Features of Department

Features of Department:

The department is the most popular and important unit of administration which stands entrusted with the responsibility of doing the work of administration. It is the oldest system of doing a specified work of public administration. It is the most popular form of organization through which the work of the government of a state is carried out. The following are the main features of a Department.

(1) Largest Unit of Administration- Departments are the most important primary units of the administrative system of a country. They are very big units. They work directly under the control of the Chief Executive.

(2) Oldest and Traditional Units of Administration- Departments are the oldest and traditional units doing the work of government. In ancient times, the kings or the emperors used to divide their work into departments and entrust each department to different officials, for example, the ‘Senapti’ was in-charge of defense, the ‘Faujdar’ was in-charge of the police force, etc. It was through them that the administration of the kingdom was affected. Since then, departments have been the basic units or agencies for running the administration of the state.

(3) Control of the Chief Executive- Departments work directly under the control of the Chief Executive. Departments are directly responsible to the Chief Executive.

(4) Four Different Bases of Departments- Departments are organized on the basis of four popular principles: Function or purpose, Process, Persons, and Places. Most of the departments are organized on the basis of Function or Purpose. For example, the Department of Education and the Department of Health are departments organized on the basis of functions. Some departments are organized on the basis of the process for example the Department of Engineering, and the Department of Audit. The Department for Refugee Welfare and the Department for the Uplift of Women and Children constitute examples of departments organized on the basis of persons or clients, etc. The Department of External Affairs is always organized on a geographical basis i.e., place basis. Each basis has its own merits and demerits. However, out of these four bases, the most popular basis for the organization of a department happens to be the function or purpose basis.

(5) Single-headed departments are more Popular- In most of countries, the principle of single headship of the department is practiced. Each department is under a political head or an administrative head.

These are the five major features of a Department.

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