Reviving the Administrative Conference of the United States: The Time Has Come
51 Federal Lawyer 26 (2004).
5 Pages Posted: 21 May 2016
Date Written: December 2004
In October 1995, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) shut its doors after almost 30 years of making recommendations to the government on improving the fairness and efficiency of administrative procedures. ACUS shut down its operations abruptly because, even in the face of ongoing reauthorization hearings by other committees of the104tth Congress, congressional appropriators had determined that ACUS had "fully accomplished its mission," and therefore appropriated no funds.
Of course, the "mission" to improve government administration can never be "fully accomplished," and, as Professor Toni Fine showed in an article published in 1998, the story is a lot more complicated. But that is water under the bridge, and the intervening years have shown that ACUS is needed now more than ever.
In my own postmortem to the demise of ACUS, written in 1998, I optimistically concluded that "it is only a matter of time before Congress and the President recognize this country's need for objective, nonpartisan expertise on the crucial, but not always politically 'sexy,' issues of administrative procedure implementation and reform." That time has now come, thanks to the efforts of Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.
In summer 2004, the subcommittee held two hearings on reauthorizing the Administrative Conference of the United States, and, on July 22, Rep. Cannon (along with 33 co-sponsors) introduced H.R. 4917, the Federal Regulatory Improvement Act of 2004, a bill to reauthorize ACUS.
Keywords: administrative law, Administrative Conference of the United States
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation