Hearing and Consultation Procedure in Public Administration : The United States Practice

Publication Date01 December 1961
AuthorA. Gaylord Obern
Hearing and Consultation Procedure in Public
Administration : The United States Practice
A. Gaylord OBERN,
School of Associate Professor,
Public Administration,
University of Southern California.
UDC 35.075.82 : (73)
and freedom of action than was previously
possible. This is important since an admin-
istrator works amid a complex framework of
While the Congress has a primary role in
political pressures.
Innumerable organiza-
determining in broad terms what is desirable
tional and psychological relationships must be
public policy, the President and the Executive
considered in every administrative decision.
branch with its administrative units play a
significant part in the engineering of social
Information for the proper and ef-
fective implementation of legislation needs to
be secured from the public at large, most
particularly from the segment of the popula-
In the American federal system of
most directly affected by the law and
ment, hearings involving a particular law or
administrative decision take several forms.
This gathering of information has a threefold
The legislative branch in all three levels of
function. First, detailed decisions by admin-
government (federal, state, and local) uti’lizes
istrative officials can be made only after
public hearings as a device for obtaining in-
gathering specific data on the probable effect
formation and opinions in making laws, in
of a decision from the people concerned. Ad-
overseeing administrative agencies, and in
ministrators seldom have sufficient specia’lized
publicizing the activities of government.
knowledge to make this prediction, and, there-
These hearings are often highly valued by
fore, much valuable information can be secur-
administrators because they reveal the views
ed from hearings or advisory groups which
of various groups interested in the legislation

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