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There are seemingly countless administrative agencies at the federal, state, and even local level that have a routine and significant impact on our personal and work lives. Your task in this milestone course activity is to choose a state or federal administrative agency that impacts the routine and daily operations of your emergency services agency (or your employer, if you are not employed by an emergency services agency), research that agency and its history, define how its rules impact your agency, and propose changes that would improve or simplify things for your agency.

Your agency will be OSHA

Produce a research paper that is 15 to 20 pages in length (inclusive of all sections defined below):

  • Title Page (Single Page)
  • Table of Contents (Single Page)
  • Abstract (Single Page)
  • Administrative Agency History
    • Established Need
    • Enabling Statute
    • Defined Powers
  • Promulgated Regulations
  • Agency/Employer Impact
    • Positive Impacts
    • Negative Impacts
  • Legal Challenges or Political Control
  • Proposed Changes
    • Anticipated Positive Impacts
    • Potential Negative Impacts
  • Conclusion
  • References (Start on a New Page)

Details related to the individual sections are as follows:

Abstract = This is a concise summary of the key points of your research (as included within the individual sections). The abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced, between 150 and 250 words. Including a list of keywords is optional. The abstract should be on its own page.

Agency History = Within this section, you need to research the history of the administrative agency that you chose and share that information with the reader. You need to demonstrate the need that prompted the creation of the agency, identify and reference the enabling statute, and also identify the specific powers (granting of authority) associated with this agency by virtue of the enabling statute. Enabling statutes can be quite lengthy, so do not include the entire statute. Rather, cite the statute and quote only language that is the most pertinent to the creation of the agency. The same could be said for the agency’s powers that are enumerated within the enabling statute. Cite the specific statutory provision and then include a summary of the specific powers granted to the agency.

Promulgated Regulations = In this area, provide the citation for the regulations along with any specific name under which the regulations are known. (The citation of regulations is defined again in the Georgetown Law Library’s online Bluebook Guideunder the “Citing Other Resources” tab.) Then include a summary of the most profound or impactful provisions within those rules to your agency or employer. Be sure to cite the specific provisions you are referencing.

Agency/Employer Impact = Under this heading, you should provide a detailed examination of the regulations cited previously and how those regulations impact your agency’s (employer’s) routine, daily, and ongoing operations. One subsection should include information as to the benefits of the regulations and the positive impacts on your agency. Examples of such positive impacts may be enhanced safety for employees (given OSHA regulations concerning employee safety and health), availability of adequate resources without impediment or infringement by others (such as having a secured frequency for radio transmissions if the FCC was the agency you selected), or increased transparency of operations for the public and taxpayers (if sunshine laws are an aspect of the regulations you evaluated). The second subsection should include details on what you see as overly burdensome or cumbersome provisions of the regulations and how they negatively impact your agency or employer given operational inefficiencies, increased bureaucracy, financial impacts, or other alleged logistical challenges or barriers created by the regulations. Try to be objective in completing this section by evaluating both the good and bad while supporting your assertions with data and evidence. (Be sure to cite your data sources!)

Legal Challenges or Political Control = If, through your research of the agency’s history and the regulations themselves, you find that the agency or regulations were involved in lawsuits or other facets of the political process that exerted control and changed the agency and its regulations in a fashion that directly impacts your emergency services agency or employer, be sure to cite that information here and provide the details on what happened, why it happened, and what changes resulted. If you need assistance looking up case law, Google Scholar is a great resources (be sure to click the “Case law” radio button under the search bar). The proper way to cite court cases is provided (again) by the Georgetown Law Library’s online Bluebook Guide (under the “Citing Cases” tab).

Proposed Changes = This is the section of the research paper where you must demonstrate the highest level of critical thinking by evaluating the information provided thus far in your paper and proposing changes to the regulatory agency and its promulgated regulations that would benefit your emergency services agency or employer. Are there bureaucratic steps that could be removed to increase operational efficiencies, mandated requirements that could be removed to reduce operational expenses, or additions that could provide clarity in the application of the regulations? What would you propose to make things better (short of eliminating the agency and its regulations entirely)? Be sure to denote how these proposed changes would indeed improve things for your agency or employer. What would be the positive impacts? If you have data to support these assertions, be sure to include it. Inversely, would you foresee negative impacts for your agency, other entities, or the public with these proposed changes? If so, what are they and do the potential positive impacts outweigh what you would foresee as negative impacts?

Conclusion = Similar to your abstract in the beginning of the paper, utilize the conclusion to summarize your research and the related information contained within the paper. The conclusion should not be a word-for-word restatement of the abstract. Rather, it is your “last opportunity” to summarize the information you provided and make one last “pitch” for the changes you proposed within the previous section.

References = This is the area in which you must include a list of all references that you cited within the paper. Remember to utilize the Purdue Online Writing Lab’s information on APA formatting and reference lists (or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association) for assistance in generating your reference page(s).


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