A public administrator is required to work within the framework of laws and as such he must have a close study and knowledge of laws of the land. He is also required to see that there is nothing contrary to the existing rules and also constitution of the country.
Not only this but we also find that in many countries of the world, public administration is considered as a part of the constitution and studied as one of its aspects which amply justifies that there is very close relationship between Law and Public Administration.
A public administrator also helps in making laws and equally assists his political head in enacting new laws. In fact, all laws which his minister enunciates in the legislature are on the direct initiative of his senior civil servants who have felt their necessity in actual working.
Then comes the system of delegated legislation in which law-making authority is passed on to the public administrator. Since the work of the state is gradually increasing and it is increasingly being realised that a public administrator must be given ample freedom in implementing his policies, the system of delegated legislation has become an effective weapon in the hands of public administration in law-making process.
According to Wilson, “To be efficient, it must discover the simplest arrangements by which responsibility can unmistakably be fixed upon officials, the best way of dividing authority without hampering it, and responsibility without obscuring it”.
The close relationship can also be examined when one finds that without laws a public administrator cannot function. Public administration must have a set of laws within which it will be required to work.
Similarly laws are most essential for checking public administration in their attempt to encroach upon the rights of the citizens which otherwise would have been on the mercy of the senior civil servants or others enjoying authority and power.
But in spite of this close similarity both are separate from each other. Public administration is not law. A public administrator has considerable freedom in interpreting and moulding the laws passed by the legislature.
He is the real effective force and authority in implementing the provisions of every law. He infuses blood in the skeleton of laws and thus gives it an altogether new outlook.
The system of administrative tribunals is increasingly becoming popular which also gives vast executive, legislative and judicial powers to the public servants. To quote Wilson again, “And this question of distribution of authority, when taken into the sphere of the higher, the original functions of Government is obviously a central constitutional question.”
Sociology is the mother science of all other social sciences and Public Administration is just a branch of Sociology. A branch must have close relation with the main tree and as such Public Administration must have very close links with Sociology.
Not only this, but Sociology deals with the society as such, in which there are groups and sub-groups which have their own habits and customs. Sociology analyses them and collects useful informative data about their work and activities.
It is this useful information and material which helps public administration in formulation and execution of policies. Without it, the task of public administration would have become very difficult and complicated.
Sociology thus provides considerable assistance to public administration. In our modern time ‘Behaviouralists’ have particularly laid stress on the close relationship of sociology with public administration. They feel that public administration is only mechanism of social acts and that no administrative problem can be solved unless that is viewed from social view point.
This relationship becomes still clearer when one finds public administration carrying out sample surveys and opinion polls for formulation and execution of future and reviewing of the present policies.
One also finds that social security and welfare activities are engaging more and more attention of public administrators. Family pension schemes, old age pension, right to work, benevolent funds are some of the measures which have been initiated by public administrators for the advantage of the society as a whole.
But in spite of this close relationship between the two the differences still exist. The scope of the study of sociology is far wide as compared with public administration. Similarly there is difference in focus as well. Whereas public administration lays stress on administration, the focus of the study of sociology is society as a whole.