It is administrative aberration, ethical violation and process rascality to circumvent systemic

Modern societies need rules that can create orderliness and enforce stability, effectiveness and
efficiency. Bureaucracy shares organic nexus with policy process and can ensure the required
organizational homeostasis or dynamic equilibrium if properly executed. The relationship
between bureaucracy and policy process is like that which exists between science and
technology. The mutual inclusivity between the two concepts is undoubtedly a rich source of
complementarity (Ogunna, 2004). As established rules that guide the decisions, actions and
inactions of a particular organization, public or private, bureaucracy plays indispensable roles to
ensure that the process through which rules and policies that shape the existence of organization
and institutions are conducted in accord with existing and empirically proved phenomena. Every
policy process has a blueprint. There is usually terms of reference which the actors must adopt as
guide to avoid negation of procedural regularity. Suffice it to say that in every political-cum-
administrative system, once a particular problem that demands policy formulation to address is
identified, the next necessary step is to make general and specific rules that will guide the
process of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Therefore the major thrust of this
paper is to examine the extent of bureaucrats’ (bureaucracy) involvement in policy process, that
is; policy formulation.

Many thinkers have painted bureaucracy pejoratively. Furthermore, the paper will emphasize on
the unprecedented connect, and the interdependence between bureaucracy and policy-makers in
policy process and the need for it to be sustained in the polity.

It is important to state here that bureaucracy will be conceptualized more as rules, order and a
trajectory of administration than formal organization. We shall endeavour to attempt this paper in
the following order; etymology of bureaucracy, theoretical explication of bureaucracy,
conceptualizing policy process, distinguishing features of bureaucracy, bureaucrats and
politicians in policy process, and importantly too, bureaucracy and policy formulation,
bureaucracy and policy implementation, and bureaucracy and policy evaluation.

Etymology of Bureaucracy
When you are dealing with concept like bureaucracy that has been beleaguered and beset with
controversy, it is usually important to trace the origin. This will, perhaps, help to furnish the
readers or audience with information about how such concepts were born, and, perhaps their
strategic importance to the required environment. Bureaucracy is one of such concepts that have
suffered pejorative colorations and controversies, notwithstanding that it is considered as the
most efficient and rational way in which human activities can be organized and better managed
to eliminate such threats to organizational growth like favoritism (Nwachukwu, 1999)

The word “bureaucracy” is rooted in French. The affix “bureau” is a French word, meaning
‘desk or office’ while the suffix ‘kratos’ is a Greek word, meaning rule or political power.

Therefore, semantically, bureaucracy means “office rules”. Bureaucracy was coined by a French
economist called Jacques Claude Marie Vincent de Gournay in the 18th century. The fact remains
that his approach to the concept of bureaucracy was quite satirical and pejorative, may be
because the ‘straightness’ of the term did not allow him to import idiosyncrasy into the political-
cum-administrative system of France. Gournay was quoted to have said about bureaucracy that
“we have an illness in France which bids fair to play havoc with us; this illness is called
bureaumania”. However, in 1818, the man called Baron Von Grimm was first to provide the
English language use of bureaucracy. As time and bureaucracy evolved, clearer explication is
given to bureaucracy. After the emergence of the English language use of the term, the 19 th
century definition of the term emerged. This era referred bureaucracy as ‘system of governance
in which offices were held by unelected career officials, and in this sense bureaucracy was seen
as a distinct form of government, often subservient to a monarchy (Beetham, 2013).
Furthermore, the most enduring and well known advocate and writer on bureaucracy who
emerged in the 1920s was the German sociologist, Max Weber. The foray of Max Weber into the
explanation of bureaucracy brought what we refer to as ‘green revolution’. The revolutionization
of the concept of bureaucracy by Max Weber stood the test of time despite the intellectual
attacks by those who failed to see the indispensability of the need for process as a substratum for
organizational (both public and private) success in the modern or contemporary society. For
Max, bureaucracy includes any system of administration conducted by trained professionals
according to fixed rules. Twenty four years later, precisely in 1944, and 1957, renewed attacks
were leveled against bureaucracy following the explanation given by Max Weber .Economist
Ludwig Von Mises (1944) and American sociologist Robert Merton opined that bureaucracy was always applied with an opprobrious connotation and that the term bureaucrat had an epithet,
respectively (Ludwig, 2012).

