Public administration is a field of study and an occupation. There is much disagreement about whether the study of public administration can properly be called a discipline, largely because of the debate over whether public administration is a subfield of political science or a subfield of administrative science.
Public administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a “field of inquiry with a diverse scope” its “fundamental goal… is to advance management and policies so that government can function.” Some of the various definitions which have been offered for the term are: “the management of public programs”; the “translation of politics into the reality that citizens see every day”; and “the study of government decision making, the analysis of the policies themselves, the various inputs that have produced them, and the inputs necessary to produce alternative policies.”
Public administration is “centrally concerned with the organization of government policies and programmes as well as the behavior of officials (usually non-elected) formally responsible for their conduct” Many unelected public servants can be considered to be public administrators, including police officers, municipal budget analysts, HR benefits administrators, city managers, Census analysts, and cabinet secretaries. Public administrators are public servants working in public departments and agencies, at all levels of government.