Advantages of Administrative Agencies

Cite this article as: Jason Mance Gordon, "Advantages of Administrative Agencies," in The Business Professor, updated January 4, 2015, last accessed March 29, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/knowledge-base/advantages-of-administrative-agencies/.
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Advantages of Administrative Agencies
What are the Advantages of having Administrative Agencies?

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What are the advantages of administrative agencies?

Delegating regulatory and executive authority to administrative agencies has numerous advantages:

  • Exactness – Congress cannot effectively pass statutes that are sufficiently detailed to regulate an entire subject matter. While laws provide a general outline for regulation, the agency rules and regulations make the statutory law more exact. More specifically, the agencies fill any gaps that exist in the statutory law.
  • Expertise – Administrative agencies generally employ officials who are subject-matter experts in the given areas of regulation. As such, they are often more efficient and effective in developing rules and regulations to govern conduct in the specific area. Their expertise also provides thoroughness and consistency in the development and enforcement of business regulations. Lastly, employing such individuals to make quasi-judicial decisions about disputes avoids relying on individuals who are unfamiliar with the subject.
  • Public Protection – Agencies often exist to regulate an area of conduct in a manner that protects the public interest. Individuals and businesses do not always act in accord with the public interest.

All of these advantages relate to efficiency, effectiveness, and the public interest. While administrative procedures are often burdensome, agencies allow for the administration of an extremely large and complex system of regulations.

Discussion: Do you believe that the above-cited attributes are truly characteristics of administrative agencies?

Discussion Input

  • Some would argue that these attributes are not truly characteristic of all administrative agencies. With the political influence on agencies, many of these benefits are traded for political loyalties. Some would also argue that these characteristics are simply used to further infringe upon individual freedoms. Others would argue that these attributes are accurate. They add a degree of knowledge and ability in the governmental process that otherwise is missing in elected officials.

Academic Research

Susskind, Lawrence E. and Secunda, Joshua, The Risks and the Advantages of Agency Discretion: Evidence from Epa’s Project Xl. UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1998/99. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=219501

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