Staffing Federal Agencies: Lessons from 1981-2016

Staffing Federal Agencies: Lessons from 1981-2016. Brookings Institution. Anne Joseph O’Connell. April 17, 2017

Agency leaders make critical decisions in our modern bureaucracy. Top officials issue significant binding regulations and influential guidance documents. They make the final calls in major adjudications among private parties (including between employers and workers as well as between competing corporations). Officials regulate the rates for mail, natural gas distribution, and other key items. Some run embassies or independent investigations, while others keep the books. In the last administration, agency officials, not the White House, released regulations on open internet access and carbon pollution, deferred deportation for many individuals without documentation whose parents had brought them to this country as children, and launched investigations connected to each major presidential candidate. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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