Analyzing Decisions in the Public Sector



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The public sector differs from the private sector in many aspects. One of the key differences between the two is that the private sector focuses on growth and bottom-line profit making for shareholders of particular businesses and the public sector focuses on providing both basic and desired services to the public.
Often, the public sector’s decision-making process must deal with competing interests of various constituencies, the political viability of a particular project, or the financing of a particular project. Analytical methods used to make policy decisions are complex, contentious, and protracted. This is because methodologies range from simple staff issues that require an identification of their cause to complex tax-revenue projections that require a review of income trends. Nevertheless, public sector decisions must be made because services to the public must be provided irrespective of the difficulties faced during the decision-making process.
Policy decisions are often written about in specialty journals and mainstream newspapers and magazines—commonly referred to as the popular press.
Read an article from a specialty journal or the popular press on a public issue decision made by policy makers in the last few weeks. The issue can be big or small. In addition to the Argosy University online library resources and popular press sources, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, the following websites are excellent sources of specialty journals:
• The Heritage Foundation
• The Cato Institute
• The Center for American Progress
• The Fiscal Policy Institute
• The National Conference of State Legislatures
Summarize the public issue described in your chosen article by defining the decision that was made and discussing important factors that policy makers considered prior to rendering the decision. Your summary should include the following:
• An analysis of whether the problem or issue was objectively identified and how policy makers arrived at a decision.
• The analytical methods that were used to reach a decision.
• Analysis of whether policy makers considered all possible solutions and why or why not.
• Some of the other factors that the policy makers considered, including the political, social, legal, and environmental elements surrounding the issue.
• Whether the evidence obtained was sufficient to make a comprehensive proposal or recommendation to decision makers who were “demanding all the facts.”




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