Understanding Public Policy Essay

Pages: 2 (602 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Government

¶ … Public Policy

Depending upon the context of the public policy, such as social, military, political, or healthcare, the policy development process may differ. Public policy can be generally defined as a system of laws, regulatory measures, courses of action, and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a governmental entity or its representatives (Kilpatrick, 2000). With certainty, the policy making development process requires evaluation, which may be qualitative or quantitative, such as outcome data or perhaps in the form of consumer research (i.e. focus groups, surveys). Consumer research is the most frequently used to understand or to evaluate public policy issues (Hastak, et al., 2001). Policies evaluation refers to the process of measuring and assessing the impacts and merits of government policies, strategies and programs. It is a means of determining the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of government policies and programs, and contributing to policy improvements and innovation.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

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An integral part of evaluating a public policy is to measure the efficiency and effectiveness in utilizing taxpayers' dollars. To aid in such checks and balance, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) serves as an auditing agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively. Hence, the GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars (U.S. GAO, n.d.). Although, its main purpose is to advise Congress and the heads of executive agencies about ways to make government more efficient, effective, ethical, equitable and responsive, GAO's work leads to laws and acts that improve government operations, saving the government and taxpayers billions of dollars. More importantly, GAO's core values are as follows (Dodaro, 2009):

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"Understanding Public Policy."  Essaytown.com.  September 7, 2012.  Accessed October 31, 2020.