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Advantages of Administrative Agencies

9. 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?

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