Thomas Dye famously said – “Public policy is whatever a government chooses to do or even not to do”. Other than the actual laws of the land, there is also a public policy that governs the nation. Let us take a look at the definition and the features of the public policy.
What is Public Policy?
Public policy is said to be a combination of laws, regulations, actions, policies and a lot of other factors concerning a given topic. Such public policies of a nation are shaped over time by education, advocacy groups, influences of lobbyists, and conflicting interests of special interest groups.
So the public policy process is a very dynamic and complicated process that occurs via public forums. First, the problems of the public receive recognition and identification. And the process of public policy will help sort the problems. These policies can be political, economic, cultural or social in nature.
Let us take an example of traffic violations. Say for example in India the fine for traffic violations use to be very lenient. But now they have been revised and made quite strict.
However, they are still not quite as strict as the ones in Hong Kong or Singapore. This can be chalked up to the public policies of the nation.
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Features of Public Policy
All public policies have the ultimate aim to fulfil certain goals the government has in mind. The reason for the formation and implementation of these policies is the welfare of the citizens of the nation.
So the government can use public policies to implement government programs to achieve their goals.
For example, the current government has a financial inclusion policy. They wish to enlist the majority of our rural population in banks through the Jan Dhan Yojna.
2] Result of Government Action
Public policy is the result of the collective of all government actions. So the actions and activities of all government officials collectively integrate to form public policy.
The entire legal structure of our country stands on the collective actions of its representatives. From the actions of the highest judge in the land to that of lawyers and clerks forms the basis of our judiciary.
3] Can Take Various Forms
Public policy forms by the decision of the government to do something, or even to not do something. The decision of the government can represent itself in many forms like law, notices, ordinances, judicial decisions, executive orders, and judgments etc. In India most public policies will be in a written format, however, this is not a necessity,
4] Depicts Concern of the Government
Public policy is the solution to a problem the society is facing. This means the solution for the betterment of society has the sanction of the government.
So it is of great importance to entrepreneurs and businessmen in a country. They need assurance that the government is looking after their concerns and economic interests as well.
And if the government refuses to take any action it reflects their ignorance or disconcert. This will warn its citizens of the government’s lack of empathy and concern.
Solved Question on Public Policy
Q: The Public Policy process if a one time process. True or False?
Ans: This statement is False. The public policy process is a continuous process. There are the steps of evaluation, implementation, adoption, and review. The entire process is interactive, dynamic and continuous.