The executive has the primary supervisory responsibility for the bureaucracy. Traditionally, the executive and bureaucracy have been considered a single branch; however, that analysis is no longer valid. Excessive government, excessive discretion, and improper delegation have created a juggernaut no longer under the effective control of the executive. For example the U.S. President’s Commission on CIA activities within the United States was set up under President Ford in 1975 to investigate the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. It is a symptom of how out of control the CIA and other independent agencies are if the executive, which is supposed to be controlling them, needs to set up a commission to investigate them.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove