The Difference Between

Whats the difference between an executive agency and an independent regulatory agency?

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2015-03-12 23:41:13

An Executive Agency is a part of a government department

that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate in order

to carry out some part of the executive functions Independent

agencies of the United States government are those that exist

outside of the departments of the executive branch. Established

through separate statutes passed by the U.S. Congress, each

respective statutory grant of authority defines the goals the

agency must work towards, as well as what substantive areas, if

any, it may have the power of rulemaking over The executive

departments are the major operating units of the U.S. federal

government, but many other agencies have important responsibilities

for serving the public interest and carrying out government

operations. Executive branch independent agencies are not

part of a fourth branch of government; they are part of the

executive branch, but are not part of a specific executive

department. Such as a Library or other government agency that does

not provide an income but has a specific Purpose that is an

accepted need for the Tax expense to the people. Independent

agencies of the United States government are those that exist

outside of the departments of the executive branch. Established

through separate statutes passed by the U.S. Congress, each

respective statutory grant of authority defines the goals the

agency must work towards, as well as what substantive areas, if

any, it may have the power of rulemaking over. These agency rules

(or regulations), while in force, have the power of federal law.

The executive departments are the major operating units of the U.S.

federal government, but many other agencies have important

responsibilities for serving the public interest and carrying out

government operations. Executive branch independent agencies

are not part of a fourth branch of government; they are part of the

executive branch, but are not part of a specific executive

department. A few independent agencies are part of the legislative

branch under Congress, such as the Government Accountability Office

(formerly called the General Accounting Office), the Library of

Congress, the Congressional Research Service, and the Government

Printing Office. The nature and purpose of independent agencies

vary widely. Some are regulatory groups with powers to supervise

certain sectors of the economy. Others provide special services

either to the government or to the people. In most cases, the

agencies have been created by Congress to deal with matters that

have become too complex for the scope of ordinary legislation. In

1970, for example, Congress established the United States

Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate governmental action

to protect the environment. The Administrative Procedure Act

establishes the protocols for agency rulemaking and decisions in

agency enforcement proceedings. The APA also provides for direct

judicial review of agency action in the D.C. Circuit Court (and

then on appeal to the Supreme Court), once all intra-agency

procedures have been exhausted. The D.C. Circuit can uphold the

regulation as a valid exercise of statutory authority by the

agency, or it can remand back to the agency for further

consideration and information gathering. Decisions and rules must

be sufficiently justified by the agency to withstand judicial

review. If there is no established factual or rational basis for

the agency's actions, the court will not infer or assume one.

[edit] Examples of independent agencies

  • The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) coordinates the

    intelligence activities of certain government departments and

    agencies; collects, correlates, and evaluates intelligence

    information relating to national security; and makes

    recommendations to the National Security Council within the Office

    of the President.

  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates

    commodity futures and option markets in the United States. The

    agency protects market participants against manipulation, abusive

    trade practices and fraud. Through effective oversight and

    regulation, the CFTC enables the markets to serve better their

    important functions in the nation's economy providing a mechanism

    for price discovery and a means of offsetting price risk.

  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works

    with state and local governments throughout the United States to

    control and abate pollution in the air and water and to deal with

    problems related to solid waste, pesticides, radiation, and toxic

    substances. EPA sets and enforces standards for air and water

    quality, evaluates the impact of pesticides and chemical

    substances, and manages the "Superfund" program for cleaning toxic

    waste sites.

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is charged with

    regulating interstate and international communications by radio,

    television, wire, satellite, and cable. It licenses radio and

    television broadcast stations, assigns radio frequencies, and

    enforces regulations designed to ensure that cable rates are

    reasonable. The FCC regulates common carriers, such as telephone

    and telegraph companies, as well as wireless telecommunications

    service providers.

  • The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Fed

    board) is the governing body of the Federal Reserve System, the

    central bank of the United States. It conducts the nation's

    monetary policy by influencing the volume of credit and money in

    circulation. The Federal Reserve regulates private banking

    institutions, works to contain systemic risk in financial markets,

    and provides certain financial services to the U.S. government, the

    public, and financial institutions.

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces federal antitrust

    and consumer protection laws by investigating complaints against

    individual companies initiated by consumers, businesses,

    congressional inquiries, or reports in the media. The commission

    seeks to ensure that the nation's markets function competitively by

    eliminating unfair or deceptive practices.

