Bureaucratic Rivalry-Is it a Zero Sum Game? Yes!


Much of the evidence of bureaucratic rivalary stems from Congressional oversight being divided by Committee and Statutory Schemes that are under the control of various committees. In a brilliant report in 1958 McKinsey and Company concluded that in the arena of what we now call Emergency Mangement, including in the era of the 50’s federal efforts at civil defense, that report concluded that power should be directly vested in the President of the US and not some subordinate official. Unfortunately, that has not always happened but it did for several brief periods. Thus, for example the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act is largely vested in the President with the exception of Title VI of that statute, a vestige of the civil defense statute (Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress, as amended and now repealed by P.L. 103-337) which vests authority in the Administrator of FEMA.

AS we face operations the rest of this fiscal year  under a continuing resolution we actually can see the conclusion reached by me in the title of this post working itself out. But few outside the bureacracy will know of the allocation and apportionments ordered by OMB and causing consternation and disruption in the federal departments and agencies.

As evidence of the past disruptions of this rivalry I would note the evidence that both DOJ and DOD always worried that an independent FEMA would step on their turf. Actually it was the Committee structure in Congress that facilitated this concern.

So while not focusing on any one document I thought I would post some evidence of this past rivalary. Now of course the worst fears of DOJ and DOD have been realized in the potential of DHS to become not just a small underfunded independent agency but a real interloper into law enforcement and domestic crisis management including manipulation of the National Guard.

For partial evidence go to: 

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