The Justice Department released a report today on the need for Congress to update and improve the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the 74-year-old statute setting forth the procedures agencies must follow when regulating individuals, businesses, non-profits, and state and local government entities. The report, entitled Modernizing the Administrative Procedure Act, discusses how the administrative state has developed in ways not foreseen by the APA in 1946, how the APA might be legislatively improved, and how this Administration’s improvements to agencies’ regulatory processes could inform modernizing the APA. The Justice Department, which significantly shaped the original APA, hopes that the ideas and insights discussed in the report will encourage and inform much needed action by Congress to modernize the APA.
The report released today is based on a summit held at the Justice Department on December 6, 2019. The summit brought together leading regulatory practitioners, policymakers, and scholars to discuss how best to reform the APA, which remains largely unchanged since its enactment in 1946. These experts offered a variety of ideas, from a variety of perspectives, on how Congress could reform the APA so that regulation better serves the needs of the American people.
“This report aims to disseminate the many good ideas for modernizing the APA offered by participants in the summit,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen. “The Justice Department is eager to build on the many improvements the Trump Administration has already made to the regulatory process by working with leaders in Congress to modernize the APA.”
“This important report contributes to the ongoing dialogue about how to make the American administrative system less burdensome, more accountable to the people, and more respectful of the rights of Americans,” said Paul Ray, Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. “It follows on a number of critical reforms by President Trump and is essential reading for anyone who shares a commitment to vindicating the principles of limited, accountable government and the rule of law in today’s world.”
The report is available here.