Public Administration: Definition, Characteristics, Function and Principles

Public Administration is a key discipline for a country’s economy, without it, the State could not function properly.

The State, like any organization, must adequately manage its resources and this it does with the public administration.

As an entrepreneur, administrator or citizen, it is important that you know various aspects of this type of administration that should benefit society.

Therefore, today I will explain it to you in an easy way, with the following points:

  • What is Public Administration?
  • Characteristics of the Public Administration.
  • Aims of the Public Administration.
  • Elements of Public Administration.
  • Administrative functions.
  • Principles of Public Administration.
  • Conclusions.

Public management aims to satisfy the needs of society

What is Public Administration?

Public companies are created by the State to benefit society. They can be found at the national, state or municipal level.

For example, in the health area we find hospitals; in the education sector, schools; in the security area, the police, the fire department, among others.

Like private companies, these companies need to manage their resources.

Well, both sectors need to chart their course of action, make decisions, organize, distribute resources, and manage personnel.

The Public Administration can be understood from two different perspectives:

  • The first focuses on the legal nature of all the organs of the legal entities that make up the state, for example, the Presidency.
  • The second point of view refers more to the material and has to do with the functions of all these institutions. We focus on this approach in this article.

Public Administration is defined as:

“An organization that is in charge of continuous action aimed at satisfying the needs of the public interest, with elements such as trained technical staff, an adequate patrimony and through suitable administrative procedures or with the use, if necessary, of prerogatives of public power that ensure the state interest and the rights of individuals »

In essence, it is the one that is in charge of managing the processes in State organizations, not for profit and whose interest is focused on the benefit of society.

Characteristics of the Public Administration

  • The application of public management is linked to the political ideas of the current government.
  • It does not pursue a profit, but the satisfaction of social needs.
  • The public administration supports the private administration to carry out its functions. For example, terminology.
  • Establishes the rules of coexistence between society
  • Provides means for compliance with public policies.
  • It performs administrative functions and activities of the State.
  • Handles taxes from other sectors of the economy and the state.
  • The government has a budget, marketing and has the same elements as a private company, but the state or public ones are very large.

Aims of the Public Administration

Meeting the needs and expectations of the population is the basis of public administration

The fundamental purpose of public management is focused on society and the satisfaction of its needs.

However, below I detail the fundamental purposes:

  • Satisfy the needs and expectations of the population.
  • Guarantee the rights of people.
  • Maintain internal order.
  • Control national and international trade.
  • Manage public policies that respond to the needs of society.
  • Regulate the conduct of society.

Elements of Public Administration

The public administration is made up of the following elements:

Personal resources: as in any company there is a human resource that must fulfil functions within the state agencies.

As a whole, the workers of the state entities are called public officials.

Unlike private companies, the recruitment and selection process is carried out through open competitions or tests.

Economic means: income is obtained through taxes that are distributed to the bodies according to national planning.

Here a cash flow is managed, forecasts are made and a budget is kept.

Purposes: The purpose of all public management is the common welfare, however public policies must be evaluated separately.

Administrative functions

In the Public Administration, the administrative process of any type of administration is followed.

Planning: It is the process where plans, projects, national, state and municipal public policies are created, framed within the legal system.

Organization: It consists of ordering the activities to be carried out, determining the entities in charge of this purpose and distributing the assigned budget.

The budget is assigned taking into account the estimates of each agency and public entity.

Control: This is where it is supervised that the policies or actions taken are being carried out correctly; If not, corrective actions are applied.

These control procedures are carried out by the designated official or by the competent executive levels.

Evaluation: It is the process where the planned public policies and actions are valued, estimating the degree of compliance with them.

The evaluation of the results must be expressed in the accountability report.

Principles of Public Administration

Did you know that there are a series of principles on which actions are based on public management?

Well, today I will explain what they are and how they govern administrative activities.

Principle of Efficacy

It is to comply with the provisions of the plans, public policies and commitments of the national, governmental or municipal management.

This principle indicates that entities must have the skills to achieve the purposes of Public Administration.

But, one must go beyond the fulfilment of the services provided to society; it must be guaranteed that this is achieved with quality standards.

Principle of Efficiency

It consists of using the financial, material and human resources correctly to achieve the plans and meet the expectations of society.

For this, we always seek to minimize costs in the execution of public policies.

Hierarchy Principle

There is a hierarchy within the public administration and a large number of duly hierarchical bodies. This contributes to inspection and control in order to achieve the established plans.

Principle of Accountability

This refers to the fact that public administrators have a duty to report on the results of their actions; they must also indicate how and in what they used the resources assigned by the State.

By applying this principle, the continuous improvement of the services provided by the public entity is promoted.

Conclusions …

The Public Administration is in charge of managing State resources and seeks to satisfy the needs of society.

To do it correctly, you must follow the administrative process: plan, organize, execute, control, evaluate.

The actions of public officials are governed by the principles of efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.

For this reason, officials must not only meet the objectives with the assigned resources but must also indicate what they were spent on.

Before you leave this site, check out these articles on management.

Thanks for reading this article on Public Administration.

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