From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej
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PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION – a basic term used in administrative law and administration science found in the Polish Constitution (article 184, pursuant to which the administrative courts exercise control of public administration activities) and in legislation ( starting from 1999, from article 1 of the code of administrative procedure). Various definitions are adopted, which can be reduced to three approaches: negative, objective (functional) and subjective. In the negative approach, based on the separation of powers, p.a. is in a broader sense a part of the State’s activities (now generally known as public authorities, as the State in this sense also includes local government, in particular → local government), which is neither the creator of legislation nor the judiciary, and which, therefore, acting on the basis of the provisions of law and under the supervision of a judicial authority in accordance with the principle of legalism, is responsible in the public authorities system for the practical status and overall public affairs (matters which are undertaken and managed with respect to public interest). This leads to the functional approach where p.a. means direct, practical execution of State tasks in a broader sense (public tasks). In this approach p.a. can go beyond the execution of laws, and refers to the management of public resources, for carrying out tasks from the scope of p.a. In the functional approach p.a. performs four types of activities - and administration: rationing-ordinal, which makes use of measures typical of the public imperium; providing for the delivery of public services in the sphere of education, health, culture, but also public transport or collective water supply and discharge of waste water; ownership, or public property management (dominium); development management, primarily through public planning. P.a. tasks can, where legislation provides for this, be carried out by entities not belonging to the p.a. structure, such as → non-governmental organizations or entrepreneurs (p.a. assigned tasks). In the subjective approach p.a. means p.a. apparatus - a team of people that are part of institutions distinct in the organizational structure of the State in a broader sense, created in order to perform tasks from the scope of p.a. These institutions are p.a. entities, among which a special place is occupied by → p.a. apparatus, i.e. bodies with statutory competence in the area of public imperium. Various aspects of p.a. expressed in various approaches, can be connected in the consolidated subjective-objective definition: p.a. is a group of activities, actions and organizational and implementary projects carried out for the benefit of public interest by various entities, bodies and institutions on the basis of the law and in forms defined by law. In this sense p.a. can be divided into State and local government; in state administration a central role is played by → Government, and in local government administration → local government (→ Administration) [ H. Izdebski ].
Literature: A. Błaś, J. Boć, J. Jeżewski, Nauka administracji, Wrocław 2013; H. Izdebski, M. Kulesza, Administracja publiczna. Zagadnienia ogólne, Warszawa 2004; K. Żukowski, Administracja publiczna, [w:] Leksykon prawa administracyjnego materialnego. 100 podstawowych pojęć, red. T. Bąkowski, K. Żukowski, Warszawa 2016.