Word of the Day: Bureaucracy

By Maeve Maddox

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Bureaucracy [byʊ-rŏk’rə-sē] refers to the administrative system that governs social organizations. Bureaucracy includes laws, regulations, departments, and committees. Bureaucracy is often used in a negative sense to denote procedures which seem to reject common sense and human feeling in favor of inflexible rules and regulations. The adjective is bureaucratic.

One of Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein’s favorite refrains is that under mayoral control, the New York City school system was able to slash $250 million from its bureaucracy and pour that money back into the classrooms. (New York Times)

Although Mr McNeil accepts that the authority has the power to allow specific requests from donors, he personally and repeatedly refused to allow the daughter’s request (to donate a kidney to her mother). The only reason he has given is that such a decision cannot be made until the ethical review committee has reported, a purely bureaucratic reason. The daughter’s wishes have to be refused because they are not on the agenda. (TimesOnLine.co.uk)

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