ACUS and Stanford Law School Announce Federal Administrative Adjudication Database

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Publish Date:
October 29, 2015
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Michael Asimow 1
Stanford Law School Professor Michael Asimow is working on a study that will help identify best practices for adjudicating agencies in the federal government.

The Administrative Conference of the United States and Stanford Law School (SLS) announced today that a new database cataloging federal administrative adjudication across government agencies is now available to the public on the SLS website at https://acus.law.stanford.edu/.

The database is the first single, up-to-date resource that paints a comprehensive picture of administrative adjudications by federal agencies, which involve the resolution of disputes arising under government programs in proceedings before administrative agencies rather than courts.

“We are proud of the role that Stanford Law School played in creating this unique database,” said M. Elizabeth Magill, dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law at the law school, which funded half of the cost of the database website. “It ties in directly with the work of one of our visiting professors, Michael Asimow, who is studying the many federal adjudicatory programs that are not governed by the Federal Administrative Procedure Act.  This study will pave the way for an Administrative Conference report that would identify best practices for adjudicating agencies across the federal government.”

Professor Asimow explained that the new database brings transparency to an area of the law that previously had not been mapped. “For example,” he said, “the U.S. currently receives hundreds of thousands of claims from veterans as well as those facing deportation. The Federal Administrative Adjudication database enables individuals filing veterans or immigration claims – or claims with 85 other agencies – to understand who can represent them in these disputes, who determines the outcome and how they can participate fully in the process.”

Administrative proceedings are one of the most common ways in which citizens interact with the United States government. Just one agency, the Social Security Administration, conducted nearly 800,000 such proceedings in fiscal year 2013 alone. “Even though agencies conduct such a significant number of proceedings, we know much more about the federal court system than we do about the Federal Administrative Adjudication system,” said Amber Williams, Attorney Advisor at the Administrative Conference. “ACUS, in partnership with Stanford Law School, is working to fill this knowledge gap.”

The Federal Administrative Adjudication Database was compiled by 21 volunteers and staff over a period of two years. They surveyed 133 federal agencies and identified 159 major adjudicatory schemes.

About ACUS

The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent federal agency dedicated to improving the administrative process through consensus-driven applied research and providing nonpartisan expert advice and recommendations for improvement of federal agency procedures. Its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics and other experts from the private sector with diverse views and backgrounds.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.