2 Urb. St. & Loc. L. Newsl. 1 (1979)

handle is hein.journals/stlolane17 and id is 1 raw text is: 





Sectionof UrbanState and


                                             Local Government Law
                                           American Bar Association
                          lhv Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 1979


               Exciting Section
            Program Planned for
            1979 Annual Meeting
The Section's three-day Annual Meeting is scheduled for
August 11, 12 and 13 at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in Dallas.
Members are urged to make their reservations as soon as
possible. A stimulating educational and social program is be-
ing planned.

           Section's New Name
                Is Now Official
The House of Delegates has just approved the Section's new
name: The Section of Urban, State and Local Government
Law. This action ended years of dissatisfaction with the name
Local Government Law, a name which itself replaced the
orin nal Secti in ,nare of MLinirinal Lnw in 1961. It iS honpri
that the new name better reflects the extent and diversity of
Section activities in accord with the Bylaws' description:
... law pertaining to units of state and local government,
whether states, counties, cities, towns, villages, districts,
authorities or other public bodies, whether general function or
special function in character ... also federal law insofar as it
affects state or local government action.

     House of Delegates Approves
     Model Procurement Code for
     State and Local Governments
Almost a decade of intensive work was rewarded when the
House of Delegates at its Midyear Meeting in Atlanta endorsed
a Model Procurement Code or adoption by State and local
legislatures. The Code is not intended to be a uniform law, but
rather is designed to serve as a model for statutes improving
governmental procurement policies and procedures.
  The concept for such a Code first surfaced publicly at the
ABA's Annual Meeting in 1971 and, when the Law Enforcement
Assistance Administration provided necessary funds for staff-
ing, progress in the drafting of the Code became relatively
rapid. Overall direction of the drafting process was exercised
by a Coordinating Committee, composed of representatives
from our Section and from the Section of Public Contract Law.
   Heartiest congratulations to all concerned with the Code,
especially to our Section members who spent untold hours of
time and effort in this important public project-past Section
Chairmen Lou Del Duca and Roy Semtner, Section Treasurer
Pat Falvey and former Section Councilman Sherwin Birnkrant.


       Federal Grants Committee
       Created: Membership Call
                  by Richard B. Cappalli
In a recent case the United States Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia described the field of federal grants-in-aid
as a sleeping giant. After noting the massive number of
grant programs and dollars, the court was amazed at the pauci-
ty of case law. It felt, however, that ever-increasing numbers of
controversies involving grants could be expected.
  The court is right. Over the past five years the reporters
reveal a dramatic upsurge in disputes between grantors and
grantees and between these second and third parties. In many
of these cases grantees are forced into court by program
beneficiaries claiming violations of federal standards. A
sizeable portion involved disputes between the parties to the
grant, with the grantee usually claiming some sort of mistreat-
ment by the federal government.
  Good reason underlies the expectation of continuing growth
in this sector of the law. First, today's grants are mostly of the
formula type-the statute and not the grantor agency deter-
mines who will receive grants and how much each recipient
will get. As a result, under the major programs grantees need
not curry favor with federal officials and can demand fair and
lawful treatment. A second factor is that the circle of grantees
expanded widely with the passage of programs like revenue-
sharing, community development, comprehensive employ-
ment and training, crime control, local public works and
others. The number of grantees jumped into the tens of
thousands, the number of grant agreements executed yearly
into the hundreds of thousands and the annual federal outlay
for grants has rapidly approached $100 billion. The clubby
grant system of the past is gone. Thousands of fresh players
mean new perspectives, values, views and, necessarily, con-
flicts. This combines with a third factor-the painful complex-
ity of federal grants. Despite constant calls for simplification
and for the elimination of needless control and accounting,
today's grants-in-aid are enmeshed in red tape to an unparal-
leled degree. This story has been elaborately told by the
Federal Paperwork Commission and the recently completed
14-volume study of the grant system by the Advisory Commis-
sion on Intergovernmental Relations. Finally, the crude drafts-
manship of grant statutes and regulations invites clashes. At
one time the ambiguity of federal grant law was a great vacuum
into which grantor officials poured whatever content they
wanted. Today, however, grantees are utilizing the same am-
biguity to insert the local perspective and need.

                                 (continued on next page)


Copyright  1979 American Bar Association


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