Monday, May 6, 2013

Public Systems Management : Socio - Economic Context

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PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT IN INDIA- SOCIETAL CONTEXT:


A country's political life, Constitutional laws, and Administrative rules and regulations and relations are greatly influenced by its societal traditions, culture and values. In Indian society, many Public systems/ Public Organisations are created especially to manage and relate to it with special reference to :

1) RELIGION

2) CASTE

3) LANGUAGE

4) JOINT FAMILY SYSTEM

5) WOMEN

6) GROWING VIOLENCE

7) RURAL - URBAN INTERFACE




PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT - ECONOMIC CONTEXT IN INDIA:

1) AGRICULTURE - BASED ECONOMY

2) POVERTY

3) UNEMPLOYMENT

4) INDUSTRIAL POLICY RESOLUTION AND MONITORING

5) MIXED ECONOMY

6) WEEDING OUT CORRUPTION



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Public Systems Management : Constitutional Context

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Fred Riggs so forcefully advocated that Public Administration should be sensitive to the environment it functions in and should develop methods of administration that would alleviate the latter of its issues, as only that would be a successful administrative setup that would lead the country on the road to development.

Therefore Constitution or the law of the land is of utmost importance which is to be studied and its directives and principles followed to the tee by the Public Administrative setup of that country in order to fulfill its true objectives of public welfare and development since the constitution is framed by the political class who are basically the representative of the people of that land and thus know their needs intrinsically.

The following parts of the Indian Constitution determine and direct the functioning of Governance and Public Systems in India:

1) PREAMBLE - The Preamble is the key to the minds of our freedom fighters and Constitutional founders and thus introduces the reader to the overarching philosophy of Constitutional governance specifying the source of authority , the system of government , the objectives to be attained by the political and administrative systems. It has been declared as a valuable part of the Indian Constitution and if one wants to understand the spirit of the Indian Constitution then this has to be read.

2) PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY - In this form of Government, the executive is an integral part of Parliament and is responsible to it.

3) FEDERATION WITH STRONG CENTRE - India is a Union Of States which is unique federalism and may be aptly described as a new experiment in this area for ensuring national unity and growth on one end and regional autonomy at the other.

4) FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES - It is very necessary for any Public Administrator to understand these Fundamental citizen rights and duties before embarking on its course of work else it would end up in litigation perpetually.
Refer in detail:
Fundamental Rights And Fundamental Duties - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_Rights,_Directive_Principles_and_Fundamental_Duties_of_India

5) DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY - It indicates the Responsibilities of the State/ Government in promoting the rights and benefits of the individuals while formulating policies and also in translating the basic values of the Constitution in real life.
DPSP in detail, refer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive_Principles_in_India


6) INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY - The terms and conditions of the judges are regulated by the Constitution and not at the whims and fancies of the Politicians, hence it remains out of their clutches and autonomous, non biased and just.

7) JUDICIAL REVIEW - It implies the powers possessed by the courts to pronounce Constitutional validity of the acts of Public Authorities, both executive and legislative.

CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITIES - To carry out the objectives enlisted in the Constitution which have independent power given by the latter in order to perform impartially and uninfluenced executive:

1) Comptroller And Auditor General: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comptroller_and_Auditor_General_of_India

2) Finance Commission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finance_Commission

3) Election Commission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Commission_of_India

4) UPSC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Public_Service_Commission

5) Attorney General: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_of_India

6) National Commission for Scheduled Castes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_for_Scheduled_Castes

7) National Commission for Scheduled Tribes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_for_Scheduled_Tribes

8) Official Languages Commission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_Languages_Commission

9) Special Officer for linguistic minorities: http://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/bareacts/constitutionofindia/350b.php?Title=Constitution%20of%20India,%201949&STitle=Special%20Officer%20for%20linguistic%20minorities



10) Administrative Tribunals: Refer to a post on this blog :  http://publicadministrationtheone.blogspot.in/2012/08/administrative-law-meaning-scope-and.html


OTHER IMPORTANT COMMISSIONS:
These are not Constitutional but created by an Act Of Parliament but of great importance and power:

1) National Commission For Women: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_for_Women

2) National Commission For Backward Classes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_for_Backward_Classes

3) National Human Rights Commission & State Human Rights Commission of India: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Human_Rights_Commission_of_India



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Difference Between Traditional Public Administration And Public Systems Management

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Differentiation Points of Traditional Public Administration And Public Systems Management -



TRADITIONAL PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

1. Public Service is considered an exclusive task performed by the government.

2. Citizen avoiding and secrecy in governmental business.
 
3. Public – Private Distinction.
 
4. Rigid, rule – bound and hierarchic model.
 
5. Process accountability.
 
6. Anonymous bureaucracy.
 
7. Structure – oriented.
 
8. Emphasis on rationality in decision making process.
 
9. Adoption of centralised strategy.
 
10. Authoritative approach.
 
11. Politics – Administration Dichotomy.
 
12. Focus on Structures and Processes.
PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT

1. Public Service is considered as a collaborative exercise involving Government, NGOs and Private firms, etc.
2. Citizen friendly, transparent and accountable.
 