The waves of bureaucracy helped the United Kingdom’s Department of Excise to develop a
formidable and sophisticated bureaucracy in the 18 th century. This introduced relative efficiency
and professionalism which helped the government to introduce a tax system through which great
sums of money were raised for war expenditure. Ferguson (2013) captures what could be
referred as the scientific explanation of bureaucracy. He sees bureaucracy as based on
“recruitment by examination, training, promotion on merit, regular salaries and pensions, and
standardized procedures

The thoughts of who is who on bureaucracy
Bureaucracy has remained a puzzle-laden phenomenon in the social sciences since its modern
unveiling in the 1920s. Bureaucracy simply means ‘standardized rules’ for administrative or
management action. Almost every organized human society is bureaucratic. It is the bureaucratic
tendency of an organization that instills the administrative culture of orderliness and rationality.
Some experts or scholars speak about pejorative and may be progressive bureaucracy. No
organization whose objective is progress can make any rule with the intention of making such
rule anti-productive to the organization. Rules which for us can be substituted for bureaucracy in
this work are made to check the idiosyncratic excesses of the actors in the organization.
Furthermore, rules help to project organizational interest more than the personal interest. This
represents exactly how bureaucracy protects organizations. Deployment of formalized rules,
order and standardized procedure during policy process seems inevitable because it protects both the policy process and intended policies from being infiltrated by personal sentiment.
Bureaucracy plays the prominent role of extricating organizations, their policy process and
policies from the shackles of frequent regime oscillations (Heady, 2001, p.352).

Bureaucracy has over the years been defined negatively, mostly in terms of what it is not. Some
scholars think it is unfair to paint bureaucracy in bad spots because of human errors. The most
practical and balanced definition of bureaucracy was offered by the German sociologist, Max
Weber writes:

The fully developed bureaucratic mechanism compares with other
organizations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical modes
of production. Precision, speed, unambiquity, knowledge of the files,
continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction and
of material and personal costs-these are raised to the optimum point in the
strictly bureaucratic administration… Its specific nature develops the more
perfectly the more bureaucracy is ‘dehumanized’, the more completely it
succeeds in eliminating from official business, love, hatred, and all purely
personal irrational and emotional elements which escape calculation
(Weber cited in Adebayo, 1989, p.26).
Similarly, Sharma, Sadana & Kaur (2011, p. 375) opine that;

Bureaucracy is a perplexing term and has been subjected to many different
definitions. It is used variously to identify an institution or a caste, a mode
of operation, an ideology, a way of viewing and organizing society, a way
of life, a social category etc.

Deductions from the above definitions means that bureaucracy has two distinct definitions. First,
it could be defined as large institutions like the Nigeria civil service, Nigerian Bottling Company,
Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bank of America etc, which adopts highly formalized system of
operation to ensure rationality and control in the system. Second, it could equally be seen as a philosophy of administration or management such as the many characteristics of bureaucracy
which we shall discuss in the course of the discourse.
Abrahamsson (1977) captures the multi-sidedness of bureaucracy citing that;

Bureaucracy has been identified with any of the following seven divisions;
state administration, group of officials, inefficiency, modern organization
or modern society… It is used as a summary term for a category of
persons with special administrative tasks, as specific (form) of
organization, and polemically and pejoratively as a criticism of certain
trends in modern society.

