- "Enter the bureaucrats―the true rulers of the Republic."
- ―Senator Palpatine
A bureaucrat was any individual with an official position in a government. The term was also used pejoratively to describe someone in a position of power who was more devoted to the details of administrative procedures than with people's needs.
In the final years of the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Senate had become increasingly corrupt with bureaucrats working behind the scenes, such as Vice Chancellor Mas Amedda, who served under Supreme Chancellors Finis Valorum and Sheev Palpatine. Many of these bureaucrats were, according to then-Senator Palpatine, on the payroll of major trading conglomerates, such as the Trade Federation, and special-interests lobbies who exploited legal loopholes in Republic free trade laws. As such, the bureaucrats sought to maintain chancellors who would become mired in the bureaucracy to prevent them from taking action against their backers. Pursuant to this, the bureaucrats allowed Chancellor Valorum to be reelected for a second term of office to continue their practices.
At some point in his term, Valorum secretly sent Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas and his administrative aide, Silman, to negotiate with members of the Pyke Syndicate to prevent a full-scale war from erupting under the surface of Coruscant over spices. The negotiations were kept secret by Valorum and several senators because they feared that open negotiations with a criminal element would offer opposition leaders in the bureaucracy a reason to bring down the administration. After Valorum was voted out of office, the newly-elected Chancellor Palpatine pledged to end corruption and bureaucratic roadblocks in the Senate.