2.14 Holding the Bureaucracy Accountable

1 min readmay 1, 2020


Samantha Howey

AP US Government 👩🏾‍⚖️

240 resources
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Congressional Oversight

Congress revises statutes that establish the agency's mission 📝, exercises control over an agency's budget, and conducts audits or holds hearings, and influences the selection of agency directors (Senatorial Confirmation).
Congress applies oversight of the federal bureaucracy because of its power to control funding 💵 and approve presidential appointments.
The various bureaucratic agencies submit annual summaries 📑 of their activities and budgets for the following year, and committees and subcommittees in both chambers regularly hold hearings to question the leaders of the various bureaucracies.

Executive Direction

The president appoints agency directors and subheads (with Senate approval), issues executive orders compelling an agency to do/not do something, and either increases or decreases an agency's budget (through the Office of Management and Budget).

Judicial Rulings

Although the judicial branch power is limited, it can exercise control by making rulings, overturning or supporting acts taken under an agency's rule-making, or by rule-adjudication authority.
For the most part, the federal judiciary 👩🏽‍⚖️ defers to the agency by requiring that before a case is heard, all administrative (agency) remedies must be exhausted, and appeals from administrative rulings are heard by the Federal Circuit Court in Washington, D.C.
Monitoring the bureaucracy poses a challenge in policy implementation. 
🎥 Watch: AP GOPO - The Federal Budget

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