Public Administration And Media
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Question: Locate a current events or news article via the Internet, detailing a public agency''s attempt to ensure public involvement.
Answer: Public participation and their active presence do make up the functionality of the public policy more effective. When a public agency works on to integrate the public in the main stream operations of the public policy (Execution), it is more likely that the implications of such initiatives can be of great benefit to the society and it is more likely that the outcomes of such initiatives can be much unbiased and effective too. Public participation can be there in any part of the policy execution. However still public participation at the level of decision making is more common and also there is no normally finds one single entity as public, diverse stakeholders do make up the public and collective participation of such public stakeholders in the decision making will work on to make the policy process and execution to reflect more the sentiments and the needs of the public. Such participation will make the social issues get answered more effectively as well as per the interests of the public in general. Issues of common interests like environment, rights and privileges for disadvantaged groups etc makes up good issues of resolution for public participation. However the effective public participation(Eden,2016) do depend on aspects like clearly defined goals and objectives, well defined structures and processes in the system, Existence of the opportunities for influence, process commitment as well an inclusive and effective presentation as well.
The current discussion is based on a media paper provided in the public administration context, The media article is issued on November 15th 2019 and it is titled as, "Development authority sets public meeting on grant application (Newstribune, 2019)." Following part of the discussion presents more insights into the public message.
a. Describe the issue.
Answer: The issue: The report here included the public participation by the Mineral county Development Authority. Which is working for making a proposal of grant application? The main intention of this grant application is to seek assistance in the cleanup work in the form of money grant for cleaning the previous Anchor Glass plant location. It is located in Keyser Industrial park location of the country. In the designated location there is extensive presence of heavy metals notices, both in the phase 1 and phase II site assessments the findings created serious concern in the locals and this measures is going to be remedial initiative in this regard.
b. What attempts by the agency were made to incorporate public involvement?
Answer: Agency Attempts: Agency is attempting to make public participation in the meeting, by making a notification in the news magazine and presented with an venue and time. This is an open call given to all interested public participants and parties to present in the location and to provide with their opinions as well to render appropriate suggestions for meeting the objectives of the intended mission. The recommendations obtained by public participation and presentation of recommendations will be further forwarded to the EPA for actions. In this regard, the meeting is scheduled at November 19 and from 3 to 4:00PM. Agenda included discussion on the Brownfield alternatives assessment and evaluation as well.
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c. Who from the public agency was involved with the project?
Answer: The public Agency: The final recommendations in this regard are going to be sent to the EPA(Environmental protection Agency). This will be the final agency working for considering the public opinion and will be granting money to the authority to work on the proposed remedial measures.
d. Over what time frame did this occur?
Answer: Time frame: The entire process is opened and called for interaction from the public with a short notice of about 4 days. The open call for public participation is made on 15th November and the participation is conducted on 19th November evening between 3 to 4PM.
e. What barriers existed if any?
Answer: As such there are no any barriers to the participation, it is an open invitation for all public stakeholders, Infact the Mineral county development authority opened its regular business as well to the public during the meeting hours. However the actual grant approval and disposal of the same will be constrained by the existing policies of the EPA and that can be barrier to the accomplishment of the objectives of the meetings. There is no any obligation from any other aspect for the goals of the meeting or for the public participation in the meeting.
f. Any overall success or failure documented in the article.
Answer: Success or Failure Documented: As such there is no any documentation done about the success of failure of the process in the current article. However still in the follow-up news it was indicated that the meeting was a success and recommendations are consolidated for sending to EPA. The final success will be decided by the approval of EPA and granting the requested payment to the authority for the said cause. So it is still due and will be decided in short time.
g. Describe whether or not you agree with the agency and their approach.
Answer: Self Reflection: The approach is quite effective; it will make diverse stakeholders from the region to participate in the meeting. They can avail two privileges. The first is that they can evaluate the existing brown field alternatives going on and secondly they can work on to propose new approaches as well can comment on the execution procedures happening in the region. I do accept and agree with the procedures happening; however it might be more useful if few more days in advance if the notification is made. This will ensure better participation from the participants.
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h. Whether or not social media played a role in the involvement.
Answer: Digital media has played a key role in this incident; the message is communicated to several people in the region. Also there is much to do with the communication happened with executive director of the Authority. There is link provided for social media communication as well as for email based information communication with executive director. Though it is not evident in the article, whether the social media has played a key role or not? But there is scope to consider social media to contribute for betterment of the outcomes of the current approach.
i. If you were the head of a public agency how formal would you have your public information personnel be?
Answer: Head of Agency and - Public information personnel formal: There is no need to emphasize too much formality in the process; after all it is a public concerned issue, so all the necessary encouragement will be provided to the public to participate in the public participation. Formalities will only be implemented to make the process more effective and there won't be any formalities to the point of making it an obligation for the public to present their opinions.
j. Is there room for information communication in government?
Answer: Information communication in Government: The final information will be communicated to the EPA, the government agency and its decision will be final in the grants and the amount of the grant, hence the government participation is included as part of the procedure here.
k. When is the Internet and social media involvement a concern?
Answer: Internet and social media and concerns: At this level there are no any concerns with the usage of the social media or internet for the spread of the message and information. It will become only a concern, if there is polarized views and opinions surfaced. Such results will work on to make the process ineffective. In any case, there is no much scope for this as it is a clearly identified issue and public opinion is more likely to be aligned.
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