Conceptualizing bureaucracy, Nwachukwu (1999, p .130) opines that;

“The term bureaucracy has often been attacked as contrived, ambiguous,
and troublesome. All of these charges are accurate. However, bureaucracy
is a word that has demonstrated great staying power. Even most of its
critics have concluded that there is more to be gained by keeping it than by
abandoning it”.

Human organization cannot progress, or achieve the goals of the organization without creating
and implementing the philosophy of administration or management guided by specific rules that
promote orderliness and rationality in the organization. It is important to note that it takes a well
organized society guided by defined and formalized rules to effectively prosecute the onerous
task of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation that will shape and lead such system
to the trajectory of sustainable development and prosperity.
Blaue and Mayer (1966) aptly conceptualized bureaucracy as;

Organization designed to accomplish large scale administrative tasks by
systematically coordinating the work of many individuals.

In a similar stratum, Hyneman opines that bureaucracy is big organization. He stated that “I
prefer to say that bureaucracy is a word for big organization”. He considers such organization
bureaucratic if one has to search for finding out who is making its policies and procedures, or if you think it takes too long for one part to find out what another part proposes to do. Davis is
considered to have posted a more direct and practical definition of bureaucracy when he captures

Bureaucracy is an integrated hierarchy or specialized offices defined by
systematic rules-an impersonal reutilized structure wherein legitimatized
authority rests in the office and not in the person of the incumbent.

Myriads of theoretical explications of bureaucracy have been given. Some are based on empirical
background while some are submissions influenced by idiosyncratic imposition. Whether
explained as philosophy of administration or a large organization, bureaucracy remains the
software through which human organizations are rationally and empirically managed or
administered. Owing to the behavioural tendencies in human nature, coupled with human
inconsistencies, it becomes most germane to operationalize a standardize procedure that ensures
proper tutoring of the human component of an organization in order to ensure professionalism
and objective-driven procedure for managing organizations.

Distinguishing features of bureaucracy
We are very much aware that many scholars, like Victor Thompson, Anthony Downs, Ferrel
Heady, A.E.C Ogunna and the doyen of modern bureaucracy- Max Weber have produced an
organic table representing the characteristics of bureaucracy. These numerous scholarly
presentations may be undisputedly accurate. However, we shall be inclined to choosing the
typology presented by R.H Hall. He maintains that there are six dimensions of bureaucracy
which are of special attention. These include;
1) A functionally specialized division of labour

2) An explicit hierarchy of authority
3) Rules which describe the duties and rights of officials
4) A set of standard operating procedures
5) Impersonal relations between officials
6) Employment and promotion based on technical merit. (Sharma et al, 2011, p.385,
Nwachukwu, 1999, p. 132).

The essence of the above itemization is to illustrate that bureaucracy, whether as a practice or an
institution must poses or practice any of these special features. Those carefully identified features
are capable of creating functional stability in an organization if the actors allowed rules to
function as designed. Almost every thought on bureaucracy given by scholars has the itemized
features directly or indirectly imbedded in them.

Conceptualizing policy process
“Policy” and “process” are key and recurring decimals in the lexicon of Political Science and
Public Administration. This is fundamental because policy remains a strategic guide to the
operations of an organization. Process serves as the important and dynamic litmus test that a
particular policy must pass through before being adopted as instrument of operation either for a
state or an organization, or any organized human society. Let us quickly look at the word
“policy”, perhaps to announce what it is, its relevance and how it affects this work.

A policy drives the soul of an organization. Ogunna (2004, p.18) stresses that policy is a;
Set of standard or norms for an organization. It is a set of general
rules promulgated by the competent authority of an organization
aimed at achieving organization goals. It is also seen as a plan of
action designed to guide the administration towards the
achievement of set goals.

