Re-Thinking Executive Control of And Accountability for the Agency

Benedict SHEEHY, Don Feaver

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Abstract

The organization of many Western governments has undergone dramatic structural and procedural changes over the past century. A large portion of public administration previously done by departments within a more centralized structure of government has been shifted to administrative units, often referred to as “agencies” that fall outside the constitutional core—an “agencified” model. This article investigates the historical contexts and legal developments associated with these changes and illuminates how “agencification” has altered the balance between executive control powers and executive accountability obligations. It examines how the organizational changes have been addressed in both the responsible government models of the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, and the republican presidential model of the United States. The article identifies a separation of accountability and control by the executive through its use of the agency and draws conclusions with implications for constitutional law, political theory, and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-224
Number of pages50
JournalOsgoode Hall Law Journal
Volume54
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

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