Category:Independent agencies of the United States government

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English: See also: List of United States federal agencies (And the sublist there.)

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, over which it may have the power of rulemaking. 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.


This category has the following 49 subcategories, out of 49 total.











Media in category "Independent agencies of the United States government"

The following 24 files are in this category, out of 24 total.