The function of the government is rooted in the notion that different levels of the government concentrate on different kinds of services. For the purpose of studying public administration, we know that the government varies by level such as federal, state, and local; by function; and by the agency or group that finally delivers the goods and services.



  1. Research and provide an example to illustrate the goods and services provided by each level of the government—federal, state, and local.

  3. Evaluate and explain how this affects the way public administration is or should be studied.


Must be 900 words in APA format cite all sources.



The problem for this week is to take a single service and look at it from three perspectives: federal, state, and local government. Next, as students of administration, do we need different tools to understand the study of public administration? The answer is yes. In fact, many public administration programs offer different knowledge tools to assess how we approach our work. More particularly you will find this focus couched within a specific program, such as criminal justice, health care, environment services, and education. Many schools offer degrees in Urban Studies. I taught in such a program.


Avoid talking about the politics and legislation. Avoid talking about practitioners, such as school teachers and nurses and fireman. For instance, at the Federal level we have FEMA (part of DHS). FEMA administers the delivery of temporary services, generally financial relief for home damage, temporary housing if necessary. FEMA is not activated unless the governor requests the president to declare an area disaster zone. The state has emergency personnel that are brought to the area. It has the national guard if order is needed. The first level of response is the local government. It coordinates emergency services--health care, temporary shelter during the event, police to provide security. It will ask local utilities to step up. Each level of government has protocol for managing the level of service provided, and designates individuals to coordinate with the other levels of government. Administrators at each level are specifically trained to the procedures needed. They also exercise discretion to determine solutions to unique problems. If you remember hurricane Katrina you will remember that FEMA failed to activate in a timely fashion and did not have complete protocols in place to deal with the immediate effects of the hurricane. The agency was managed by an executive (Brown) who had no experience with emergency services and failed to understand the magnitude of the catastrophe.


So this study is based on your understanding of federalism. Begin your review with that. It is the sharing of resources. There are various approaches, with nicknames (fence is the most common) and block grants which allocate federal funds to state governments to cover specific programs. State governments manage the funds and supervise their allocation and audit. Local governments request the funds, spend the money, and supervise the audit and the delivery of services. For instance, the federal Department of Education offers grants to emphasize training or capital expenditures (building things). The state applies and gets the money. The state supervises the allocation and audit of these funds. A good example is reading programs that require the use of specialized staff.


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