The three branches of the government are the executive, legislature, and the judiciary. Each branch has designated role to play and they work together to ensure a system of checks and balances. The role of the legislature is to make laws that govern the people. The executive oversees the implementation of these laws. It does so through the bureaucracy, which is part of the government. Although the legislature has the mandate of overseeing the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy acts autonomously from the legislature and the executive (Barrington, Bosia and Bruhn 294). The bureaucracy has considerable power, as it works towards implementing the policies set by the government. Because of this, the bureaucracy is the fourth branch of the government.
The structure of the bureaucracy enhances its functionality and autonomy in making decisions. Many governments have established permanent structures within the bureaucracy. These structures include different ministries, departments, agencies, and bureaus among others. The federal bureaucracy includes the cabinet, regulatory agencies, independent executive agencies, and government corporations. Some of the regulatory agencies include the Federal Trade Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission. The government corporations operate and function like business enterprises, and they engage in commercial activities to get revenue. They include the U.S. Postal Service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Sidlow and Henschen 300-301). There are many officers within these departments, and they make up most of the executive. These branches undergo changes depending on the current political situation.
The bureaucracy is divided into different departments, agencies, and ministries. Each of these divisions has its own responsibilities and specific roles to play. Each division has its own authority and it determines the way to implement the tasks assigned to it in implementing government policy. The upper levels of bureaucracy concentrate on planning how the departments will administer policies. They have more authority as they determine how they will administer the duties. They play an important role in the creation of policies. They provide the information needed by the legislature and the executive when developing a bill. They provide their expertise on different issues concerning policymaking, in addition to testifying before the congressional committees concerning different bills. The senior officials in the bureaucracy craft their recommendations, which they pass to the legislature and the executive to be considered during formation of policies. The lower levels of bureaucracy perform routine administrative tasks (Barrington, Bosia and Bruhn 294-295).
The policies and regulations passed by different regulatory agencies are legally binding. These laws affect the people and corporations. The bureaucracy is able to realize an implementation of its laws because of the high number of people working in different departments. The legislature delegates some of its duties to the bureaucracy, and this increases the level of authority and power among the bureaucratic officials. The bureaucracy has a high workforce compared to other branches of the government, and it has divided its work among the different departments. This makes it relatively easier for the bureaucracies to propose and establish laws at a faster rate compared to the legislature. The agencies engage in thorough research and they investigate many aspects of an industry before establishing new rules.
Barrington Lowell, Michael J. Bosia, and Kathleen Bruhn. Comparative Politics: Structure and Choice. New York: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print
Sidlow, I. Edward and Beth Henschen. America at Odds. New York: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print