Federal Agencies & Commissions

The definitions of a federal agencies vary. The Administrative Procedure Act defines a federal agency as “each authority of the Government of the United States, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency” with the exception of higher authorities such as Congress, federal courts, and governments of territories or possessions of the United States. The President, for example, is not an agency. However, Congress may ultimately choose to define an agency however it deems necessary to enable legislation and litigation. Citizens employed by these agencies are considered civil servants. The majority of these independent agencies are considered executive agencies in that they are independent of a cabinet position, but still part of the executive branch. Some, such as the Library of Congress and the Congressional Budget Office are instead administered by Congress, making them legislative branch agencies.


Agencies under the Legislative Branch include:


Agencies under the Judicial Branch include:


Specialty Courts


Agencies under the Executive Branch include:


Office of Judicial Affairs