Policy gives an organization direction. Any organization that does not have policy direction or
thrust will be fraught with lack of operational strategy and accuracy. Such human organization
might be doomed by the vagaries of sprawl system because there will be no science of
administration and management or anticipation of precision in operation as every action will be
predicated on trial and error, borne out of personal instinct and idiosyncrasy. Policy brings
directives that free the organization from the claws of credo-belief system. The absence of policy
will amount to such organization operating like a scalar quantity. Viewing ‘policy’ as
synonymous with ‘public policy’, Cochran, Mayer, Carr and Cayer, (1982, p.2) posit that;
Policy is an internal course of action followed by a government
institution or official for resolving an issue of public concern. Such
a course of action must be manifested in laws, public statements,
official regulations, or widely accepted and publicly visible
patterns of behaviour.

The submission of Cochran et al simply suggests that before a certain course of action becomes a
policy or public policy, it must be accepted and tolerated in a particular political system. That is
to say, the government and citizens of such political system must see policy as a means of
resolving public problems.

Besides, Njoku (2011, expresses that policy is the heart, breath and blood of administration
and governance. For him, the success and failure of public administration depends on its policy process. Lasswell and Kaplan (cited in Njoku 2011, p.2), describe policy as “whatever
governments choose to do or not to do”. Supporting the above views, and perhaps in clearer
terms, Patterson, Davidson and Randall (1982, p.469) assert that;

Policy is the government’s official statements about its goals and
planned actions in handling a perceived problem or activity.

Drawing from the above, it could be understood that public problems do reach government for
solution from time to time. However, before these public problems could be solved by
government, certain rules and standards must be made by the competent authority and
implemented too by competent authority. These rules and standards are referred to as policies of
Bureaucrats and Politicians in Policy Process
Bureaucrats represent policy executors while politicians represent policy formulators. According
to Ogunna (2004, p.18);

In any given state or organization, services are produced through
the activities of two classes of people, policy-makers and

Those of the political class do make the policy while the administrative class implements the
policy, though not always universally accepted because of what we could call the multiplicity of
government functions and the rational interdependence of the two classes of government to
achieve the set objectives. In the public service which is the focal point here, no doubt these
classes of public servants exist. Before we proceed, it will be very necessary to examine the
opinion of the pioneer scholars and writers in the discipline of Public Administration on the
subject matter.

Woodrow Wilson (1887) and Frank J. Goodnow (1900), the study of Public Administration, both
in ancient and modern times cannot be said to be complete without mentioning the contributions
of the duo, however controversial they may sound. In their works-The Study of Public
Administration (Wilson, 1887) and Politics and Administration (Goodnow, 1900) respectively, a
distinction between the modus operandus of politics and administration appeared to be
effectively struck. Wilson maintains that the public agencies must be insulated from the
corrupting influences of politics if efficiency is to be achieved in government. According to
Wilson (cited in Sapru, 2013, p.51).

Administration lies outside the proper sphere of politics.
Administrative questions are not political questions. Although
politics set the tasks for administration, it should not be suffered to
manipulate its office.

Supporting the views of Wilson, Goodnow in his work, Politics and Administration (1900),
maintains that politics has to do with policies and expressions of the will of the state, while
administration has to do with the execution of those policies.

At this juncture, a stage for hot academic exercise was set after scholars and academics
interpreted Frank Goodnow’s expression as politics-administration dichotomy. Frank Goodnow
was particularly critical of how and why such important functions in government as “expression”
and “execution” of the will of the government/state could be entrusted in the arms of one branch
of government. This informs his irrevocable belief in politics-administration dichotomy. With
the appearance of “Introduction to the study of Public Administration, written by L.D White in
1926, and Principles of Public Administration in 1927, written by W.E Willoughby (being the
first and second textbooks on the field of Public Administration), many scholars found what we call “mechanical advantage” to effectively attack the Wilsonian and Goodnowian thought of
politics and administration. Gulick, White and Appleby recognized the difficulty of separating
politics and administration. Gulick, for instance, rejects the common contention of the time that
politics and administration are separate and distinct. Gulick argues that such a separation is
impractical, impossible and undesirable. He maintains that administration is necessarily involved
in politics and policy process. In sum, Gulick holds that the old politics-administration
dichotomy has broken down, and he argues that a new doctrine should be developed that permits
“the fullest possible use of the expert in an appropriate framework of political and professional
responsibility (Sapru 2012, p.53).

