Final Decision and Order

An administrative  agency will issue a final order at the end of an administrative proceeding.  The final order can be affirmative, negative, injunctive, or declaratory.[i] The final decision or order must be either in writing or stated on the record.

According to the Model State Administrative Procedure Act, the parties must be provided with prompt notice of the final order or decision which includes a statement of the available procedures and time limits to seek reconsideration or other administrative relief.  Notice of any decision must be served either personally or by mail.

An administrative agency can issue a declaratory order to terminate a controversy or remove uncertainty in its discretion.[ii] According to Model State Administrative Procedure Act, an agency can issue a declaratory order in response to a petition for that order.  A declaratory order has the same status and binding effect as any other order issued in an agency adjudicative proceeding.

The Federal Administrative Procedure Act requires an agency to conclude any matter presented to it within a reasonable time, taking into account the convenience and necessity of the parties or their representatives.  This is to is to guard those involved in the administrative process from the inconvenience and uncertainty of unreasonable delay.[iii] However, if an agency fails to make its final decision within the prescribed time limits, then the recommended decision of the administrative law judge will be the final decision [iv]

[i] 5 USCS § 551(6)

[ii] 5 USCS § 554(e)

[iii] Teague v. N.C. DOT, 177 N.C. App. 215 (N.C. Ct. App. 2006)

[iv] Walton v. N.C. State Treasurer, Ret. Sys. Div., 176 N.C. App. 273 (N.C. Ct. App. 2006)


Inside Final Decision and Order