Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Metzger on Administrative Law, Public Administration and ACUS

Gillian E. Metzger, Columbia University Law School, has posted Administrative Law, Public Administration, and the Administrative Conference of the United States, which is forthcoming in the George Washington Law Review.  The article includes a section arguing that “the current divide between administrative law and public administration is not a new phenomenon, but dates back to when both fields were being born as areas of academic study and practice at the beginning of the twentieth century.”  Here is the abstract:
From its birth administrative law has claimed a close connection to governmental practice. Yet as administrative law has grown and matured it has moved further away from how agencies actually function. In particular, as many have noted, administrative law ignores key administrative dimensions, such as planning, assessment, oversight mechanisms and managerial methods, budgeting, personnel practices, reliance on private contractors, and the like. The causes of administrative law’s disconnect from public administration are complex and the divide is now longstanding, going back to the birth of each as distinct fields. But it is also a growing source of concern, and internal administration is increasingly becoming the linchpin for ensuring accountable government. Enter the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS). ACUS represents one of the rare instances in which administrative law and public administration have been linked and is ideally situated to study administrative law’s effects on internal agency operations and assess whether — as well as how — administrative law might be used to improve public administration.