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Agencies in search of principles

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Why agencies, and why now? The proliferation of agencies is not accidental; it entails much more than merely rearranging the organisational map of government. There is a logic to the popularity of agencies that sheds light on the current state of democratic governance. Every government that embraces agencies does so for its own reasons, but as diverse as they may appear to be, all the reasons are the same. Some governments set up agencies to empower managers, others to emphasise service delivery, still others to evade personnel controls or other administrative constraints. As different as these motives may be, all attest to the belief that the inherited department-centred model no longer satisfies the organisational needs of government.

Page Count: 26
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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