History of Public Administration

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Public Administration

Public Administration involves the development, implementation and management of policies for the fruition of set goals and objectives to the benefit the public. The practice of Public Administration comprises of personnel who are directly involved in making decisions that affect the use of resources. Thus, it is concerned with the question of how to utilize these resources and public officials for maximum public good. The career public official has evolved over time; no longer are they subservient clerks carrying out the wishes of one superior or another. They are involved in the questions of how to get things done as the politicians determine what things need to be done (Morgan, 2015). This paper briefly discusses the history of Public Administration, the importance of being nonbiased within government, and how transparency within government leads to greater accountability.

Political Neutrality in Public Administration

Although Public Administration was originally designed to carry out the intentions of elected officials, it also must remain politically neutral. As a Business Auditor for Henrico County I may express bias that can be evident when selecting which businesses to audit, and when supervisors sign off to approve the audits. The aspect of bias is seen in the conflicting principle in public administration on what constitutes proper representation of the people by public officials. There is a need to strike a balance between contending principles and interests especially with the diverse opinions in democratic set ups. The founders of public administration demanded that leaders anticipate these irresolvable tensions and to build precautions against unchecked partisan abuse. Notably, public administration is differentiated from business by three aspects. It is more ambiguous, has multiple decision centers and public administrators are required to operate with a greater visibility (Denhardt, 2014).

Maintaining Democratic Values

The field of public administration today is concerned with efficient operation and the maintenance of the democratic values of individualism, equality, and liberty as they exist in the new structure of government as proposed by Woodrow Wilson (Denhardt, 2014). Modern definition of democracy suggests that achieving the full potential of the individual is what measures the success of our political system. The challenge is maintaining equality within government so that one group does not receive preference over the other. An effort on fairness is made; that all citizens should have equal stake in the system of Government to expect just outcomes. This ordered liberty is the guiding purpose of American public service (Morgan, 2015). It is protected by our laws, and bounds all individuals who engage in public administration. This principle of fairness and equality is what distinguishes public administration from for-profit business and nonprofit management (Morgan, 2015).

Auditing Procedures and Transparency

My auditing procedures within my department are grounded on these same principles, and they greatly influence the themes on the development of policies within Henrico County. As an auditor my role is to issue financial statement opinions objectively, fairly, regardless of the impact of such opinion on client and county relationships. The role of an auditor requires one to develop and nurture myriad skills that ensure a high level professionalism approach, free from bias, to each audit. Every auditor is accountable for his or her actions, and a level of self-awareness should be present acknowledging that all individuals are susceptible to the effects of unconscious influences.

Transparency and Trust

Transparency within the government subject to the interest of the citizens and always expected. Although it makes management in the public sector more difficult, this diversity of interests remains the cornerstone of democratic government (Morgan, 2015). Since public policies depend on behavioral responses from the public, trust is essential for policy success. As an auditor within Henrico County, it is necessary to earn and maintain the confidence of our local business owners who are essential for key economic activities. The programs and regulations that are in place can only be successful through the cooperation and compliance by citizens.

The Importance of Communication and Accountability

The level of trust is increased through making the government open through citizen engagement and increased access to information. Henrico County upholds a philosophy called the “Henrico Way” that focuses on customer service and citizen engagement with public servants. While practicing this philosophy as a Business Auditor for Henrico County, I am expected to show integrity and foster high standards of behavior to help reinforce the credibility of the Director of Revenue’s policy decision making. An open and honest flow of communication is essential in accomplishing my duties. According to Morgan (2015), the American constitution further provides me (auditors) with guidelines in the areas of government process, the powers of my office, and the rights am entitled to as I dispense my duties as an Auditor.

The Role of Public Administration

Public administration not only deals with the implementation of government policy but is also an academic discipline prepares civil servants for working in public service through the study of government functions. Through public administration, politics is translated into reality. The government functions courtesy of the diverse scope and advancement management practices of public administration. Thus, public administration organizes government policies and the behavior of officials that are formerly accountable for their conduct bound by a legal framework (constitution).

The Importance of Public Administration

From the preceding, public Administration is vital since it is goes beyond the making of policies and laws on paper, to tackle the real challenge of interpretation and translation of those policies and laws into actions. Public administrators, therefore, play an important role in running the government as machinery; a well-oiled machine where its citizens can place their trust and confidence. Despite the government machinery being ridiculed for being bureaucratic and imperfect, it is an ongoing amalgamation of various areas of study. The administration within it are the nuts and bolts that keep it together, for if that is stopped nothing would be accomplished.


Denhardt, R. B. (2014). Chapter 1: Personal Action in Public Administrations. In Public Administration: An Action Orientation(7th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Morgan, D. F. (2015). Chapter 1: A Constitutional and Political Approach to Public Administration. In Foundations of Public Service(2nd ed.). Routledge.

January 19, 2024

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