Abuse of bureaucratic procedures
Nature: Bureaucracies may respond differently to similar cases in such a way as to lead to injustice. Cases may be delayed or speeded up; rules may be applied zealously or considered inapplicable. Officials may be strongly influenced in their handling of a case by political interests, financial considerations and straight bribery, or by the implications of a particular outcome for their own career advancement, or the reputation of the agency in question. In some cases officials may use privileged information on proposed projects or decisions to their own personal advantage. Nepotism and favouritism govern many political appointments. Political processes are distorted by selfish interests making 'deals' by which the public loses.
Incidence: An important case of bureaucratic abuse was the Environmental Protection Agency irregularities in the USA. The resignations in the USA of Messrs Agnew, Nixon, Allen and Haig and others of Secretariat or Cabinet Level or higher all involve bureaucratic irregularities. Dismissals and resignations due to procedural abuse can be counted in virtually every government in the last twenty years.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 13.03.1997 – 00:00 CET