administrative (government) agency – a single officer, board, bureau, commission, office, or department of the executive branch of government, with the authority to implement and administer particular legislation

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administrative agency:

1. An official body, especially within the government, with the authority to implement and administer particular legislation. — aka government agency; agency; public agency; regulatory agency. [1]

1. A functionary concerned with administrative law. 1 Am J2d Adm L § 49.

A single officer, board, commission, office, or department exercising administrative authority. 1 Am J2d Adm L § 8. [2]

1. A board, commission, bureau, office, or department, of the executive branch of government, that implements the law which originates with the legislative branch.  EXAMPLES: the FBI; a state’s department of motor vehicles; a county public assistance office.
     See regulatory agency. [3]

Related Terms:

administrative law – governs the organization and operation of (executive and independent) administrative agencies, and their relations to legislature, executive, the judiciary, and the public.

functionary – A public officer.

public officer – An incumbent of a public office invested with certain powers and charged with certain duties pertinent to sovereignty. State ex rel. Newman v Skinner, 128 Ohio St 325, 191 NE 127, 93 ALR 331.

Such an officer as is required by law to be elected or appointed, who has a designation or title given him by law, and who exercises function concerning the public assigned to him by law. 42 Am J1st Pub Of § 2.
See de facto public officer; de jure officer. [2]

de facto public officer – Summarily defined as one who has the reputation of being the officer he assumes to be, and yet is not a good officer in point of law.  Comprehensively defined as a person exercising the duties of the office (1) without a known appointment or election , but under such circumstances of reputation or acquiescence as were calculated to induce people, without inquirey, to submit to or invoke his action, supposing him to be the officer he assumed to be; (2) under color of a known and valid appointment or election, but where the officer had failed to conform to some precedent, requirement, or condition, as to take an oath, give a bond, or the like; (3) under color of a known election or appointment, void, because the one elected or appointed was not eligible, or because there was a want of power in the electing or appointing boy, or by reason of some defect or irregularity in its exercise, such ineligibility, want of power, or defect being unknown to the public; (4) under color of an election or appointment by or pursuant to a public, unconstitutional law, before the same is adjudged to be such. 43 Am J1st Pub Of § 471. [2]

Various Types of Administrative Agencies:

credit bureau (1874) An organization that compiles information on people’s creditworthiness and publishes it in the form of reports that are used chiefly by merchants and service-providers who deal directly with customers.  *  The practices of credit bureaus are regulated by federal (and often state) law.  Most bureaus are members of the Associated Credit Bureaus of America. — aka commercial agency; mercantile agency.  Cf. CREDIT-REPORTING BUREAU.

federal agency (1859) A department or other instrumentality of the executive branch of the federal government, including a government corporation an the Government Printing Office.  *  The Administrative Procedure Act defines the term agency negatively as being any US. governmental authority that does not include Congress, the courts, the government of the District of Columbia, the government of any territory or possession, courts-martial, or military authority. 5 USCA § 551.  The caselaw on this definition focuses on authority: generally, an entity is an agency if it has authority to take binding action.  Other federal statutes define agency to include any executive department, government corporation, government-controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch, or federal regulatory board.

independent agency (1902) A federal agency, commission, or board that is not under the direction of the executive, such as the Federal Trade Commission or the National Labor Relations Board. Also termed independent regulatory agency; independent regulatory commission.

local agency (1842) A political subdivision of a state.  *  Local agencies include counties, cities, school districts, etc.

quasi-governmental agency (1904) A government-sponsored enterprise or corporation (sometimes called a government-controlled corporation), such as the Federal National Mortgage Corporation.

state agency (1875) An executive or regulatory body of a state.  *  State agencies include state offices, departments, divisions, bureaus, boards, and commissions. — aka state body. [1]

administrative law – (1896) 1. The law governing the organization and operation of administrative agencies (including executive and independent agencies) and the relations of administrative agencies with the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, and the public.  *  Administrative law is divided into three parts: (1) the statutes endowing agencies with powers and establishing rules of substantive law relating to those powers; (2) the body ofagency-made law, consisting of administrative rules, regulations, reports, or Opinions containing findings of fact, and orders; and (3) the legal principles governing the acts of public agents when those acts conflict with private rights. [1]

1. The law that controls, or is intended to control, the administrative operations of government. 1 Am J2d Adm L § 1. [2]

1. The body of law that controls the way in which administrative agencies operate.

2. Regulations issued by administrative agencies. [3]

     “Administrative law deals with the field of legal control exercised by law-administering agencies other than courts, and the field of control exercised by courts over such agencies.” Felix Frankfurter, The Task of Administrative Law, 75 U. Pa. L. Rev. 614, 615 (1927).

     “[A]dministrative law is to labor law, securities regulation, and tax what civil procedure is to contracts, torts, and commercial law. Administrative law studies the way government institutions do things. It is therefore the procedural component to any practice that affects or is affected by government decisionmakers other than just the courts. Its study goes beyond traditional questions; it explores a variety of procedures and it develops ideas about decisionmaking and decisionmakers.” 1 Charles H. Koch, Administrative Law and Practice § 1.2, at 2 (2d ed. 1997).

international administrative law (1887) 1. The internal law and rules of international organizations.  2. The substantive rules of international law that directly refer to the administrative matters of individual states.  3. Domestic administrative law specifically concerned with international problems or situations. — aka administrative international law.


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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