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Every local government in Nigeria functions on a framework of bureaucracy. This enables them to function optimally and with shared layers of responsibilities. The essence of this research to suggest a policy framework for improving bureaucratic effectiveness using Egor local government of Edo State as the study. The theories adopted in the study were Max Weber’s Rational Theory, Alvin Gouldner’s Bureaucratic Theory and Donnellon’s Post-Bureaucratic Theory. The study adopted the survey research design and population of the study consisted of the staff of Egor local government of Edo state which is summed up to two hundred and seventy nine. Sample size of the study was one hundred and sixty four (164) which was derived using Taro Yamane statistical formula. The instrument for data collection was the structured questionnaires. Frequency tables and simple percentages were used to analyze the data. The results of the analysis show that the bureaucratic system in Egor local government has been harsh, adversely affected by bottlenecks, and therefore, needs thorough improvement and political independence. Flexibility and fairness have been suggested as various frameworks for improving bureaucratic effectiveness in Egor local government. It is therefore the recommendation of this study that corrupt officials should be sacked and the bureaucratic system in Egor local government should be restructured and independent of political influence.
1.1 Background of the Study
Basically, bureaucracy involves a hierarchical positioning of jobs and responsibilities in such a planned and rational manner and guided by such internal rules and regulations as to obviate the intermixture of personal interests with official functions/roles (Ozor, 2004). The rules and regulations also define the duties of members and the procedures for carrying out official duties based on formal structures and authority. In simple terms, bureaucracy is a formal administrative structure with distinct operational features that include division of labour, hierarchy of authority, impersonality, rationality, neutrality and system of rules among others (Ezeani, 2006).
Bureaucracy is often heard and used in connection with the conduct of public affairs and the activities of public officials; who are usually known as civil servants in charge of government agencies. To these set of workers bureaucracies glaringly appear inevitable because of related work activities that is broad, hierarchical structures involved in work management, divided work responsibilities and complex paperwork associated with modern organizations (Adebayo, 2007)
In ideal situations, bureaucracy is known and desired essentially for its reliability, efficiency, speed, dependability and effectiveness in implementing policies. This is what it actually is, to a very reasonable extent, in developed nations. In developing nations, like Nigeria however, the bureaucracy appears to be obviously far from being such as its operations and activities is very much fraught with some challenges arising from the existence of certain negative factors and circumstances.
Bureaucracy, according to Max Weber, the acclaimed father of modern bureaucracy, is a must for modern organization. It regulates work carried out among many people, with different responsibilities and tasks through rules and regulations, in a hierarchical upward relationship which serves as a control.
A policy framework on the other hand is a logical structure that is established to organize policy documentation into groupings and categories that make it easier for employees to find and understand the contents of various policy documents. Policy frameworks can also be used to help in the planning and development of the policies for an organization. In line with this, this study is empirically anchored on suggesting a policy framework for improving bureaucratic effectiveness using Egor local government of Edo state as the case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The bureaucracy with its formal design was adopted in Nigeria with the view of maximizing efficiency in administration and delivery of services. A fully developed bureaucracy has the advantage of bringing precision, unambiguity, continuity, unity, strict subordination and reduction of friction and cost into an administrative process. This further implies that with its application in Nigeria context, higher productivity, and development were the yearning expectations of its citizens (Onah, 2011).
One obvious quagmire in the existing local government is the ineffectiveness of the existing bureaucratic processes. The obvious and unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks in these government agencies call for proper modification and a better bureaucratic framework. In the Nigerian Local Government system for instance, the tape-like movement of work and participation of political elites in the administration of the LGS is problematic. The ‘red tapism of bureaucracy produces corruption. (Abiola, 2006). Employees become lazy and ‘drag foot’ in doing work they are paid to do, causing unnecessary delay. The changing patterns of local Government Executives stiffen further the order in which rules and regulation operate and workers are plunged into uncertainty of what a new administration may want to emphasize. Bureaucracy is not rational as Weber put it in this case; it would be more comfortable to assert that irrationality orders it. If human beings are to do their work according to the rules and regulation practiced in “an organization, definitely rationality would be put to question. The conditions that would evolve would have de-humanizing effects both in the use of the human intellect and self-esteem. It is on the basis of the above that this study is motivated to suggest a policy framework for improving bureaucratic effectiveness using Egor local government of Edo state as the case study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to proffer a policy framework for improving bureaucratic effectiveness in Egor local government of Edo state. In line with this, the following specific objectives will be actualized:
1. To examine the existing problems surrounding the bureaucratic process in Egor local government of Edo state.
2. To suggest a policy framework that will improve bureaucratic effectiveness in Egor local government of Edo state.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide this study:
1. What are the existing problems surrounding the bureaucratic process in Egor local government of Edo state?
2. Which policy framework will improve bureaucratic effectiveness in Egor local government of Edo state?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The primary significance of this study is that it will reveal the existing bureaucratic process in the local government administration and thus suggest a more functional and better policy framework that will improve the effectiveness of bureaucracy.
Another significance of this study lies in the fact that it will serve as a guide to both policy planners and implementators on the mechanisms of checkmating excessive abuse of power by public office holders, in Egor local government area.
Equally this will help in bringing good policies that will yield to the completion of projects embarked upon by any government agency especially the local governments.
Again, it will become a stimuli and basis for future research in the field.
Finally, Scholars, policy planners and implementators including the general public whose aim is geared toward improving their research desire as well as transforming the society will find the work relevant.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The focus of this study is to suggest a policy framework for improving bureaucratic effectiveness. This study used Egor local government of Edo state as the study given that the aforementioned local government has a functional bureaucratic scenario suitable for the study.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
No research by nature is free from some delimitation that may creep in to compromise the quality and reliability of the study. In the course of this study, the researcher encountered two major threats.
Distance: This is an obvious threat to the researcher given that the distance between Edo state and the researcher’s school of residence is significant. However, the researcher stationed a representative in the human personnel department of the local government to obtain vital information concerning the local government. This is done through phone calls and email communication. However, during the time of questionnaire distribution, the researcher will have to visit the local government herself so as to obtain needed information from the respondents.
Financial Constraints: Money by nature is relatively scarce; this carrying out a study of this nature requires enormous financial demands. This was really a threat to the researcher. To overcome this, the researcher adopted a cost minimization strategy by engaging in optimal expenditure concerning the project and also soliciting for financial assistance from friends and family.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Bureaucracy: This is a system made up of an excessively complicated administrative procedure.
Framework: In the context of this study, this is defined as a supporting structure around which something can be built.
Policy: This is seen as a set of ideas, or plans that is used as a basis for making decisions.
Local Government: This is defined as Government at the local level exercised through representative council established by law to exercise specific powers within defined areas.
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