Difference Between Administration and Legislation (With Table)

Administration and Legislation are two aspects of an institution or authority such as a government that works in very close proximity. Legislation can be explained as the process of making new laws or rules and regulations by a competent authority or as the new law itself. Whereas Administration in simple terms is the process of implementation of these laws or rules and regulations.

Administration vs Legislation

The main difference between Administration and Legislation is that in the flow of power the latter comes first. That is; first the law is created (legislation) then this law is enforced (administration) although, this does not imply that the legislative process is superior to the administrative process.

Administration; without its proper implementation, however good a law or rule is, it would not have any practical impact as it is not being properly enacted in the system. The administration is nothing but this process of implementation of rules and regulations in the real world.

Similarly, without good Legislation however good the process of administration is, there would not be any progress as the law being implemented is faulty. Therefore, for proper progress or impact, both administration and legislation must go hand in hand and must be equally good.

Comparison Table Between Administration and Legislation

Parameters of ComparisonAdministrationLegislation
MeaningThe act of implementing or managing duties, laws or rules and regulationsThe process of making or declaring the duties, laws or rules and regulations
FocusDay to day activities of the institutionFuture as well as present of the institution
ScopePlanning how to attain goals.Setting of goals
Performed byThe executives of the institutionThe legislators of the institutions
EffectsMakes the work of legislators meaningfulMakes the work of executive meaningful

What is Administration?

The administration is an act or process which encompasses a lot of different aspects which include things from simply administering the management of an institution to the discretionary powers that come along with duties and responsibilities of the executive.

The most common meaning of administration is that it is the functions done by an executive for the smooth and uninterrupted implementation of the laws, duties or rules and regulations made by the legislative authority. The best example of this is the functions carried out by a president and by the people appointed by him for support.

Proper administration is the key to the smooth functioning of any institute at any given point in time. Without a competent administrator carrying out even the easiest day to day activities would be a cumbersome task and such an institution will surely perish with time.

The most basic administrative functions can be categorized as follows:

  1. Planning.
  2. Organization.
  3. Direction.
  4. Control.

All the above-mentioned activities are quintessential to the existence of a large institution like the government of a country or a small educational institute like a pre-school. But the word administration is most associated with the activity of a government for the implementation of its power and duties.

What is Legislation?

Legislation can mean a new law or set of rules and regulations passed by a parliament or any competent authority (if any) or it can also mean the process of drafting or making such a law or set of rules and regulations.

Commonly such legislative functions are carried out by the members of the parliament. It must be also noted that in certain exceptional cases administrative authorities can also undertake legislative activities, but such legislations are inferior to legislations made by the parliament.

Through legislation, several objectives or goals of the government can be accomplished. Some of such objectives are as follows:

  1. To regulate
  2. To authorize
  3. To outlaw
  4. To provide
  5. To sanction
  6. To grant
  7. To declare
  8. To restrict

By accomplishing such objectives of various fields and aspects of the society the legislator can maintain order and peace in society. Legislation is such a powerful tool that it can even create new rights and duties for the members of the society or take away existing rights and duties. It can be further used to confer more power or to limit the existing powers of the legislators themselves.

Main Differences Between Administration and Legislation.

  1. Administration is the exercise of implementing various rules and regulations by a competent authority whereas Legislation is the activity of drafting these rules and regulations.
  2. A large institution such as government has mainly three pillars (Legislative, Executive, Judiciary). The administrative functions are conducted by the executive pillar and the legislative pillar carries out the legislation.
  3. Administration deals more with the day-to-day activities of the institution and Legislation deals with both the future and present of the institution with a special focus on the future. That is new laws must be legislated in a manner that can be effective in the long run.
  4. The scope of administration is wide and flexible as it deals with a wide variety of means to implement its wider set of duties. But the scope legislation is narrow and rigid when compared to administration.
  5. Both administration and legislation work towards the same goal of a harmonious society with different approaches towards it. The former follows a more objective approach whereas the latter follows a subjective approach.


Administration and Legislation are two different activities that are practically useless without each other making both equally important. Both need to be carried out in perfect synchronisation otherwise the result would be utter confusion and chaos. This will have a negative impact on the institution as well as the society, leading to several unwanted scenarios and instability.

When carried out with proper synchronisation and understanding between the two, the results are highly likely to benefit society as well as the institution in the most epic ways. In short administration and legislation is supposed to keep each other in check and maintain balance for the better good.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/972337
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/hlr21&section=42