Errors in public management and congressional oversight

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1 Scopus citations


It is widely believed that “fire alarm” oversight (i.e., reactive oversight that responds to the complaints of interest groups) rather than “police patrol” oversight (i.e., precautionary congressional surveillance), better promotes the performance of government agencies by efficiently reducing bureaucratic moral hazard. However, fire alarm oversight can lead to bureaucrats being falsely accused by interest groups who provide biased information to members of Congress of failure to properly implement a policy, thereby causing an unnecessary administrative delay in public management. This article suggests a formal model that compares fire alarm and police patrol oversight and examines the development of congressional oversight mechanisms in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-50
Number of pages22
JournalKorean Journal of Policy Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the GSPA, Seoul National University.


  • Administrative delay
  • Congressional oversight
  • Management error
  • Moral hazard


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