St. Mary's Law Journal


John Gedid


The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (ULC) approved the Revised Model State Administrative Procedure Act (2010 MSAPA) in 2010. The model state administrative procedure acts (APA) have been one of the most successful endeavors of the ULC. They have played a major role in encouraging states to incorporate concepts of fairness into state agency procedure statutes and to make express provisions for judicial review of administrative action. Those states that adopted the model acts accomplished fairness goals while bringing efficiency and accuracy into the state administrative process. By providing an overview of the Act’s new features, this Article offers guidance that is useful for analysts and legislators seeking to implement similar models designed to improve state APAs. This overview examines how the development of the administrative procedure acts as a model acts made the ultimate goal of fairness achievable, as evidenced in the various revisions of the MSAPA. The 2010 MSAPA represented nearly seven years of intense research and drafting by experts in administrative procedure. The objective of the drafters was twofold. First, they sought to use the outline and general drafting style of earlier versions of the MSAPA. The significance of this change means states may adopt provisions of the 2010 MSAPA that fit within their statutory history, framework, and policies, without needing to adopt the entire Act. This has the added advantage that, to the extent possible, the 2010 MSAPA leaves much of the detail of procedure up to the agencies of the state. Second, the 2010 MSAPA adapted to the revolution in the digital realm of the last forty years. Use of digital media means greater agency transparency and public availability as well as greater public knowledge of agency rules. This combination of factors makes the 2010 MSAPA an indispensable tool for states to use as they adapt their administrative processes to meet the demands of the twenty-first century.


St. Mary's University School of Law