An ACIR Perspective on Intergovernmental Institutional Development

Authors

  • Carl W. Stenberg

    Corresponding author
    1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      Carl W. Stenberg is a professor of public administration and government in the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
      E-mail:stenberg@sog.unc.edu
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Carl W. Stenberg is a professor of public administration and government in the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
E-mail:stenberg@sog.unc.edu

Abstract

This article traces the creation and demise of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) and assesses the prospects for restoring an ACIR-like capability to the federal system. Recent initiatives by the National Academy of Public Administration, the Big 7 state and local government official associations, and Congress are summarized, and the facilitating and inhibiting factors associated with intergovernmental institutional development are examined. At least three ingredients in the formula that gave birth to the ACIR in 1959 will need to be present more than 50 years later: (1) support from congressional champions, the president, and public interest groups; (2) visibility and urgency of intergovernmental fiscal and management issues and the need for a permanent intergovernmental presence to address them; and (3) “homework and spadework” to enlist potential conservative and liberal interest group and think tank backers.

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