The Blast in Centralia No. 5 by John Bartlow Martin highlights multiple failures in public administration. In this case study Bartlow reviewed how government operated during the 1940’s. In this paper I will touch on a few issues or concerns that were widespread during the 1940’s. I will explain alternative methods that could have been implemented to create change in a period when corruption and lack of oversight was widespread. Logistical Alternatives
Four Logistical alternatives Scanlan could have addressed are corruption, communication, time and responsibility. Inspector Scanlan worked during a period where corruption was seen as the norm. The people in position of leadership in government were easily bought by business trying to push their agendas. This was very apparent with the mine owners and the agencies that were supposed to regulate the mines. According to the text most inspectors would visit the mines and party with the owners. The mine owners made friends in the government by putting money in the pockets of those in leadership. According to Escaleras, Anbarci, and Register, disasters do not kill people, negligence from corrupt public officials kill people (Anbarci, Escaleras, & Register 2007). Inspector Scanlan experienced difficulties with communicating with those who were in a position to regulate the mining industry. Inspector Scanlan sent report after report to his superiors. Inspector Scanlan and his boss did not communicate effectively. Scanlan and his boss communicated vastly by mail. I believe they should have communicated face to face due to the severity of the situation. Miscommunication and faulty communication leads to the likelihood of failure (Garnett, 2009). Another concern inspector Scanlan could have addressed is the time it took for hierarchy to respond to the reports. The time it took for hierarchy to respond to the reports was way too long. After reading the text it seems a response was made after several reports were...
References: Anbarci, N, Escaleras, M, and Register, C. A. (2007). Public sector corruption and major earthquakes: A potentially deadly interaction. Public Choice, Vol. 132, No. 1/2 (Jul., 2007), pp. 209-230
Garnett, J. L. (2009). Administrative communication: the concept of its professional centrality. Public administration: Concepts and cases, Chapter 9 pp. 243
Richard T. Boylan and Cheryl X. Long (2003). Measuring Public Corruption in the American States: A Survey of State House Reporters. State Politics & Policy Quarterly. Vol. 3, No. 4 (winter, 2003), pp. 420-438
Thompson, D.F., (1980). Moral Responsibility of Public Officials: The Problem of Many Hands. The American Political Science Review. Vol. 74, No. 4 (Dec., 1980), pp. 905-916
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