The puncturing of the doctrine of politics-administrative dichotomy continues as White notes;
The increasing executive initiatives in public policy, even arguing
at one point that those who staff the bureaucracy may be in the best
position to make recommendations free from political influence. In
these ways, politics-administration dichotomy, if it ever existed,
was quickly eroded.

In his contention, Appleby insists that “public administration is policy making”. He further
stated that “the abandonment of the dichotomy between politics and administration culminated in
1950 when leading scholars of public administration wrote: “A theory of Public Administration
means in our time a theory of politics also”. With this observation, it appears that, politics-
administration dichotomy died, and Public Administration became as ‘common’ as politics.


Comments and questions on the subject-matter
Many scholars contended that politics was a little distinct from administration when the
functions and responsibilities of the executive were narrow in nature and general administration
was not as complex, broad and overlapping as it is nowadays or in contemporary times. In
current government and governance, the relationship between the law making body (Legislature)
and law enforcement body (Executive) gets stronger and more interdependent than ever. One can
ask; how would one claim neat existence of politics-administration dichotomy in policy process
when the followings are operational in modern government administration? The president of a
country can by law, initiate presidential Bill and pursues it at the legislature for it to become law
in the country. Is this practice a purely administrative or executive one? Again, after a certain bill
sails through on the floor of the parliament, by law, it will never become law until it is signed or
assented to by the President (Executive). Is this action not an aspect of politics? Furthermore,
what about the popular Executive Order usually exercised by executive presidents such as
presidents of Nigeria and the United States of America? In most policy making and decisions of
government, the staff of bureaucracy is invited to make technical contributions to the policy
process. Most of the contributions are documented, and at some point in the policy process form
the terms of reference. This is because politics knows that the staff of administration is more
professionally sound to handle such affairs. Is this also not a political involvement? In modern
nation-building, it is commonplace that the functions of the three aims of government are in a
‘serious’ complementary alliance to the extent that it is difficult to spot a neat division of
function among them, only in a very exceptional case.

According to Grozins (cited in Jones 1970, p.7);

There is no ‘neat’ division of functions’ among all the units of
government. They share in making and administering policy.
Functions of the American governments are shared functions. Put
together, it all makes the American system.

Furthermore, Grozins-Elazar scholarship establishes the fact that the various levels of
government are partners in policy making.

The Policy Process: Only By Bureaucrats or Politicians or both?
The bureaucrats and politicians remain the pillars of leadership in every political system. Since
there is no leadership without policy direction, it means that both are either jointly involved in
the process that produces the policy for leadership, or are separately involved and at different
times. Policy process in government is a continuous process or activity embarked upon by
competent official to produce a roadmap, a kind of cyanotype that will offer empirical solutions
to public problems. Policy process must be painstakingly embarked upon because of its
contribution to government success. If good and right policies are initiated and implemented by
competent officials, governance and nation-building turn progressive, but if the opposite is the
case, the political system suffers set back. Because of the stated fact, coupled with the dynamic,
complex and digitalization of governance, what matters is the search for competent officials to
perform irrespective of leadership divide. L.D White insists that “increasing executive initiative
in public policy” is enough to debunk the philosophy that only the “politics” makes policies for
the state.

Policy process in any political system involves planning. This planning starts when a problem is
identified. The question is; who identifies the problem. Similarly Robinson and Majak (cited in
Ezeani, 2005, p.302) maintain that:

Policy process is the methods, conditions, procedures, activities,
interactions and stages by which policies are made.

Supporting the foregoing, Ezeani (2005) reiterates that “policy process refers to all that goes on
from the moment the need for a policy was muted and articulated to its formation, enactment,
implementation, performance and impact”. The competence of actors in policy process is of
strategic importance. Thus, any political system embarking on policy process must ensure the
right mix of actors in order to produce policies for real nation-building.

