Reports from a number of sources indicate that many believe the FAA went too far in delegating certification tasks to Boeing during the development of the 737 MAX. That level of delegation, particularly with respect to the MCAS system, resulted in problems not being detected during certification, and now being correct after a fix that comes too late for 346 people no longer with us.
The FAA, as one would expect, is always one step behind the innovations being placed in airplanes. As new technologies emerge, the agency has the responsibility for evaluating those technologies and ensuring they are safe. That is easy for physical components and materials science. But the difficult tasks come in evaluating the effectiveness of software, which is increasingly utilized to control aircraft.