Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies

Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies
Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies
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Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies is published by the Administrative Conference, an independent federal agency dedicated to better serving you by improving the fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness of federal agency processes, practices, and, conducting consensus-driven applied research.

The Conference has established research that serves as the foundation for identifying best practices and issuing formal recommendations to agencies, Congress, or the Judicial Conference.

According to the Conference Acting Chairman, Matthew Lee Wiener, “the second edition expands coverage of the Sourcebook significantly (by, among other things, including agency bureaus), accounts for ongoing constitutional debates about agency structure, and addresses the renewed importance of ‘government-wide legal mandates’ in the administrative state.”

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Table of Contents

Chairman’s Foreword to the Second Edition ii

Chairman’s Foreword to the First Edition iv About the Authors vi

Acknowledgments vii

Part I Introduction to the Second Edition 1

A. Need for This Report 4

B. Methodology 5

C. Structure of This Report  7

Part II What is the Federal Executive Establishment? 8

A. What is a Federal Agency? 11

B. What This Report Omits  15

Part III Overview of the Federal Executive Establishment 17

A. Executive Office of the President 18

1. Current Structure of the EOP 20

2. Controversies—Growth and “Czars” 25

B. Executive Departments 27

1. Executive Departments and Other Executive Agencies Compared .34

2. The Structure of Executive Departments 35

3. Variation in the Number of Employees and Political Appointees  39

C. Agencies Located Outside of the EOP and Executive Departments 40

1. What is an Independent Agency? 42

2. Administrations . 52

3. Multi-Member Bodies 52

4. Government Corporations and Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) 56

5. Other Forms of Government Agency: Non-profits and Regional Agencies 60

Table of Contents ix D. Federal Personnel System  62

1. The Modern Personnel System  62

2. Trends in Personnel Management 71

a) Thickening Government 71

b) Increase in Political Appointees 72

c) Increase in Agency-Specific Personnel Systems  75

d) Increased Role of Government Contractors 79

Part IV The Creation and Design of Federal Agencies 82

A. Why a New Agency Rather Than Existing Agencies? 84

B. Agency Reorganization and Termination  85

C. Why Do Federal Agency Designs Differ? 87

1. Insulating Agencies from the President  88

a) Multi-member Bodies  89

b) Limitations on Appointments  89

c) Protections Against Removal 96

d) OMB Review of Budgets, Regulations, and Communications 102

e) Control Over Agency Litigation  105

2. Insulating Agencies from Congress  106

a) Appropriations and Agency Self-funding  107

b) Agency Reporting Relationships 110

3. Other Key Structural Features 112

Conclusion 121

Appendix A-1:

List of Agencies and Subunits—By Agency Name 125

Appendix A-2: List of Agencies and Subunits—By Abbreviation 133

Appendix B: Senate Committees Confirming Agency and Subunit Nominees 141

Appendix C: Agency Structure Codebook 150 Data Collection  150

Variables  152


Agency general counsels, congressional staff, executive officials, and members of the judiciary involved in reorganization and reform of administrative agencies may find this reference helpful to determine the structures within agencies that have non-statutory policy decisions and how statutory mandated policies will be enforced. Also, results of this study are an especially valuable resource to individual agencies, the general public and academic researchers in government and public administration.

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Administrative Conference of the United States
  • Selin, Jennifer L.
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  • United States Executive Agencies
  • Directories
  • Executive Agencies
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