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Handbook of Public Administration, 3rd Edition by James L. Perry, Robert K. Christensen

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Chapter 9Developing Effective Relations with Legislatures

Anne M. Khademian and Fatima Sparger Sharif*

Public agencies are empowered by legislatures to carry out public mandates, and legislators have a responsibility to oversee agency activities. Practitioners and scholars debate how this oversight ought to be exercised. While some argue that legislators ought to do less micromanagement and provide administrators with more elbow room to implement government programs (Packard Commission, 1986; Behn, 2001), others note the legitimate role of legislators in overseeing the administration of government programs (West & Cooper, 1989–1990) and offer assessments of the quality of their efforts (Aberbach, 1990; Dodd & Schott, 1979). Regardless of the ...

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