the apa and american political life

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) you have studied this week is one of the most important pieces of legislation ever crafted concerning the public policy process. It clearly spells out how the administrative state goes about creating rules and regulations that, in essence, enforce the public policies that impact your life. A vital question is: To what degree, if any, does the public have a role in the creation of the rules and regulations that enforce public policies? This critical question, which has direct relevance to a representative democracy, is squarely addressed by the APA.

Consider the public comment period—announced and chronicled in the Federal Register—that is open to the participation of all Americans. When a bill becomes law, administrative agencies in that area of policy solicit opinions from the public about the proposed rules and regulations designed to enforce that policy. The vast majority of Americans have never read the Federal Register. Most do know that they can attend a public hearing or submit written comments to federal and state agencies. They have a voice about whether proposed rules and regulations should go forward or whether they should be stopped because they are judged to be unsound public policy.

Admittedly, the vast majority of Americans do not read the Federal Register, nor comment on proposed rules and regulations. Many may be totally unaware of the role of federal agencies in rulemaking. Yet, the mechanism exists for citizen participation even if ordinary citizens do not avail themselves of those opportunities. The public comment period is, in short, an inclusive, although imperfect, instrument. It allows the public to interact closely not only with unelected civil servants but also, by extension, with the elected decision-makers who originally created the policy.

When reviewing this week’s Learning Resources, pay close attention to how disputes about public policy implementation are resolved.

Focus on the administrative state and the legal process of resolving disputes about public policy implementation. Pay particular attention to issues of transparency, equity, and efficiency and how they relate to public policy.

In addition, think about areas related to public policy of the APA that you believe should be improved, and think about why they should be improved. Consider how you would improve the specific area(s).

The Assignment must be 1-1.5 pages and include:

1. a description of how you would improve an experience/process that you recently had with a state or federal bureaucracy. 2. Evaluate whether the current administrative state in either the United States is responsive to an increasingly diverse nation, and include any suggestions for further improvement.

Resources will be provided

Garrett, R. S., Thurber J. A., Fritschler, A. L., & Rosenbloom, D. H. (2006). Assessing the impact of bureaucracy bashing by electoral campaigns. Public Administration Review, 66(2), 228–240.

Lim, H.-H. (2006). Representative bureaucracy: Rethinking substantive effects and active representation. Public Administration Review, 66(2), 193–204.

Miller, H. T. (2011). Is bureaucracy no longer the technically superior form of organization? Administrative Theory and Praxis, 33(3), 447–452.

Moloney, K. (2007). Comparative bureaucracy: Today as yesterday. Public Administration Review, 67(6), 1083–1086.

Federal Administrative Act. https://biotech.law.lsu.edu/Courses/study_aids/adl…

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