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How does each of the branches of government influence our bureaucracy?

The bureaucracy is created by the legislative branch. The executive branch sets the policy which the bureaucracy implements and is further charged with filling its ranks using merit-based systems. The judiciary arbitrates disputes between the public and the bureaucracy or between the political elements of the executive and the bureaucracy.

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The bureaucracy, sometimes called the "permanent government" due to its enduring nature and the fact that it continues beyond the terms of elected politicians, is formed and influenced by each of the three branches of government in the United States.

The legislative branch creates the bureaucracy and ensures its continuity through the enactment of civil service legislation (most recently, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978). Without legislation, the executive branch would be free to retain and dismiss new employees with each change in administration. As an extension of this, the legislative branch creates systems and institutions to ensure that the bureaucracy is protected from retaliation by the executive branch. One such protection is the Merit Systems Protection Board.

The political elements of the executive branch—to whom the bureaucracy reports on a day-to-day basis—set national policy which the bureaucracy is obligated to implement within the limitations of the law. It also is responsible for filling the ranks of bureaucrats using objective, merit-based methods set out by statute law.

The judiciary acts as the final arbiter of disputes between the public and the bureaucracy. It also arbitrates between the political elements of the executive branch and the bureaucracy when the executive branch's administrative courts render decisions that are unsatisfactory to one side or the other.

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