AP US Government : Bureaucracy Procedures

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

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Example Question #672 : Ap Us Government

The appointment of government jobs on the basis of having supported the winning political party is called __________.

Possible Answers:

The Coattail Effect

patronage

legalism

meritocracy

pluralism

Correct answer:

patronage

Explanation:

"Patronage" is the name given to the system of government appointment where officials are given jobs based on whether or not they supported the victorious political party. It may be seen as contrary to meritocracy, where jobs are awarded solely on the basis of merit.

Example Question #673 : Ap Us Government

Reapportionment of the House seats occurs __________.

Possible Answers:

at the end of each congressional term

after the census has been collected and counted

before a general election

after a general election

at the beginning of each congressional term

Correct answer:

after the census has been collected and counted

Explanation:

The United States census is collected every ten years to determine, among other things, the population of each of state, so that their representation in the House can be fairly allocated. Reapportionment is the name given to the reordering of seats in the House, after the census count has been determined.

Example Question #674 : Ap Us Government

Deficit spending is best described as __________.

Possible Answers:

the government practice of collecting more money in taxes than is required to meet the budget

the government practice of borrowing money from the people in the form of bonds

the government practice of not spending all the money allocated in any given calendar year

the state practice of borrowing money from other states and not paying it back on time

the government practice of spending more money than has been collected through taxes

Correct answer:

the government practice of spending more money than has been collected through taxes

Explanation:

Deficit spending is generally defined as the government practice of spending more money in a given year than has been actively collected in revenue. It is a continuous policy of the U.S. Government in this era and is a large reason why the growing national debt remains a controversial issue.

Example Question #675 : Ap Us Government

The United States census takes place __________.

Possible Answers:

every ten years

every twenty years

every two years

afte every presidential election

every five years

Correct answer:

every ten years

Explanation:

The United States census takes place every ten years. The first census was in 1790. The primary aims of the census, aside from collecting information and statistics about the population, are to determine the representatives that each state will be granted and to acquire data for taxation purposes.

Example Question #676 : Ap Us Government

Which of these government bodies could issue a bill of attainder?

Possible Answers:

The states

The executive branch

The judicial branch

The legislative branch

The lower courts of the judiciary

Correct answer:

The legislative branch

Explanation:

A bill of attainder could only be issued by the legislative branch of the United States government. A bill of attainder is a legislative act that declares a person, or group of people, as having committed an illegal act. It’s purpose was to render an individual or a group ineffectual by declaring them guilty without a trial. It is now seen as a violation of civil rights and is illegal in U.S. government.

Example Question #677 : Ap Us Government

After a president nominates an individual to be a Cabinet secretary, that appointment must be confirmed by __________.

Possible Answers:

the Vice President

the Speaker of the House

the Senate

Congress

the Supreme Court

Correct answer:

the Senate

Explanation:

The constitution stipulates that presidential appointees to cabinet positions must be confirmed by the Senate. The supreme court has no jurisdiction over appointments of any kind.

Example Question #1 : Bureaucracy Procedures

Which is not one of key reasons why some bureaucratic implementation plans for government policies have failed over the course of US history?

Possible Answers:

Messy fragmentation 

Confusing and/or contradictory Congressional instructions 

Excessive Presidential interference

Insufficient resources 

Poor program design

Correct answer:

Excessive Presidential interference

Explanation:

Excessive Presidential interference is not a typical obstruction when it comes to bureaucratic implementation plans. Examination of the historic record shows that most policy implementation failures occur for several key reasons, including poor program design and insufficient resources. Generally, it is up to Congress to provide a bureaucratic agency with a particular policy goal and the resources necessary to see that goal successfully implemented, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, Congress has difficulty resolving some problem within the plan’s design, so it simply passes the policy off to the appropriate agency, with the expectation that the bureaucrats will somehow resolve the issue on their own. On other occasions, Congress fails to adequately estimate the amount of resources a particular policy needs or the Legislative Branch simply does not have enough funds at the time to fully support a policy. Congress is also sometimes guilty of issuing bureaucrats with confusing, unclear, and/or contradictory instructions, so that the civil servants are left floundering, indecisive and prone to failures. Fragmentation also plays an important role in ensuring policy disaster; oftentimes, resources, information, and authority are divided up amongst various agencies, who have little opportunity or willingness to share these materials. Inefficient routines, cumbersome standard operating procedures, and too much administrative discretion have also been proven to play a decisive role in some implementation failures.