  • The General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for

    the purchase, supply, operation, and maintenance of federal

    property, buildings, and equipment, and for the sale of surplus

    items. GSA also manages the federal motor vehicle fleet and

    oversees telecommuting centers and child care centers.

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was

    established in 1958 to run the U.S. space program. It placed the

    first American satellites and astronauts in orbit, and it launched

    the Apollo spacecraft that landed men on the moon in 1969. Today,

    NASA conducts research aboard earth-orbiting satellites and

    interplanetary probes, explores new concepts in advanced aerospace

    technology, and operates the U.S. fleet of manned space shuttle

    orbiters.

  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

    preserves the nation's history by overseeing the management of all

    federal records. The holdings of the National Archives include

    original textual materials, motion picture films, sound and video

    recordings, maps, still pictures, and computer data. The

    Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of

    Rights are preserved and displayed at the National Archives

    building in Washington, D.C.

  • The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administers the

    principal U.S. labor law, the National Labor Relations Act. The

    board is vested with the power to prevent or remedy unfair labor

    practices and to safeguard employees' rights to organize and

    determine through elections whether to have a union as their

    bargaining representative.

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports basic research

    and education in science and engineering in the United States

    through grants, contracts, and other agreements awarded to

    universities, colleges, and nonprofit and small business

    institutions. The NSF encourages cooperation among universities,

    industry, and government, and it promotes international cooperation

    through science and engineering.

  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the federal

    government's human resources agency. It ensures that the nation's

    civil service remains free of political influence and that federal

    employees are selected and treated fairly and on the basis of

    merit. OPM supports agencies with personnel services and policy

    leadership, and it manages the federal retirement system and health

    insurance program.

  • The Peace Corps, founded in 1961, trains and places volunteers

    to serve in foreign countries for two years. Peace Corps

    volunteers, now working in some 80 nations, assist in

    agricultural-rural development, small business, health, natural

    resources conservation, and education.

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 to

    advise, assist, and protect the interests of small business

    concerns. The SBA guarantees loans to small businesses, aids

    victims of floods and other natural disasters, promotes the growth

    of minority-owned firms, and helps secure contracts for small

    businesses to supply goods and services to the federal

    government.

  • The Selective Service System (SSS) is an independent federal

    agency operating with permanent authorization under the Military

    Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.). It is not part

    of the Department of Defense; however, it exists to serve the

    emergency manpower needs of the Military by conscripting untrained

    manpower, or personnel with professional health care skills, if

    directed by Congress and the President in a national crisis. Its

    statutory missions also include being ready to administer an

    alternative service program, in lieu of military service for men

    classified as conscientious objectors.

  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages the nation's

    social insurance program, consisting of retirement, disability, and

    survivors benefits. To qualify for these benefits, most American

    workers pay Social Security taxes on their earnings; future

    benefits are based on the employees' contributions.

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established to

    protect investors who buy stocks and bonds. Federal laws require

    companies that plan to raise money by selling their own securities

    to file reports about their operations with the SEC, so that

    investors have access to all material information. The commission

    has powers to prevent or punish fraud in the sale of securities and

    is authorized to regulate stock exchanges.

  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

    administers U.S. foreign economic and humanitarian assistance

    programs in the developing world, as well as in Central and Eastern

    Europe and the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union.

    The agency supports programs in four areas - population and health,

    broad-based economic growth, environment, and democracy.

  • The United States International Trade Commission (USITC)

    provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive

    branches of government, determines the impact of imports on U.S.

    industries, and directs actions against certain unfair trade

    practices, such as patent, trademark, and copyright

    infringement.

  • The United States Postal Service is operated by an autonomous

    public corporation that replaced the Post Office Department in

    1971. The Postal Service is responsible for the collection,

    transportation, and delivery of the mails, and for the operation of

    thousands of local post offices across the country. It also

    provides international mail service through the Universal Postal

    Union and other agreements with foreign countries.

  • An independent Postal Rate Commission, also created in 1971,

    helps the Postal Service set the rates for different classes of

    mail by holding hearings on rates proposed by the Postal Service,

    and recommending rates to the Postal Service Board of Governors,

    which in turn may accept or reject the rates. As of February 2006,

    legislation had passed both houses of Congress greatly increasing

    the regulatory powers of the Postal Rate Commission.

  • The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is one of the

    smaller Executive Branch agencies, with just over 100 employees. It

    was established to administer the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which

    provides Federal employees the opportunity to save for additional

    retirement security. The Thrift Savings Plan is a tax-deferred

    defined contribution plan similar to a private sector 401(k)

    plan.


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