Congress creates administrative agencies and delegates to them the authority to act, but they are part of the executive branch. Administrative agencies generate rules and regulations, much like a legislature generates statutes. These administrative rules and regulations help further interpret a statute. Additionally, agencies may conduct hearings and issue decisions concerning matters that fall under their jurisdiction, much like a court. