Delegation of Authority to Approve DEA Undercover Operations

Headnotes: 

The general rule with respect to delegations is that any statutorily conferred authority is delegable, at least in the absence of any indication of congressional intent that the official named must personally exercise the authority conferred upon him.

The Attorney General and the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration may delegate their respective authority to approve DEA undercover operations pursuant to § 203(b)(1) of Pub. L. No. 98-411, 98 Stat. 1545, 1559–60 (1984). Nothing in the language, purpose, or legislative history of the statute demonstrates an intent to preclude delegation. Rather, the statute reflects the common legislative practice of conferring general authority
upon the head of a department or agency.

Updated July 9, 2014