How does bureaucracy participate in policy process?
In every human society, especially in a democratic entity, where rules and regulations are made
and implemented for orderliness, bureaucracy remains an important denominator. Policy process
is a complex activity which demands concerted efforts of both bureaucrats and policy makers.
The rigorous path of policy process spans from policy formulation to policy evaluation. Daily
governmental operations have shown that bureaucracy and bureaucrats play tremendous roles in
ensuring successful policy process. This is owing to the fact that bureaucracy is usually deeply
involved in the major stages of policy process (policy formulation to policy evaluation).

Basically, policy process involves three major stages. They are policy formulation, policy
implementation and policy evaluation. We shall therefore examine these stages vis-à-vis the
involvement of bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy and Policy Formulation
Policy formulation is the starting point of policy process. Before a particular societal or public
need is processed into a policy, it must first be formulated. Therefore through formulation of
policy, certain courses of action are brought into focus to be considered for attention preparatory
for implementation which will bring about satisfaction of the affected public. Policy formulation
is one of the vital stages of policy process where problem identification and plans to remedy
them are undertaken. Policy formation stage also referred to as policy formulation and adoption
is the stage in which social problem is identified, analyzed and a course of action chosen to
address it. It also includes the stage in which a major decision is taken on what to do about a
matter of concern, that is, what can be taken to be a major policy decision (Ikeanyibe, 2013,
p.93). Bureaucrats in this context are simply the career civil servants. It is important to note that
policy formulation in policy process actually starts from the civil service.

An important policy process in government is budget preparation. The legislators (politicians) do
not prepare budget. It is the ministries and departments of government (civil service) that initiate
budget preparation when the call is released. The most important assignment (budget
preparation) that without which government operations will be stalled is usually initiated and
further handled at other stages by bureaucracy/civil service. It is a known fact that most of what
we call policies is submitted to the legislature as drafts prepared by the career civil officials.

Legislative bodies are generally unable to initiate within themselves solutions for complex and
often technical problems with which they are faced. For instance, the budget normally begins
with the call to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) to submit their estimates to the
central budget agency which coordinates and collates these into an Appropriation Bill that is
presented to the legislature (Ikeanyibe, 2013, p.94).

Bureaucracy is able to make tremendous impact in policy formulation because of the acquired
technical and skillful capabilities which are neat prerequisites for initiation and drafting of guides
that form the basis of policies for government. In the Ministry of Education, for example, we
have the minister for education as the policy maker (politician) and the permanent secretary as
the head of bureaucracy in the ministry. Policy formulations in the ministry cannot be seen to
have been effectively done without the input of the permanent secretary and other senior
bureaucrats in the ministry. The reason is that they are not new comers to the systems, and thus
have acquired reasonable experience and capabilities over the years which will help in initiating
policy direction or courses of action that will help resolve identified public problems. This is
why a minister or commissioner as the case may be cannot work effectively without the close
assistance of the permanent secretary. As a matter of fact the permanent secretary of a particular
ministry can directly or indirectly frustrate the efforts of the minister or commissioner if there is
no good working environment between them. The reason is that the permanent secretary posses
the technical and professional dexterity to effectively handle the official responsibility.
Therefore, the policy makers at this stage will need the long acquired experience of bureaucrats
for effective policy formulation.

Several sub-stages have been identified in policy formulation stage. They include; problem
definition, setting agenda, formulating proposal and adopting of a policy (Anderson, 1997).
Notice that bureaucracy has been involved in problem definition through its advisory capacity.
Policy makers do consult the career civil servants for advice on how best to tackle social,
economic, cultural, physical, legal problems. The reason is that, these career civil servants are
experts in these fields of endeavour and thus are capable of offering expertise solution to the
identified problems. At the sub-stage of policy proposal, bureaucracy is equally involved. One
thing certain is that, you cannot develop policy proposal or a course of action to solve identified
public problem that you do not understand its nature. Activities in the ministries reveal that
policy proposals are being written by the administrative agencies and forwarded to the chief
executive or president for approval depending on the policy direction or interest of the
administration. Professionalism, specialization and expertise nature of agency officials, which is
inherent in their day to day functionality accounts for their deep involvement in policy process.

