Orion Digest №38 — ESF Structure: Executive Bureaucracy and National Governments

With the Judiciary and Parliament established, the functions of lawmaking and a justice system are established within a federation. Parliament can make large scale decisions, and the Judiciary can approve them. However, the majority of the day-to-day functions of the federal government will require more centralized decisions and operations — thus arises the technical third branch of the federal government, the executive and associated bureaucracy.

Another concept inspired by the Earth Constitution Institute’s models, the executive of the federal government is not a main branch like the previous two, but rather an institution serving under the Parliament. Necessary functions of the bureaucracy will be divided into departments, under which are agencies that can be created as needed to fulfill the functions of the department. Departments will thus be only changeable by direct and approved acts of Parliament; the establishment will be otherwise static and unchanging, while the order of agencies will be modified at the discretion of the relevant departments.

To oversee these departments, Parliament will elect select members to office, dissimilar to the council that reviews and revises legislation in that it does not operate solely on a case-by-case basis. These members would rotate from their positions on a limited term of 2 years, but together with a hired staff, they would form the Office of Executive Oversight, which would serve as the tool by which Parliament oversaw and regulated the bureaucracy. The formation of this office’s members would be done entirely by Parliament, but many of their operations would be subject to Judiciary approval.

For example, in order to appoint Department heads, OEO chosen candidates would have to be first approved by the Judiciary’s own Parliamentary Review Board, the council that reviews and approves Parliamentary legislation. The rest of Parliament could not exercise input over the choice of candidates except in the case of a majority vote against it, but even with a majority, they cannot sway the result of the Judiciary, only the OEO’s choices. The Director of the Executive Bureaucracy, a special office created by the OEO, would also require Judiciary approval along the same process, though while Department heads serve until retirement, the Director would also serve limited terms of four years.

The Director would serve, essentially, as a manager of the heads of Departments, and furthermore, of the bureaucracy, as well as a representative of the OEO. OEO staff would work under the Director, and would assist with the task of communicating with departments and agencies, and decisions made by the Director as meetings with either all or select heads would be binding. However, the Director would still be commanded by the Parliament members who formed the OEO, and would largely serve as a executor of their will while they were occupied with matters in the rest of their job. Just the same, Department and agency heads could not be removed by the Director; only the OEO’s members of Parliament could do that.

The exact number and function of the Departments and their resultant agencies is a matter for another time; while there are likely contenders, such as departments of conservation and economy, the specifics will depend on circumstances at the time of the federation’s conception, and the needs of the world at that point. Future essays might deal with suggestions for these future departments, but as for now, this is merely a explanation for the system of governance and appointment within the Executive Bureaucracy.

Before these trio of essays concludes, the structure of the federation’s state governments is also of note, considering that while they might share some similarities, the details will vary. The goal of building a federation is not to simply collapse the pre-existing governments of nations and regions, but to simply mold them and change them to fit certain parameters, so that citizens’ freedom and federal coordination can be assured. Thus, one of the provisions provided in the founding document of our world federation will be a set of requirements for member nations to become incorporated into states.

Standardized currency and adherence to federal law will be one of them, as well as an HPE economic system. This includes public ownership of production resources, workplace protections, and welfare to allow for ensured survival (shelter, food, healthcare). Minimizing economic disparity is a key part of improving the average quality of life and maintaining peace — if people are not desperate to survive and have healthcare enough for proper mental and physical treatment, cause for crime will decrease. Government must be democratic, and have a judicial system to enforce laws and ensure that the operations of the rest of the government are legal. The state governments, while autonomous, must also answer to the federal government, so that international action can be taken without tedious negotiation.

Other than that, the structure of a nation state can be variable. The enforcement of certain ways of management should only be done as much as necessary, as different regions and cultures have different ways of self-governing. What works for one may not work for another, and so for the good of the people within these states, the freedom to determine structure beyond federal requirements is vital, both politically and culturally.