US Executive is one of the primary constituent of the centralized government. It consists of numerous offices that play significant roles in running the branch. The President’s office, his vice and some of the departmental offices are some of the most prime administrative offices in the branch (Brown and Graham, 1). Since the branch was formed, many changes have taken place, in the effort of improving its efficiency.
Changes in constitutional powers and functions
As years passes by, the US constitution keep on changing following the numerous modifications done by the congress (the law-making body). This has immensely affected the roles and powers of the executive branch, since the offices have to meet their constitutional job requirements. Furthermore, change in legal functions alters the structures the executive branch, since they will have to introduce other offices, to assist in meeting the newly introduced requirements.
For instance, some of the executive functions and terms were altered by the congress under the twentieth amendment. The interlude between election and inaugural ceremony was altered, and thus the president alongside with his vice had to surrender their offices in January 20th (noon), the year after general elections. This is because; initially, the period between election and inauguration was quite stretched i.e. approximately four months after voting.
Furthermore, the amendment also stated that, incase the presidential-elect passes away, then the vice president elect will assume the president’s position and thus sworn as the new president of US. There were also some modifications under the 22nd amendment that extensively affected the executive offices (Wright, 64). The amendment transformed the number of times a citizen can hold a presidential office; the number was changed to a maximum of two terms in office (Findlaw).
The succession of the president was changed, in one of the amendment clause i.e. the vice will assume the president’s role, incase the president quits his position or dies. Furthermore, the amendment states that any position in the vice’s office will be appointed by the president; however, the appointee shall not assume the office until he or she is approved by the congress.
A country’s economy keeps on shifting from one position to another thus influencing various crucial institution and bureaus, including the executive branches.
In the past year, United States experienced several economic changes; for instance, the recessions, depressions, crunches and other similar economic difficulties. This experience has made United States alter some of its executive departments, as a strategy to curb the economic changes. As a result, some executive departments were removed, while others introduced; some were modified while others replaced.
For instance, commerce and labor department were split to form two autonomous departments (Infoplease). This move was an economic strategy for the improvement of commerce in the country i.e. to enhance local and international trade. Being a victim of several hash economic environment, the US government has incorporated several junior offices in their departments that assist in projecting its business environment.
Education department was formed to operate independently, after the amalgamation of several learning programs, from different bureaus. This change was effected in the late seventies as a progress to provide quality education to all students, regardless of their backgrounds.
Following the terrorist attack in 2001, several offices were merged to form a sovereign protection department i.e. the homeland security department (infoplease). The prime function of this department was to up the security of United States, and also to protect their citizens against unnecessary threats. As early as 1939, the federal security agency was changed following the demands to improve human healthiness and well being.
The Agency was transformed to a healthcare department i.e. health and human services department, which was expected to up the standards of health in the country. Some of the numerous function of this health care department was to provide health services to all citizens regardless of their background, abilities or situation; finance healthcare institutions such as Medicaid; conduct healthcare researches and so on.
Early in the 60’s, the united states were subjected to numerous housing challenges especially in urban centers. This pressured the government to create an executive department that would solely address matters pertaining housing and the growth of cities.
Consequently, a department in the name of housing and urban development was created as a substitute for the home finance and housing sub-division. The department was formed to offer several services to the ordinary citizens i.e. offer inexpensive housing services; uphold community development and many more others (Infoplease).
The department of labor underwent several transitions before it finally stood out as a sovereign department. Initially, labor functioned as an agency under a certain executive department prior to its operation in the labor and commerce department (Henry, 375). Early in the 90’s, labor was separated from the department and thus operated as an autonomous executive department. The change was influenced by the undying effort of guarding workers against overexploitation.
Several executive offices have been altered following the government’s attempt to regulate the activities of certain crucial offices. For instance, the national military bureau was transformed following the need to regulate its mandate. The name of the bureau was transformed and named as the department of defense, which was accompanied by numerous changes in its functions.
Some of the functions dispensed to this department included flood control; the control and regulation of the navy, marine and other such like agencies. Executive department such as the department of agriculture was established following the need to regulate food prices and input costs.
The need to regulate commerce in United States is one of the numerous factors that led to the split of labor and commerce department. Several aspects such as local trade, international trade, and technological growth had to be regulated adequately. However, this proved tricky without the sovereign existence of commerce department. As a result, the department of trade and labor was split to form two autonomous departments.
Over the years, United States has grown technologically, with the introduction of numerous ideologies and hi-tech devices. However, these inventions and innovations possess a number of negative and positive impacts, which can influence a country in various capacities. In the attempt to control these impacts, the executive experienced a stretch in their duties and thus increasing their scope. In other words, the executive had to perform extra roles due to technological advancements i.e. to develop policies that regulate their use.
The advances in technology, which are eventually incorporated in different departments, have immensely influenced the executive structures. Several offices have been created as a solution for the management of these high-tech equipments in different executive departments. For instance, the defense department has several technological departments that contain several offices responsible for developing and managing technical weapons.
The functions and names of offices in the executive branch have changed over the years, due to several factors. Some of the reason that influenced changes in departmental names and operations include economic changes, technological changes, a shift in public welfare demands and the need for office regulations. Some of the offices in the branch, which have grown and changed over the years, include the president office, executive departments and the vice president office.
Barrett, Henry. The President’s Cabinet, Studies in the Origin, Formation and Structure of an American Institution. Charleston: BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2009 375
Brown, Elizabeth and Graham, David. Leading the executive branch: strategies and options for achieving success. Santa Monica: Rand Corporation. 2007 1
Findlaw. Amendment to the constitution of United States of America. London: Thomson Reuters business. 2010. Web. 21 July 2010.
Infoplease. Executive department. Berkeley: Pearson education 2007. Web. 21 July 2010.
Wright, John. The New York times Almanac 2002. New York: Routledge. 2001 64