When referring here to ‘public administration’ this means the activities of the many public bodies and public offices concerned with applying and enforcing the law or tasked with particular functions under the law. Put another way, public administration is all about the day to day running of government and the rest of the public sector in the UK in accordance with all applicable laws.
A broad overview of some the main bodies responsible for public administration in Wales can be found here.
There are a number of elements to public administration, including:
- Implementing government policy
- Implementing legislation
- Applying legislation
- Enforcing legislation
- Providing regulatory guidance and performing regulatory functions
- Taking decisions or making determinations in accordance with the law
- The audit of public expenditure – more information on public audit in Wales can be found here
See Introduction to administrative law for an overview of the rules which the courts have developed for ensuring that public administration is carried out in a lawful manner.
The public audit function and the principles of administrative law provide important checks and balances on the power of the executive in the UK constitution (see here for an explanation of ‘the executive’). In order to increase accountability and transparency, the UK also has laws on freedom of information (and more information on these laws can be found here).