Bureaucracy and policy Implementation
The second broad stage of policy process bothers on how much is bureaucracy involved in policy
execution? This stage of policy process is synonymous with bureaucracy and public agencies. It
is policy execution stage. It is the stage of practical realization of what is on paper. Egonmwan
opines that;

Implementation is the process of converting inputs, financial, information,
material, technical, human, demands, support etc, into outputs-goods and
services including symbolic values like titles and national awards which
support behavior changes in beneficiary groups. It is the stage where the
earlier preparation and designs, plans and analyses are tested in the harsh
light of reality and where policy content and the impact on people could be substantially altered or even neglected by the political and
administrative process (Egonmwman, 2000, p. 141).

Furthermore, Ikeanyibe chronicles that;

Implementation involves the practical realization of a public policy. It is
the traditional constituency of the bureaucracy and public agencies and
usually starts with the commitment of the policy to the jurisdiction of
certain agency, department or new public administration structures
established to execute them (Ikeanyibe, 2013, p.100).

Traditionally, policy implementation is within the jurisdiction of the public agencies
(bureaucracy) whose responsibility it is to map out the effective strategies on how to optimally
engage the available material and non-material resources to effectively achieve the policy targets
within the stipulated duration, and with the approved inputs. The bureaucrats are like field
workers and foot soldiers of the government. They are the tools used by government to execute
its policies and programmes. When a political office seeker mounts his campaign trail, he will
promise the electorates pipe borne water, electricity, good roads, education, security etc. After
wards, policies will be formulated to support courses of action that will remedy those situations,
that is, to achieve positive policy outputs and policy impacts. According to Cochran et al (1982,
p.5), policy implementation involves policy outputs and policy impacts. Policy outputs are the
tangible manifestations of policies while policy impacts are the outcomes or the effects that
policy outputs have on the society. The achievement of positive policy outputs and policy
impacts are dependent on the professional skill of the implementing bureaucracy. These
campaign promises can only be implemented if the relevant section of public agencies are
properly engaged to directly carryout the work or supervise the private agency contracted to do
the work. It is important to note that the traditional dominance of implementation stage of policy process by the bureaucracy has been slightly altered by the philosophy of New Public
Administration (NPA) which introduced shared responsibility among career, non-career, and
private sector participants in public affairs management. Let it be emphasized that one of the
critical problems at this stage of policy process is the possibility of implementing policies whose
unintended consequences are capable of generating public problems which might need
immediate remedy. The involvement of bureaucracy in policy implementation has supplied the
expertise that has helped to reduce negative unintended consequences of policies. Therefore,
bureaucracy is most credible to either directly carry out the actual implementation of government
policies or oversee the process in the case where it is not directly executing the job.

Bureaucracy and policy Evaluation
Policy evaluation is the question of impact .Evaluation attempts to assess the outcomes of
policies—their effects on the society – in order to compare with intended goals of the policies. It
asks whether the goals have or have not been met, with what costs, and with what unintended
consequences (Cochran et al 1982, p.6).Policy evaluation is investigative and surveillance based.
It usually relies on the rules and regulations enacted to guide the implementation process. Here,
the bureaucracy takes the task of finding out the extent of compliance during policy
implementation, which is considered the basis of control. It is possible that policy evaluation is
an all comers affair. Both governmental and non-governmental institutions, even private sectors
can engage in the act of policy evaluation, and this will form the basis for either commendation
or criticism to the government. In simple parlance, policy evaluation is the appraisal or
examination of the process of implementation of government policies to ascertain extent of
compliance in execution and achievement of targeted objective. Though actors other than the
government institutions can evaluate government policies, public administrators possess more
technical, professional and strategic competence to handle it because of their frequency of
involvement in administration of government business. Furthermore, Ikeanyibe opines that;
Evaluation of public policies by administrators is carried out in the course
of their day to day supervision and hierarchical control of the
administrative machinery, self-evaluation and special
investigation/inspection by specialized agencies or units such as auditors
(Ikeanyibe, 2013, p.117).

