Public Administration in America

Administrative law covers a wide array of practice that encompasses different types of governmental legal regulations and procedures, which makes it difficult to define. Nevertheless, most government and public programs carry out their activities through agencies, which are governed from different levels; that is, the federal, state, county and city levels. As such, different administrative laws have been framed with the intent of helping in the management of the agencies at the different governmental levels. The Federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA) was enacted in 1946 under the federal law with the intent of governing the way through which administrative agencies proposed and established regulations. APA later created a platform on which a formal process for the states was established and it focused on the ability of the states to review agency decisions (APA, 2017). APA governs the three major agency functions, which include licensing, rulemaking and adjudications.

 In the same period; 1946, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) promulgated the first Model State Administrative Procedure Act (MSAPA), which was mandated with the role of providing states with the guidance on federal law. MSAPA also ensures fairness on matters that relate to administrative proceedings, enhanced public access to the law through the administered agencies and also enhances the efficiency of agencies by advancing the utilization of electronic technology in the state governments (Uniform Laws, 2016).). In this regard, this paper seeks to evaluate the relationship between the federal APA and the uniform state APA of 1946 and how the two accommodate open meetings and provide for public comments. The paper will also evaluate the difference between public administration and private management.

In an attempt to spark the fallen economy, President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 enacted a number of statutes that resulted in the establishment of a number of federal agencies, which were part of the New Deal. However, the Congress was concerned of the expanding powers of the said agencies and thereby sought to establish an act that would ensure that the agencies were regulated and standardize to follow the federal procedures. The adopted act was APA, since then whether funded or operating under the federal government; government agencies have been regulated and monitored through APA. The APA developed a framework through which it would monitor the agencies as well as the roles they carried out. This implied that the basic role of APA was to ensure that agencies maintained the public informed on matters of rules, organization and procedures. It enhanced public participation on matters of rulemaking and ensured that uniform procedures were applied on issues of adjudication and licensing. Further, APA defined the scope of the judicial review.

On the other hand, MSAPA as aforementioned provides states with uniform administrative procedure and owing to the differences in the states; it has undergone three revisions; the first in 1961, second in 1981 and the last one in 2010. The reasons for the changes align with the transformations that are constantly taking place in the administrative law in the federal and state levels. Previously, states legislatures that were not satisfied with the uniform administrative law especially on matters of adjudication and rulemaking enacted statutes that made adjustments on the administrative law on the two issues. This implied that there were growing variations in the uniform states APA. Another reason that resulted in the revisions was the emergency of the internet and advancement in electronic technology, which demonstrated that efficiency in public participation would be achieved. Nevertheless, the new revision of 2010 maintains the provisions that were made in 1961 as well as those of 1981, because it was not meant to replace the act, but rather to accommodate the modern administrative procedures. The 2010 MSAPA thereby is divided into 8 articles; whereby the first article defines the key terms used in the act; second article offers provisions that relate with public access to the agency policy and law. Article 3 contains the provisions that relate with rulemaking by agencies; article 4 contains provisions that relate with adjudication by agencies; article 5 contains provisions on matters of judicial review; article 6 relates on matters of ABA model Central Panel Act and the vital provisions of law in a  situation where the state legislature would create central panel agency. Article 7 of MSAPA contains the provisions that relate with legislative review while the last article; article 8 contains provisions that relate with the management of the applicability of MSAPA. From the ongoing analysis, it is clear that even though the scope of APA and MSAPA is different, the two have a close relationship as they seem to function on the same issues. These issues include rulemaking, adjudication and judicial review; in that whereas APA governs these issues at the federal level; MSAPA governs the same issues at the states level (Uniform Laws, 2016).

Under APA, open meetings procedures are explains under Section 552b of the act in which meetings are defined as the “deliberations of at least the number of individual agency members required to take action on behalf of the agency where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct (APA, 2017, p.34).” This implies that open meetings that involve the public are carried out under the agency and public comment is provided through the said agency. The agency is thus, required to establish a committee that will carry out an open meeting with the public with the intent of enhancing transparency and agency accountability. Questions and comments raised by the public are thus, addressed at the meeting or through the agency website. On the other hand, MSAPA open meetings are defined through the different state open meetings law, which defines how the public will be invited and the issues that will be discussed. Comments like in the case of APA are either responded during the meeting or through the state agency website.

There is a difference between public administration and private management; in that public administration is a non-political bureaucracy that focuses on the governance of public organizations, meaning it operates within the legal framework of public law and interests. Private management focuses on the management of private enterprises; that is, it is the management of private businesses and corporations, which are profit oriented rather than being focused on the satisfaction of public interests as is the case in public administration. Public administration is thereby enhanced by the government whether at the federal, state or local level. On the other hand, private management is carried out by the business owner or the management team of the business enterprise.


APA, (2017). Federal Administrative Procedure Act. Retrieved from < >.

Uniform Laws, (2016). State Administrative Procedure Act. Retrieved from <,%20Revised%20Model >.

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