Effects of the Administrative Procedure Act

Essay by jamiejUniversity, Bachelor's August 2008

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The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) governs how Federal agencies may establish regulations and requires that they inform the public of their procedures and rules. The APA requires federal agencies to provide for public participation in the rule making process, sets formal standards in rule making and administrative hearings, and requires judicial review of cases when hearing results are appealed. The APA was created to regulate and standardize federal agency procedures in response to expansive growth of federal governmental power following the end of the Great Depression and World War II. At President Franklin Roosevelt's urging, Congress had enacted several statutes creating new federal agencies in 1933 as part of Roosevelt's New Deal legislative plan, which was designed to help the United States recover from the Great Depression. This paper will examine the positive effects the APA has had on private citizens and on public administration of government agencies through public participation in the policymaking.

The APA encourages public participation in the policymaking process and requires participation be made available to citizens before a rule may become public policy. Public agencies must allow for citizen participation. This is accomplished though means such as public hearings. The framers of the APA enacted the public participation procedure to increase citizen involvement in the policymaking process as a means to remedy the unchecked power of New Deal agencies.

The APA was put into law in 1946 with its primary goal being to "Shape the relationship between the people and their government" (Morrison, 1986, p. 253). It was initially conceived in 1939 with the appointment of the U.S. Attorney General's Committee on Administrative Procedure to analyze the need for reform in federal agencies. Prior to the conclusion of the committee's activities, Congress passed the Walter-Logan Bill to reform federal and state agency practices. The American...