An administrative apparatus dependent upon a skilled staff is limited in the degree to which it can admit the educationally disadvantaged without jeopardizing the level of its own performance. In order to fulfil its mandate, a government bureaucracy should be staffed by individuals appointed on the basis of their merit. In practice this condition cannot always be met. It has been difficult to avoid a preponderance of individuals from the higher and better educated social classes. Many of these individuals have direct or indirect links with political parties or business interests; in some countries, non-merit considerations such as party affiliation may be considered of prime importance.