Select Page

Administrative Law
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Bell, Bernard W.

I. ARCHITECTURE OF AN ADMINSTRATIVE AGENCY

A.   LEGAL ORIGINS of ADMINSTRATIVE AGENCIES
1.   APA defines “agency” = “each authority of the Government of the United States, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency.” (5 U.S.C. § 551)
2.   “authority” not defined; “in general, it would appear that virtually every entity, or indeed any individual, empowered to assist in the execution of federal law may be considered an “agency” of the US and subject to the requirements of the APA…”
3.   Agent/principal relationship—usually statute that charters an agency to carry out public purposes
a)   Congress = principal; administrative body = agent.
b)   Principal that enacted the agency legislation is usually not the Congress that is currently sitting: time gap
4.   Not every federal agency originates in a statute…(Supreme ct: President not subject to APA—not explicitly stated, but VP as well.)
a)   Federal Constitution does not establish “agencies,” but constitutional creation of agencies is common in states.
b)   Presidential executive orders have created agencies (EPA, for example)
c)   Agencies that are subparts of larger agencies: existing agencies can create by orders/regulations

B.   FORMS OF AGENCY-CREATING STATUTESàTopics that legal instruments establishing federal admin agencies generally address:
a)   PURPOSES
(1)   Supreme ct: expansive interpretation of Congress’s powersà purposes for which Congress may act to establish an admin authority are virtually unlimited
(2)   GOALS: statement of agencies mission…positive goals and jurisdictional limits.
(3)   Developmental purpose: gather and disseminate information to assist others—private individuals/firms etc. (ex.: National Park Service: concerned w/ infrastructure development…)
i)   Gov’t seeks to assist or promote growth of knowledge and of citizenry’s economic, recreational or aesthetic well-being.
(4)   Social welfare: Social Security Administration; Dept of Veterans etc.
(5)   Regulation of private economic activities: macroeconomic level (Federal Reserve Board) and micro level (FDIC, SEC etc.), + specific: regulation of significant economic aspects of particular industries (FCC; International Trade Commission). 
(6)   Protection of health and safety: FDA; EPA etc.
b)   POWERS
(1)   Legal tools the agency has to pursue its goa

ity might be suppressed in favor of resolving issues of policy.
5.   INTERNAL FUNCTIONS
a)   Office of Hearings and Appeals—placement to protect independence of Admin Law judges from agency officials who have enforcement responsibilities
b)   Office of Policy Evaluation—internal implementors of requirements of general federal statutes and executive orders
c)   Overall: internal functions serve as “consciences”—make certain the agency is carrying out its primary mission
6.   GENERAL COUNSEL—must overlook any major proposal to make sure it conforms to agency’s statutory authority

D.   OVERALL STRUCTURE and LOCATION within GOV’T
1.   Look at location and structure of various agencies—how statutory objectives are pursued often depends on location (is it housed in a cabinet department or does it operate outside of any department?)
2.   Specific location within a larger unit
3.   Micro-management of agency decision making through statutory prescription of internal structure or decision making—Congress