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Administrative Procedure Acts

Administrative Procedure Acts are legislation designed to give uniformity to the rule making and adjudicative proceedings of the administrative agencies both in federal and state level.  The federal government passed the Federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA) act in 1946, in response to increasing resentment of the agencies’ scope in matters that affects the rights of individuals.  Following the federal lead, most of the states also passed similar statutes during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The APA embodies a comprehensive regulatory scheme that governs aspects such as investigations, adjudications[i], rulemaking[ii], and licensing, open meeting and disclosure requirements of federal agencies.  The Act also guarantees the right of judicial review to any person suffering legal wrong because of any agency action.  Under the APA, all agency action is either rulemaking or adjudication.  Its emphasis on transparency, fairness, and access to the courts has resulted in the accountability, efficiency, and acceptability of the decision making of government.

[i] 5 USCS § 554

[ii] 5 USCS § 553

Inside Administrative Procedure Acts