We explain what public administration is and the various functions of this discipline. In addition, examples and what is private administration.
What is public administration?
By public administration means the discipline and the scope of action in the management of the resources of the State , public companies and institutions that make up the public patrimony.
The public administration is responsible for managing the contact between citizens and the public power , not only in the bureaucratic institutions of the State, but also in state-owned companies, in health entities, in the armed forces, in the police, firefighters , the postal service and national parks, among others. On the other hand, it does not cover the judicial and legislative sectors.
This concept can be understood from two points of view:
- Formally, it refers to public bodies that have received from the political power the powers to meet specific needs of citizens in matters of general interest, such as health, bureaucracy, etc.
- Materially, it refers to the administrative activity of the State, that is, to the management of itself, to reinforce compliance with laws and the satisfaction of public needs, as well as its relationship with particular organizations.
Public administration has the privilege of contentious-administrative , that is, of administrative procedural law , capable of managing acts of management (the State acts as a legal entity) or acts of authority (executed by the State by decree).
Public Administration Functions
The public administration’s primary task is the management of state efforts or of the various companies and institutions that make up the State, in order to ensure effective compliance with:
- The satisfaction of the minimum needs of citizens.
- The safeguard of the internal order of the nation.
- Ensure bureaucratic, hierarchical and informative relations that maintain a functioning social, political and citizen system.
Examples of public administration
Some examples of public administration can be:
- The measures to cut and reduce the state carried out by neoliberal governments, especially during the 1990s in Latin America: layoffs of public workers, merger of ministries, etc.
- The enlargement of the State carried out by socialist governments, as they expropriate private companies and properties that become the patrimony of the state, under a management model of the public administration .
Public and private administration
Although many of its processes may be similar, public administration and private administration are distinguished in the following:
- Objective . While the public administration provides a service to the community, the private one pursues clear profits.
- Financing . Public administration depends financially on the State, although depending on its nature it may provide certain services to third parties; while private is entirely due to private capital and donations.
- Legality . Both are legal, of course, but the public one is endowed by law of powers, while the private one is guarded and supervised by the principles established in the law, and public bodies are responsible, among other things, for ensuring that this is the case. .
- Dependence . While the public administration obeys the guidelines of the government (as long as they do not contradict the laws of the State), the private administration retains a greater margin of independence.
Public administration and political sciences
The formal study of the political sciences usually goes hand in hand with that of the public administration , for a simple reason: the different models of government or political management that man has devised throughout history have made themselves felt more than anything in the way of disposing of public goods and services, given that a government , from a certain point of view, is nothing more than a specific way of using the State: its laws, its institutions and its social, civic and economic tasks .