 
3. Public – Private partnership.
 
4. Flexible Organisational Design and Practices Model.
5. Result Accountability.

6. Accountable Bureaucracy.
 
7. People – Oriented.
 
8. Emphasis on bounded rationality in decision making process.
 
9. Adoption of decentralised strategy.
 
 10. Participatory approach.
 
11. Politics – Administrative confluence.
 
12. Focus on performance and results.

 

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Public Systems Management : Concept , Nature , Scope And Characteristics.

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The Contemporary Global Developments in the world's socio - economic arena is undergoing a huge change courtesy Liberalisation-Privatisation-Globalisation and Public Administration inevitably has to reflect this change along with the State's role change.

Public Administrators are expected to be more entrepreneurial, risk taking and managerial in their approach. Therefore, Public (read - Govt.) Systems (read - Organisations) Management is a new emerging concept in this field of study and work. There is a mood of changing the Traditional Public Administration to a newer and trendier as well as effective process termed aptly as Public Systems Management.

PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT - CONCEPT , NATURE AND SCOPE:
Before embarking in detail on the concept of Public Systems Management one should make clear in his/her mind that there is no attempt at making the conservative mistake of assuming Public and Private Management as one and the same. Private Systems Management is a way of working where Profit motive drives each and every aspect of it, whereas, public Systems Management is only concerned with the designing and operation of Public Services and the effective functioning of the above and the executive Government. It makes them "business - like" but not "business" as the goal and missions of the Public systems would be implementation of the Govt policies and Public welfare always however it looks to do the same through better and more effective practices as practiced by the Private systems/organisations.

CONCEPT:
As one would note that there is now a paradigm shift in Public Administration's nature and character that is more managerial, efficient and in keeping with the times throughout the world since the New Economic Policy was espoused by the UN and its allies International Monetary Fund as well as World Bank via the Brettonwoods Conference. These are:
1) Privatisation and Deregulation
2) Establishing Market like Mechanisms.
3) Decentralisation
4) Debureaucratisation


The theoretical foundations of the abovementioned change are listed below:
A) New Right Philosophy: Beginning in the 1970's, this school of thought propagated the idea of non-interference by the Govt. in economic activity as it created distortions in the market producing adverse outcomes. According to this philosophy, the Govt. should play the role of a regulator and producer. Thus it can be deduced that it advocated deregulation and privatisation, reduction of inflation,lower taxation, increasing role of the market in providing public services and institutional and constitutional reforms that would lead to reduction in lobbying and interest groups and impose a Constitutional upper limit on public expenditure as a proportion of the GDP.

B) Public Choice Approach: This has already been covered in a previous post on this blog. Refer to post titled " WILSON'S VIEW OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION" http://publicadministrationtheone.blogspot.in/2012/07/wilsons-view-of-public.html.


C) Property Rights Theory:  It is a way of understanding the incentives for performance that exist in private sector and examining whether they can be introduced in the public sector. However, since Public officials cannot claim ownership over Public Organisations via shareholding/property rights therefore Privatisation which entails changes in property rights in favour of private ownership, is thus considered beneficial for the promotion of efficiency.

D) Principal - Agent Theory: The public are the Principal or the owner and the private sector as well as the public sector which are providing the public with services are the Agents who work for the Principal since the former possess the needed skill and expertise to do the job efficiently.

E) Organisation and Management Literature: This takes into account all the Literature that critique the Weberian Model of Administration and promotes the culture of adoption of private sector practices in the public sector particularly in a fast changing and hostile environment.
The effects of these literature are seen almost everywhere nowadays viz. downsizing of bureaucracy, devolution of authority, cost reduction, contracting out to private sector organisations by the Govt. , developing and designing result oriented appraisal system and commercialisation as well as market orientation.

NATURE OF PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT:
1) Greater flexibility in tailoring the organisation to circumstances, instead of necessarily following a rigid Weberian model.
2) Focus on results.
3) Greater attention on strategic planning.
4) Private sector personnel practices to be adopted like incentivisation,etc.
5) Steering role of the Govt. instead of direct involvement.
6) Orientation to needs of the customers and provision of the same timely and efficiently.
7) Use of market mechanisms in those activities of the public sector which cannot be privatised.

SCOPE OF PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT:
As mentioned above and to further explain it's scope one can see that it affects almost every aspect of functioning of the Public Sector today like increasing Productivity, Service orientation, Decentralisation, Policy efficiency, Accountability on results.


CHARACTERISTICS OF PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT:
1) Concerned with delivery of high quality services valued by citizens.
2) Considers citizens as active consumers and serious attempts are made to find out their expectations and needs.
3) Provides greater flexibility in working conditions and permits more expertise and employee creativity.
4) Creates conditions for more positive and productive managerial leadership by simplifying organisational structures and flattened hierarchies.
5) Develops rigorous performance measurement of individuals and organisations.
6) Receptive to competition and adopts an open minded attitude towards management of public organisations.
7) Adopts collaborative and networking approach to work with public, private and voluntary sectors in solving community problems and providing public services.
8) Advocates decentralisation of authority embracing participatory management model.
9) Prefers market mechanisms to bureaucratic mechanisms.
10) Takes steps to prevent administrative problems rather than tackle them after they arise.
11) high levels of transparency and accountability instead of mere adherence to rules and regulations,etc.
12) Extensive use of IT for all operations.
13) Decentralisation.
14) New role for civil servants - exercising technical competence, managerial skills with policy making capacities.
15) Fosters a new work culture in public system/ govt. organisations with incentive systems, performance evaluation, pay differentials, etc.

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