Contrary to the prevailing belief that universal rules govern bureaucracies, in day to day operations, rule can and must be selectively applied which in turn invites corruption and misuse within the bureaucracy. The application of rules requires a high degree of discretion because rules can only specify what should be done when an action falls clearly within unambiguously specifiable categories, about which there can be no disagreement or difference in interpretation. Such categories are impossible. Ambiguity and vagueness can be found in any rule; moreover, conflicting rules or implications of rules can generally found which can be used to justify any decision an office holder wishes to make. Organizations develop their own common practices independent of rules and guidelines which take on the status of rules. Ultimately, the office holder has license to apply rules derived from a nearly bottomless pit of choices. Individual self-interest then depends on the user's ability to ingratiate himself to office holders at all levels in order to ensure that those rule most favourable are applied. The goals of the bureaucracy are frequently displaced by objectives in conflict with the purpose of the organization.
2. In any bureacucracy, paperwork increases as you spend more and more time reporting on the less and less you are doing.
3. In any bureaucracy, stability is achieved when you spend all of your time reporting on the nothing you are doing.
4. Information deteriorates upward through bureaucracies.