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Administrative Law Research: Agencies
Primary and secondary sources for finding rules, proposed rules, agency activity, including decisions, and presidential documents.
Describes the federal administrative system. Prepared by the Administrative Conference of the United States.
Federal administrative agencies draw authority from both Congress and the Executive. Agencies are typically created by Congress through the enactment of "enabling" statutes. Over time new agencies get added to the federal establishment and existing agencies get reorganized or eliminated. Each agency is as unique in structure as its enabling statute. California agencies draw their power from the state legislature.
An agency may:
Promulgate regulations designed to implement law or policy
Issue orders to describe the final disposition of agency action
Issue licenses, permits, or other permissions
Issue advisory opinions with binding, non-precedential advice
Issue decisions arising from a quasi-adjudicative process
An agency may be called:
Board, i.e., National Labor Relations Board
Commission, i.e., Securities Exchange Commission
Corporation, i.e., Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Authority, i.e., Tennessee Valley Authority
Department, i.e., Department of Transportation
Administration, i.e., Social Security Administration