The bureaucrats carry out evaluation through supervision to ensure control in the administrative
system. Let us reiterate that actors other than those from the administrative system may simply
choose to participate for the purposes of critique but the agencies of government have the culture
of ensuring that such evaluation is logically done to correct possible defects in the process. Some
agencies do some kind of regulatory supervision that enables them to establish the level of
compliance by other agencies to existing policies. Thus, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the
National Communication Commission, the National Pension Commission etc conduct
surveillance activities that not only serve as a means of policy execution but also as sources of
vital information concerning the level of implementation of various policies and programmes of
government (Ikeanyibe, 2013, p. 199).

In every country, especially one whose public service is well organized, the policy process is
always successful up to the resolution of the problem for which the policies are made.
Bureaucracy instills hierarchical as well as competence and stability balance in a country’s quest
for national development. It is like the springboard of every political system. Not visibly seen, as
one of its characteristics is anonymity, but very eloquent in action. When the public service
embarks on strike action, the government business practically shuts down. Every form of execution is suspended; revenue is lost, as no personnel will be in the ministries to transact
government business. This underscores the importance of bureaucracy in policy process and
general management of government business. Bureaucracy is well organized in such a way that
its input is always sought for in policy formulation, policy implementation and policy evaluation
process of government policy.

Thesis and conclusion
The importance of bureaucrats and policy makers in policy process cannot be over-emphasized.
Both form the fulcrum of leadership in every political system. Sometimes, they perform their
functions slightly separately. Some other time, they become inextricably interdependent in
functionality. This explains the unity of purpose, inter and intra governmental relations brought
by emerging complex and dynamic government administration. In my previous work on
bureaucracy, I made reference to this scenario which aptly captured the position of bureaucrats in
government business: A meeting was summoned by the commissioner in charge of lands,
housing and urban development in Imo State sometime in August, 2016. The most important
item on the agenda was to discuss the modalities to get the stake holders and development
partners at the Nekede Exclusive Garden Estate to fulfill their financial obligation to the
Government. I was at that meeting for some reasons. The commissioner and his aides were
already seated but the meeting could not commence; Reason was that the permanent secretary,
the director of lands and housing and other career civil servants in the ministry were yet to arrive.
A policy of revenue drive was about to be made under the chair of Hon. Commissioner for the
ministry. Meeting finally commenced when the bureaucrats arrived the venue. A big lesson was
learnt from that proceeding. The meeting of such policy process was actually chaired by a
policy-maker (politician) but such meeting could not commence until the career officials arrived.
Besides, the technical contributions that could help resolve or achieve the target were actually
made by the bureaucrats. The permanent secretary and his employees were quite professional in
contributing to the policy process. Therefore, policy process in the contemporary political system
is a combined effort of bureaucrats and policy makers (politicians).Theoretically, the two
concepts appear to be separate but from practical perspective, they are functionally
interdependent. Finally, contemporary or new public administration does not support the
philosophy of neat dichotomy between the operations of policy makers and policy implementers
in the political system as espoused by Wilsonian and Goodnowian thesis.


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Nnato Japhet Olusadum holds a doctorate in Political Science with specialization in Public
Administration. He has many years of teaching and research in Political Science and Public
Administration. He has published widely both in national and international journals. He has also
contributed many chapters in learned festschrifts in topics in Political Science and Public
Administration. Currently, he is a lecturer in the Department of Public Administration, Federal
University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

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