POL 321 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Federal Register, Rulemaking, Presidential Directive

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Lecture 5: Public Administration
Key Questions:
1. What is public administration?
2. Why delegate?
3. How to hold accountable?
Public Administration
Public Administrationimplementation of public policy; carry out policies
Appointed, not elected; take information from elected officials & implement it
Reasons legislatures delegate implementation:
o Time; don’t have the time
o Blame Shiftingpass a law to delegate authority to deal with a problem so they
don’t have to be blamed for an unpopular policy
o Expertise; can't effectively pass policy because don’t have the area
Once Congress has delegated authority to agency, agency can begin rulemaking
o Can only do what they've been specifically granted authority to
Rulemakingagency given authority to make laws in an area, & choose to do so because:
o May be a statuary requirement
o To address concern or problem
o Could be based on new information/data
o Presidential directive
o Petitions spur action
Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (1946)gives process agency must follow for
o Give advance notice of proposed rule-making in the Federal Register; not the actual
rule but intent to make rules
Can get feedback from public, president
o Publish Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with the actual text of the rule
o Have 30-60 days of public notice & comment period
Must read & respond to substantive comments
May revise rule
o Publish final rule in Federal Register
Once in place, has full force of law
Congress has 60 days to override rule & get President signature, then it is null &
This has only happened once
Principal-Agent Problemany time a higher level position delegates authority to lower
level position, tendency is for agent (lower level) to not act in full intent of principal
(higher level)
o agents are motivated to act in their own best interests, which are contrary to those of
their principals, and is an example of moral hazard
We can use lawsuits to hold accountable
o Can argue an agency has exceeded their Statutory Authority or is misinterpreting it
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