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Difference Between Rulemaking And Adjudication

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In 1946 Congress enacted the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to provide minimum standards for federal agencies (Szypszak, 2011). Szypszak (2011) further states that the APA addressed the fundamental aspects of agency rulemaking and adjudication. APA authorizes two basic forms of administrative action: rulemaking and adjudication. Rulemaking is a quasi-legislative function that sets standards for future application (Ferguson, 2006). According to Vago (2015) administrative rulemaking is the single most important function carried out by a government agency. He states that it is the establishment of prospective rules. Rulemaking is the process for formulating policy for the future by promulgating, amending, or repealing a rule that provides…show more content…
Adjudication is the administrative equivalent of a judicial trial. Under adjudication, individual cases are heard by law judges within agencies and a body of rules is developed (Kettl, 2015). Adjudication differs from rulemaking in that it applies only to a specific, limited number of parties involved in an individual case before the agency (Vago, 2015). The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) separates adjudication from rulemaking by stating that adjudication is an agency process for the formulation of an order and an order is a final disposition in a matter other than rulemaking. There is formal and informal adjudication. Formal adjudication involves some kind of hearing, whereas informal adjudication takes place in settings that are non-confrontational and often not even face-to-face and is undertaken by non-hearing deciders (Cane, 2009). Adjudications can take many forms, but generally can be grouped into law enforcement adjudications (such as those conducted by the Federal Trade Commission) benefits adjudications (such as those conducted by the Social Security Administration) and licensing and permit adjudications (such as those conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency) (Forte and Spalding,
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