As the institutions responsible for implementing public policy, bureaucracies are a key part of the structure of government. Bureaucrats are the only employees of the government with whom most of us have much direct contact, whether we are applying for a driving licence or a passport, paying our taxes, or buying property. In spite of this familiarity, bureaucracies are routinely misunderstood, and just as routinely criticized for their failings as praised for their achievements.
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