Presidential elections are choices; one candidate offers her/his vision of a policy, criticism comes from the opponent, voters take sides, and one wins. In the weeks between the election results and the presidential transition, there is a push to create and execute as many new rules as possible so that the existing administration can leave its “mark” on the government. This is called midnight rulemaking. Similarly, in the first weeks of the new administration, there also is a push to create and execute as many new rules as possible to signify to voters that election promises are being carried out.After an election, a new president and vice president have 7,000 positions which they must fill in Cabinet and other agencies, without affecting the many more career civil service positions below that level. Along with the newly appointed people come a mixed collection of policy ideas derived from campaign promises, news media expectations, and candidates’ strategies for positive change. Critics and supporters alike watch carefully for altered, newly created, and withdrawn rules during the initial phase of the new administration. The most impactful and controversial changes may appear over several months time, sometimes as a result of the gathering of consensus among the newly appointed officials who are responsible for creating and executing rules for the most controversial policy areas.To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the article, “Midnight Regulations and Regulatory Review.” Think about how presidential transitions affect administrative agencies and the rulemaking process.
- Review the online articles, “Will Bush’s Midnight Rules be Reversible?” and “Midnight Regulations.” Focus on the midnight rules that President Bush finalized in the weeks before he left office. Then consider if or how President Obama might withdraw or alter them.
- Select a controversial policy area (e.g. â€“ stem cell research, energy, environment, reproductive rights, etc.) that was affected by a specific presidential transition.
- Using the Internet and the Walden Library, perform a search about how a specific administrative agency and its rules related to the policy area you selected were affected by a presidential transition. Pay particular attention to specific rules that were altered, created, or withdrawn.
- Course Text: Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy
- Chapter 6, “Oversight of Rulemaking”
- Article: Bowers, J. R. (1989). Agency responsiveness to the legislative oversight of administrative rulemaking: A case study of rules review in the Illinois General Assembly. The American Review of Public Administration, 19(3), 217â€“231.
- Article: Headrick, B., Serra, G., & Twombly, J. (2002). Enforcement and oversight: Using Congressional oversight to shape OSHA bureaucratic behavior. American Politics Research, 30(6), 608â€“629.
- Online Article: Hissam, M. (2008). The impact of Executive Order 13,422 on presidential oversight of agency administration, The American Review of Public Administration, 76(5), 1292â€“1307. Retrieved fromhttp://web.archive.org/web/20100614143800/http://groups.law.gwu.edu/LR/ArticlePDF/76-5-Hissam.pdf
After the president is sworn in, he or she appoints heads to all of the agencies. These appointees must then be confirmed by the Senate. Typically, agency heads share the same political beliefs as the president, though they may lack experience in the political realm. Agency heads often begin their role with an aspiration to create change. However, many also leave their positions mystified because they were unable to be as influential as they thought. What many agency heads fail to realize is that rulemaking as a process does not change. A prescribed set of stages must be followed to create rules. In this way, the power of agency heads is somewhat limited. Nevertheless there are more covert ways in which agency heads might influence the rulemaking process. In this assignment, you consider the degree to which agency heads influence rulemaking and the degree to which they should influence rulemaking.To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the stages of rulemaking in the assigned pages of Chapter 2 in the course text, Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy.
- Review the assigned pages of Chapter 7 in the course text, Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy and the article â€œPolitical Institutions, Public Management, and Policy Choice.â€ Focus how agency heads might influence rulemaking.
- Review the article, â€œRuminations on the Study of American Public Bureaucracies.â€ Consider the extent to which agency heads are controlled in the rulemaking process.
- Review the assigned pages of Chapter 1 in the course text, Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy. Think about how agency heads might benefit from rulemaking.
- Review the online article, â€œEx-FDA Chief Would Not Aid Plan B Inquiry.â€ Think about how the political beliefs of the commissioner of the FDA may have influenced the rulemaking process.
- Reflect on how agency heads might influence rulemaking.
- Consider your thoughts about the degree to which agency heads should influence rulemaking.
Surveys are useful tools for original data collection, but it is imperative that you develop clear, unbiased survey questions if you want to collect accurate and useful information. A variety of methods can be used for developing surveys. For instance, many surveys consist of both open-ended and closed questions. Open-ended questions allow respondents to answer in any way they see fit. It is then up to the researcher to find themes and commonalities in these answers. To answer closed questions, respondents must choose from a predetermined set of response categories.
In addition to open-ended and closed questions, many surveys also include filter and contingency questions. Filter questions instruct respondents to continue to the next question based on how they answered the filter question. For example, if you wanted to know how satisfied homeowners are with the services they are receiving from a city, you could include a filter question asking respondents if they are homeowners. Those who answer â€œyesâ€ would be instructed to proceed to the next question, which would ask them how satisfied they are with city services. If they answered â€œno,â€ respondents would be instructed to skip to the next question and proceed with the remainder of the survey. Filter and contingency questions are great ways to create a subsample for further analysis.
The phrasing and sequencing of questions on surveys also have a major impact on the quality of the original data that is generated. Questions must be clear and response categories must match the questions. Questions are usually sequenced so that â€œeasy to answerâ€ questions (such as age, etc.) are at the beginning and more sensitive questions (such as income) are near the end. The more questions answered by a respondent, the more likely that respondent is to complete the survey.
As you can see, survey construction is a difficult task. This weekâ€™s Discussion provides the opportunity to develop a survey of your own and receive feedback from your colleagues.
For this Discussion, review this weekâ€™s Learning Resources. Consider the program, problem, or policy you are using for your Final Project. Then, develop a 10-question survey that could be used to evaluate the program, problem, or policy in the organization you selected. The survey should include both open-ended and closed questions, and filter and contingency questions. The survey should be appropriate for the sample that you identified in Week 4 (Systematic Sampling)
APA Citation 200-300 words
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