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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Government is a necessary part of any large, developed civilization, and bureaucracy is a necessary part of any government. Any time a governmental body enacts a piece of legislation, it sets in motion many kinds of potential bureaucracy, including the need for supervision, enforcement, distribution, and collection. Another layer of bureaucracy is added when the government wants to gather information about the effectiveness of the legislation. Without these elements of bureaucracy, any legislation would be powerless; however, it is quite possible to have too much of a good thing.

This excessive bureaucracy can happen when the government overreaches (as in a recent instance when a small-time magician was notified that he had to create and submit a "safety plan" for his rabbit in the case of an emergency). It can also happen when the government grows too unwieldy and no one is monitoring its unnecessary offices, departments, or divisions. It is certain to happen when services are duplicated (two departments or organizations responsible for virtually the same tasks).

Generally, the farther away the head of the department is from the task the department must do, the more inefficient the result. Those layers of bureaucracy can impede efficiency and waste resources. The question for effective bureaucracy is always that of what to keep and what to remove and who will decide what to keep or remove.