Posted: August 12th, 2013
Managing Human Capital in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors, Intersectoral Administration
Managing Human Capital in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors, Intersectoral Administration
What are the sources of corruption in contracting and what are the specific activities that governments can undertake to reduce the level of corruption? What are the four reforms that have been implemented to curtail corruption in federal contracting practices? How successful have these reforms been? (Chapter 11).
Corruption has been defined as a wrongful doing by people in authority by engaging in illegitimate means or unethical activities to benefit themselves at the expense of the people they serve. Corruption has devastating effects to not only the people affected directly but also the whole country and economy, in extreme cases of corruption such as defrauding. Thus, it is essential to eliminate corruption to avoid its effects such as posing serious challenges to development. Therefore, it is essential to understand corruption and its sources within the government as well as what can be done in order to eliminate it. The question posed above is quite significant in helping public administrators in understanding some causes of corruption as well as techniques for fighting them.
One source of corruption in contracting within the government is stiffing the government where many of the contractors within federal government engage in defrauding activities, defective pricing, and violation of health, tax, labor, human rights law and performance. Henry (2012) cites that, “since 1995, sixty-eight of the top federal contractors have been fined more than $19 billion for 699 instances of misconduct,” (366).The other source of corruption is stiffing the law that, (occurs when contractors violate federal laws that are unrelated to their contractual performance, but still are awarded new federal contracts,” (Henry, 2012 pp. 367). There are many contracts going to the wrong companies that have violated labor laws, while others have faced convictions over lack of health and safety precautions, which have resulted in the death of some of the workers within such companies. The third source of corruption within federal contracting is stiffing the taxpayer, where some of these companies awarded federal contracts fail pay the taxes due. According to Henry (2012), “Some 33,000 contractors with all federal agencies, other than the Defense Department, owe Washington more than $3.3 billion in federal taxes,” (367). This is made possible by the fact that, “Federal law does not prohibit the awarding of contracts or grants to entities because they owe federal taxes and does not permit IRS to disclose taxpayer information,” (367).
The four reforms that the government has undertaken to combat corruption in the federal government are professionalizing of the personnel charged with privatization in the government. In recognition of its problem, the federal government put up a Federal Acquisition Institute that offers training for its personnel and went ahead to establish Defense Acquisition University with an aim of professionalizing acquisition of the personnel (Henry, 2012. 369). The second reform is professionalizing of the privatization process that saw the government establish four laws. These acts include Government performance and Result Act, Information Technology Management Reform Act, Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act and the Federal Acquisition Reform Act. “These laws have largely backfired, largely because they: cut back contract audits; significantly weakened the requirement, first established by the requirement, first established by the False Claims Act of 1863 …” (Henry, 2012 pp.369). The third reform is the Federal Funding Accountability Act that requires contractors and subcontractors are publicly listed (Henry, 2012.369). The fourth reforms have been several other bills such as the Weapons Acquisition Reform Act, Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act among others. The initial reforms have not worked quite well. However, the recent reforms are quite promising.
In conclusion, it can be realized that corruption within the public administration is caused by the processes that have to be followed by the personnel. These processes take a lot of time that costs money. Within the private sector, it takes significantly a shorter time and fewer processes. Therefore, sources of corruption can be understood to come from the corruptible nature of the public process and structure. Understanding this is quite necessary in order to combat the source of corruption within the public administration.
Trace the development of federal affirmative action policies through the efforts of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. What are the key pieces of legislation and key ideas that support affirmative action as a human capital system? How has the concept of “protected class” been expanded over time? (Chapter 9).
Affirmative action by the government has been used for a long time for ensuring equal opportunities for all races including the minority. Its main purpose is protecting the minority from discrimination. Additionally, it aims at ensuring that qualified individuals have equal rights and opportunities of securing jobs irrespective of their race or ethnicity. This ensures that people are employed on merit and according to talent. This not only had a benefit to the minority and people directly, but the nation because of picking the right talent for jobs. Therefore, this question poses a chance for understanding affirmative action deeply through tracing its roots. Through its roots, one can understand why it was adopted and whether it has been successful in its endeavors.
“The roots of this difficult legal history can be traced to 1941, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued executive order 8802, which barred discrimination by race, religion, or national origin in industries with federal contracts,” (Henry, 2012.300). Although the affirmative action may have started this early, it took effect and deeper meaning when President Lyndon Baines Johnson pushed the 1964 civil rights act titles VI and VII. This act prohibited all forms of discrimination and protected all women irrespective of color, race, and ethnicity from any form of discrimination (p.300). The branches of the government come in to enforce the affirmative actions such as the judiciary. “The judiciary’s most notable innovation in enforcement is that of disparate impact, a doctrine first enunciated by the Supreme Court in 1971 …” (Henry, 2012 pp.302). This gives people the right to show that they have been harmed by work place policies disproportionately (Henry, 2012 pp.302). This ensures to implements the affirmative actions.
The executive, on the other hand, has its role in the affirmative action, where it is responsible for equal employment opportunity within businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations. For instance, “LBJ’s Executive orders 11246 and 11375 cover some 160,000 government contractors. They are enforced by Department of Labor’s order number 4 of 1971 …” (Henry, 2012 pp.302). Since then, affirmative action has developed through the governmental branches to take effect that has seen success. On the other hand, the legislature comes in to pass the affirmative actions that ensure policies become law in order to be enforceable within courts. Additionally, the courts that represent judiciary help in developing the policies of affirmative actions through dissidents.
The key pieces of legislation supporting affirmative action are quite a number. The first one was “the civil rights act of 1964, Titles VI and VII of which prohibit all forms of discrimination in private and public sector hiring,” (p. 300). The other piece is age discrimination act that was passed in 1967. “The Act, as amended in 194 and 1981 prohibits compulsory retirement in most jobs for reasons of age and protects all workers from age discrimination who are forty years or older” (p. 300). The third piece of legislation is the Vietnam Era Veterans enacted in 1974. “Congress enacted the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistant Act, which requires federal contractors to apply affirmative action in the hiring and advancement of more than 8 million veterans of the Vietnam War,” (p.301). The other piece is the setting aside for minorities and women. “In 1977, congress passed the public works employment act, which initiated set-side programs, or policies that require governments to reserve a portion of their contracts for businesses owned by minorities or women,” (p. 301). The other piece is the disabled Americans act enacted in 1990, “which prohibits discrimination against the mentally and physically disabled in employment and accommodations, and effects about 15% of the population,” (p.301).
In America, the protected classes consist of a large part of the population, and their protection is crucial to the country. These classes have faced discrimination in one way or another in the past that pushed the government to realize the need for their protection. The protection of these classes has developed through the realization of disadvantages posed by certain character (Henry, 2012 pp.301). For instance, gay people have increased over the years, and a need for protecting them has arisen, which was not considered before. Through such emerging classes, discrimination has to be stopped since they represent a part of the population.
Affirmative actions are extremely important in ensuring that people have equal opportunities within their country without any discrimination. Discrimination denies talented people a chance to realize their potential. Affirmative action has developed over the years to protect the minorities from discrimination by the majority. Despite protecting minority, they benefit everybody including the nation that benefits from strong relations and creation of talent through equal opportunities. This question allows one to understand affirmative action and its benefits, as well.
Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.