Example Question #679 : Ap Us Government

Which of the following is not one of the three essential ingredients required by all implementation programs?

Possible Answers:

Resource allocation 

None of these

Creation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) 

Agency creation and/or assignment 

Development of goals and guidelines 

Correct answer:

Creation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) 

Explanation:

All implementation programs, regardless of policy content, require three basic ingredients: resources (both money and staffers) must be gathered, an agency must be either created or assigned to administer the program, and each program’s guidelines and goals must be developed. Implementation is an essential bureaucratic task, especially because Congress quite frequently declines to formulate details for its policy ideas, in the hopes that the bureaucrats (who are after all experts in their fields) will take up the structural mantle. While standard operating procedures (SOPs) are indeed vital to bureaucratic functioning, these procedures come much further along in the process, once implementation has already been undertaken and the agency itself is up and running. Once implementation has been successfully achieved, SOPs are used as rulebooks by bureaucrats to determine how best to do their individual jobs within each agency.

Example Question #680 : Ap Us Government

Which of the following is not one of the primary methods by which the President exercises control over the bureaucracy?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Making and/or altering top-level personnel appointments 

Slashing the budget 

Issuing an executive order 

Reorganizing and/or eliminating an agency 

Correct answer:

Slashing the budget 

Explanation:

As the final bureaucratic authority, the President has several powerful tools which can be used to curb the influence of or chastise an unruly bureaucracy. However, the sole power of budget alteration is not among them – while the President can put pressure upon the Office of Management and Budget to threaten cuts to an agency’s funding, final budgetary control resides with Congress. Congress is the sole allocator of all bureaucratic funds and so while the President can exert some influence in this realm, she/he by no means has the final say. Perhaps the most well-known amongst those control mechanisms which the President does have is the executive order: an order issued directly from the President, with the intention of implementing various Constitutional provisions, and bearing the full weight of any other law or piece of legislation. The President also is endowed with the right to appoint individuals of his choice to vacant high-level bureaucratic positions (although Senate confirmation is sometimes required). As a general rule, Presidents are typically quite selective about their appointments, preferring those individuals who have a proven track record of loyalty to the President and who have demonstrated agreement with the President’s policy goals. The President is also able to reorganize or even entirely eliminate agencies, although this seldom occurs, mainly due to the sheer difficulty, controversy, and administrative chaos that such a move often generates.

Example Question #2 : Bureaucracy Procedures

Please select the rule and/or practice which prohibits active-duty government employees from participating in partisan political activities.

Possible Answers:

The merit principle 

The Pendleton Civil Service Act 

The Plum Book 

The Hatch Act 

None of these

Correct answer:

The Hatch Act 

Explanation:

The Hatch Act bars all current federal employees (bureaucrats chief amongst them) from participating in partisan politics while on active duty. The Act also extends this ban even further on those employees who work in sensitive arenas (such as national security), prohibiting these individuals from any partisan politicking, even on their off-hours. The Pendleton Civil Service Act, passed in 1883, was the first concerted government effort to control and reform the bureaucratic system. Passed in the wake of President James Garfield’s assassination by a disgruntled office seeker, the Pendleton Act abolished patronage practices and created the country’s first merit-based civil service system. Today, only a small fraction of civil service jobs are open to direct Presidential appointment; these few positions are listed in the Plum Book, which is issued by Congress and details precisely which choice positions are available (they usually number about five hundred in total).

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