Characteristics of Public Administration

Topics: Sociology, Public policy, Government Pages: 6 (1788 words) Published: May 6, 2011
| 2011|
| MATRIC NUMBER:P/ND/10/3621360



DEFINITION: Public Administration is a multi-dimensional discipline, defined by different authors and scholars, according to their understanding. It is viewed by each author in relation to his political environment. It is pertinent to know what public administration is before viewing it’s characteristics… According to Woodrow Wilson; Public Administration is the most obvious part of government. It is government in action and it is the executive, the most operative, the most visible side of government. Public Administration deals with the functions of government as well as the welfare of the citizens, within the state. The Basic Characteristics, Structure and Organisation of public administration Since public administration is the practice of administration in the realm of concern for the public, it focus is on the co-ordination of work of government, with particular concern for the success of the policies of government. Public organisations can best be grouped into two;-The civil service and the public corporations. The civil service mainly concerned with the implementation of public policies. The public corporations on the other hand are enterprise of government, responsible for the provision of certain services but independent of direct legislative control. It is very necessary for us to throw more light on certain features of public organisations and its operations before we move further.

Significance of Public Administration
Public administration lies at the centre of modern society, which has witnessed the emergence of the ‘ Administrative State’ . In the administrative state, public administration has become all encompassing and affect the lives of the people from the womb to the tomb’ since the end of the second world war. Governmental activities have increased manifold and became more complex and pervasive. Public administration has under gone far - reaching changes both in its objectives and functions. Consequently public administrators have entered new functional areas. They are grappling with new problems in administering public affair s. It is recognized that public administration plays crucial role in all societies-developed and developing. In the modern administrative state, public administration has become so significant that our development, upliftment and progress depend mainly upon the efficient functioning of public administration. The different roles played by public administration in the modern society may be analyzed under the following heads: * As the Basis of Government: Public administration serves as the basis of government. A government can exist without a legislature or an independent judiciary. But no government can exist without administrative machinery. Paul H. Appleby remarks,‘ without administration, government would be a discussion club, if indeed it could exist at all. All nations, irrespective of their system of government, require some sort of administrative machinery for implementing public policies. Thus, public administration has been the instrument of ancient empires, of monarchies of both democracies and dictatorship, of both developed and developing nations. As an activity, public administration cuts across different political ideologies such as capitalism or socialism. Administrative principles as such have no particular ideology at heart. Administration is conceived as a purely neutral instrument. * An Instrument for Implementing Laws and Policies: Public administration is responsible for implementing the laws and policies of government. In doing this, public administration plays a...
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