health, education, nutrition, child health and women’s development. A common criticism has been that NPM has been covertly an individualistic
philosophy that disregards many collective demands that persist in modern societies. The new philosophy of governance seems a way of retaining advantage of the welfare state for the middle and upper classes even at the price of restricting individual liberty, social equality and general economic security. The anti-bureaucratic ideology of NPM defies managerial rationalism and is geared more towards dealing with the internal machinery of the administration than with the latter’s relationship to its social and political environment. More critically, there is little evidence that the application of reform strategy based on NPM actually leads to the desired results. It seems NPM has turned out to be more of a political ideology and belief rather than based on empirical facts. NPM is no panacea for governmental ills anywhere and everywhere. In the last conference of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM conference, Canada, 28-31 August, 1994), the new paradigm of governance emphasizing governance, deregulation and downsizing of public sector was unacceptable to many delegates representing the third-world. It was pointed out that democratic institutions were not strong enough at many places, corruption was widespread inside administration, and there was the general absence of large and
efficient private sector. As an African participant observed there was the greatest need to establish civil society- “institutions which are autonomous in that they are not staterun, are not subject to whims of kings and tyrants but are sustained by citizens endowed with rights and wherewithal to make use of them”. It was argued that public service reforms must not be imposed in isolation but linked to a comprehensive program of constitutional, political and social reform. To sum up, NPM has no doubt exposed the over-protected traditional public administration to models of management and the focus of NPM on economy and efficiency has surely brought to light some information about bad management and waste of public money. Another important landmark in the development of the discipline, in this age of globalization is the emergence of ‘Public Choice’ approach to public administration. Its emergence is rooted in the critique of the Weberian bureaucracy as the most rational form of organization. The arguments of Downs, Tullock, Niskanen are that the bureaucrats are “individualist self seekers” who would do more harm than good to public welfare. The propounders of this school believe in the possibility of institutional pluralism in the provision of goods and services. Vincent Ostrom questions the efficiency of bureaucracy as the organization for efficiently supplying public services. He sets a concept of ‘democratic administration alongside the conventional idea of bureaucratic administration. He essentially questions the hegemony of bureaucrats, who are portrayed as ‘utility maximisers’, who seek to promote their own self interest. This is in stark contrast to the theories which view bureaucracy as impersonal and possibly the best instrument for the pursuit of public interest. Most public choice theorists converge on the main point that government has grown much larger then what general public wish it to be because it has grown to meet the preferences of politicians, bureaucrats and Interest Groups.1 The central issue in the public choice model is that bureaucracy has to be pruned by down-sizing government and passing on many of the functions of the
Chakrabarty, Bidyut. op cit., pp. 39-40.
government to the private sector. ‘Market’ forces when allowed free play, may function better than government. The public choice school has been successful in pointing out that there are alternatives available for the delivery of services to the citizens. The introduction of the concept of market friendliness has challenged the hegemonic position of the state. The government has to function as enablers rather than doers. The public choice theory has played a strategic role in supporting the privatization movement and the applications of market rationality in the governments’ decision making processes. However, arguments in favor of the market are not always justified. The situations may differ from country to country and their perceptions to check governmental
overgrowth may not be of universal relevance. While the theory has
drawn timely attention to the failings of autonomous bureaucracy, it is too sweeping a statement that takes values and public spiritedness completely out of administration. Replacement of public administration by market exchange is too simplistic an idea to be taken seriously. Public administration as ‘management’ misses all together the overreaching perspective of a democratic polity. Sustained capacity of the political system for collective action, effective citizenship and developing and nurturing the civic infrastructure for protecting citizens right and promoting collective life are of vital significance for any public administrative system in a democracy.
‘management’ cult is of relevance to the third-world public administration as it tends to strengthen ‘bureaucracy’ further, impeding the development of alternative people institutions so necessary for both generating social capacity to govern and creating more democratic spaces outside of the central bureaucratic administration. At the same time, the need for streamlining management practices and bringing in a degree of transparency and openness in the interest of citizen friendly ‘good governance’ are no where being more keenly felt than in third world public administration today.1 1
Report of Central Fifth Pay Commission-1997, is noteworthy for its innovative approach to reform in Indian public administration in right sizing government promoting openness and transparency and advocating a new look administration to cope with the new challenges of globalization and liberalization.
Thus, the major theoretical concerns of the discipline in the present century are going to be: Application of public choice theory to public administration. It has been alleged that bureaucratic failures, numerous in reality, affect the society badly both immediately and from the long term perspective as well. Weberian notion of rational bureaucracy is being assailed as self aggrandizing, priority distorting and budget maximizing. Decentralization and Democracy promote participation and empowerment of people at the grassroots. Organizational pluralism where government operates as enabler and the society may benefit from many suppliers syndrome. Small government in terms of down-sizing and load shedding of government, contracting out and privatization in many forms are now the hallmarks of what is commonly known as ‘the new right’ philosophy of governance. Also encouragement of NGO’s in the voluntary sector. Performance partnership in the form of different levels of government, coming together, corresponding to public private joint venture in the larger interest of societal development. Transparency of governance and open, citizen-friendly administration via Citizen’s Charter are now being advocated. New Public Service-Managers should work to increase self-control and selfdirection for people within the organization, to create conditions under which conflict is surfaced and managed appropriately and positively, and to increase awareness of group process and its consequences for performance. In a democratic society, values such as efficiency and productivity should be placed in the larger context of democracy, community and public interest. There is a need to evolve a concept of new public service which focuses on serving the citizens than steering, thinking strategically, acting democratically, valuing
public service above entrepreneurship and ensuring accountability not just to market but to constitutional law, community, citizen’s interests, and professional standards.1 A Comparison between Old Public Administration, NPM and NPS
Denhardt, R.B. and J.V. Denhardt. "The New Public Service: Serving Rather Than Steering”. Public Administration Review. VoL.60. No.6. 2000, pp. 549-559.