The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) just announced a new project they’ve commissioned, entitled Aggregate Agency Adjudication. The consultants on this project are Adam Zimmerman and Michael Sant’Ambrogio, and it builds on their terrific article The Agency Class Action, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 1992 (2012). Here’s a description of the project, from the ACUS project page:
The Conference is studying the recent efforts by agencies to aggregate administrative proceedings. Currently, very little is known about: (1) how agencies choose the cases appropriate for aggregation, (2) which aggregation tools agencies use, (3) the successes and failures of aggregation programs, (4) how often agencies employ aggregation procedures, and (5) other types of proceedings in which different aggregation tools might facilitate more expeditious and fair handling of large groups of claims. Among other things, the project will address the following questions:
What is the frequency of agency aggregation?
What types of administrative proceedings are appropriate for aggregation?
What types of aggregation mechanisms are most useful for agencies?
What are the obstacles, challenges, and concerns relating to aggregation?
What is the relationship of agency aggregation to rulemaking?
Should aggregation be expanded, and if so, how?
I look forward to reading the report and recommendations next year. Meanwhile, I just completed a full week of interviews with agency officials for my ACUS project on the role of federal agencies in the legislative process . I expect to have a draft of the report and recommendations ready by the fall.