A Critical Analysis of the Policy Making Process in Public Administration

Topics: Policy, Public policy, Policy analysis Pages: 10 (3075 words) Published: April 23, 2012
South Africa has changed over time and ever since the democratic elections lots of laws and policies have been changed as well. When a policy is being made it will always involve interaction between the population and the institutions that have to perform the policy making functions. Interaction takes place by means of elections, meetings between the people and officials, public opinion surveys, media campaigns, etc. No policy can be made in an disorderly manner, so if the information which is needed to decide on a new policy is not correct, no planning can be made. For example, if a policy must be made which involves the standards of schools, research surveys must be done in all the schools of the state. This must then be interpreted and evaluated correct by the person or persons doing it. 2.Public Policy

In any society, governmental entities enact laws, make policies, and allocate resources. According to Cloete (1993) a policy is a declaration of intent to do something or to have it done by specified institutions or functionaries as prescribed. There are a few steps that need to be completed successfully to have a policy such as a series of decisions have to be taken, the implementation of a policy means another series of decisions, and for policy analysis another series of decisions have to be taken. Cloete (1993:80) states that the constitution is a policy statement because it declares “the action to be taken by specified institutions and office bearers who follow stated procedures and respect prescribed conduct guidelines and values for the creation and maintenance of the state.” However, a policy statement is never static because of human society constantly moving and developing it causes a constant change in policy to adapt to the changing needs and expectations of the population. Public policy can be generally defined as a system of laws, regulatory measures, courses of action, and funding priorities concerning a given topic formed by government entity or its representatives. As a government action it is generally the principled guide to action taken by the administrative or executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. (Schuster, 2009) Therefore, a major aspect of public policy is law, which includes specific legislation and provisions of constitutional or international law. Furthermore, Gerston (2008: 7) also states that a public policy is also the combination of basic decisions, commitments, and actions made by those who hold or influence government positions of authority. These arrangements result from interactions amongst those who demand change, those who make decisions, and those affected by the policy in question. Issues such as health, crime, education, social welfare and foreign policy can be addressed by public policy. Leaders of religious and cultural institutions can also make public policies for the benefit of the congregation and participants. I personally feel that public policies have a blend of both politics and government, and that public policies are there to address a public issue by instituting laws, regulations, decisions, or actions to control the problem at hand. 3.Public Policy Making

Public policy making is a complex process that involves the interplay of numerous individuals and interest groups competing and collaborating to influence policymakers to act in a particular way. According to Cloete (1993) the term policy making should be used to refer to functions performed to obtain policies. Individuals and groups are always trying to shape public policy through education, advocacy, or mobilization of interest groups. Thus, policy making consists of the performance of a group of generic administrative processes. According to Cliffs (1987) policy making involves a number of functions to be performed namely: the identification of matters on which policies have to be made and the investigation...
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