Авторы: 159 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

Книги:  184 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

A CHECK UPON BUREAUCRACY

How can this growth of inadequately controlled official power be checked? Is it not apparent that this can only

be done if a clear distinction is drawn between the sphere of broad policy, in which the minister both can be

and ought to be responsible, and the sphere of ordinary administrative work for which the minister cannot be

genuinely responsible? If that distinction is accepted, it ought not to be impossible for Parliament without

undermining ministerial or cabinet responsibility, to devise a means of making its control over the ordinary

working of the departments effective, through a system of committees or in other ways.

The current complaints of bureaucracy, however, are not directed mainly against the ineffectiveness of the

machinery of control, but against the way in which public work is conducted by government officials−−the formalism and red−tape by which it is hampered, the absence of elasticity and enterprise; and the methods of

government departments are often compared, to their disadvantage, with those of business firms. But the

comparison disregards a vital fact. The primary function of a government department is not creative or

productive, but regulative. It has to see that laws are exactly carried out, and that public funds are used for the

precise purposes for which they were voted; and for this kind of work a good deal of red−tape is necessary.

Moreover, it is essential that those who are charged with such functions should be above all suspicion of being

influenced by fear or favour or the desire to make profit; and for this purpose fixed salaries and security of

tenure are essential.

In short, the fundamental principles upon which government departments are organised are right for the

regulative functions which they primarily exist to perform. But they are altogether wrong for creative and

productive work, which demands the utmost elasticity, adaptability, and freedom for experiment. And it is just

because the ordinary machinery of government has been used on a large scale for this kind of work that the

outcry against bureaucracy has recently been so vehement. It is not possible to imagine a worse method of

conducting a great productive enterprise than to put it under the control of an evanescent minister selected on

political grounds, and supported by a body of men whose work is carried on in accordance with the traditions

of the Civil Service.

If we are to avoid a breakdown of our whole system, we must abstain from placing productive enterprises

under the control of the ordinary machinery of government−−Parliament, responsible political ministers, and

civil service staffs. But it does not follow that no productive concern ought ever to be brought under public

ownership and withdrawn from the sphere of private enterprise. As we shall later note, such concerns can, if it

be necessary, be organised in a way which would avoid these dangers.