Harold Seidman has called interagency committees "the crabgrass in the garden of government." They are universally condemned, but efforts to extirpate them seldom succeed, for new committees grow in their place. This is because alternatives generally are worse, and there is a compelling need to coordinate programs that sprawl across many agencies. An example of an interagency committee that "worked," at least for a period, is the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, charged with coordinating the multibillion dollar Global Change Research Program. Born under Reagan, the committee rose to prominence under Bush, being cited as an exemplary model for other interagency programs. Under Clinton, it was used as a prototype again, even as it declined in influence. The evolution of the committee illuminates the key factors that strengthen and weaken interagency cooperation in government.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration