Sunday, October 16, 2011

Characteristics of Public Administration in a democratic institution

Characteristics of Public Administration in a democratic institution

Principles at the heart of good governance are participation, pluralism, subsidiarity, transparency, accountability, equity, access, partnership, and efficiency. The essence of public administration as a democratic institution is to use the principles of good (democratic) governance to design and structure state institutions, their internal processes and mechanisms, and their mission. Simply stated, it implies that public administration as a democratic institution has the following characteristics:

  • It is accountable and transparent

“In the words of Francisco S. Tantuico Jr., former chairman of the Commission on Audit of the Philippines: “Public accountability is the foundation of integrity. It cuts to the soul of government. It unmasks the government of the day of whatever façade it wears.” The Constitution of the Philippines describes public accountability thus:

Public Office is a public trust. Public Officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice and lead modest lives.”(Briones Leonor)...

  • It is decentralized

Ø The Philippine Government is decentralized the legislation of the Local government code of 1991, whereas the legislation gave lgu units responsibility for basic services in health, agriculture, public works, and social welfare and environment and natural resources.

  • It is instrumental in ensuring fair and legitimate elections

Ø Various departments are held incharge to make sure that there will be fair and legitimate elections, such as comelec...The various departments in the government sometimes help to conduct the election to be fair and legitimate...Elections may be insufficient, but they are a necessary and essential element of democracy. By allowing certain government posts to be filled through the choices made by the electorate, elections function as a mechanism for determining the legitimacy of the political leadership, while at the same time guaranteeing the representational requirements of a modern democratic state. It is because of these characteristics that elections create opportunities, as minimum as they maybe, for altering the status quo and serve as a vehicle for political change.

  • It is based on a system of checks and balances between the executive branch and the judiciary and legistlative.

Ø The principle of the separation of powers has been adopted in the Philippines in order to avoid arbitrary rule and abuse of authority. The so called checks and balances among the three major departments of the government -executive, legislative and the judiciary – are no more than means of control by each and upon each of the departments. It is the duty of the departments to exercise moderation in their dealings with one another and their treatment of the public interest.This principle was instituted in the Philippine constitution for the purpose of impeding each branch from trespassing and seizing the power vested to others. Moreover, the provisions of the constitution in establishing limitations on the exercise of government authority also provide means of moderation

  • It plays a central role in combating exclusion and protecting the rights of minorities and disadvantaged groups

Ø Government activities undertaken to protect society as a whole. This includes national defense, protective services like police, fire and jail, education and environment.

Ø The government protects the rights of the minorities and disadvantaged groups through various executive orders that is instituted, like the laws that protects the lands, of various ethnic groups, and minorites

  • It has adequate management capacity to enhance access to justice;

Ø Free access to courts are not denied to any person by reason of poverty..The government make sure that the people are not deprived of their rights especially when they are facing criminal case, civil case,etc..

  • It protects public goods

Ø The pursuit of the public good by enhancing civil society, ensuring a well-run, fair, and effective public service are some of the goals of the field.

Ø Government activities are desinged to provided assistance to economic, pressure, and social groups.

  • It provides a facilitating environment for the active engagement and role of civil society and the private sector

Ø There government should not passed laws abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

Ø Government activties undertaken to regulate

  • It utilizes the power of information and communication technology to promote citizens’ access and participation in the development proces

1. Article 3, Bill of Rights, Section 7: The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law”

  • It promotes and strengthens partnerships of various types to achieve objectives.

Ø This characteristics is evident in the various politcal parties, interest groups and pressure groups in the Philippines....

Structural Features

1. hierarchal structure of authority

2. creation of subunits based on differ nation of functions or specialization

3. recruitment and promotion based on merit and competence

4. a system of rules and procedures to guide action in the organization.


Ø United Nations (2007). PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE: Governments Serving Citizens. 7th Global Forum on Reinventing Government. Building Trust in Government 26-29 June 2007, Vienna, Austria

Ø Briones Leonor. Public Financial Accountability for Integrity and Results: The Case of the Philippine Bureau of the Treasury

Ø 1987 Phillippine Constitution

Ø Tendero, Avelino (2000). Theory and Practice of Public Administration in the Philippines.Fiscal Administation Foundation Inc. (FaFI): Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.

Ø De Guzman, Raul P. Is there a Public Administration

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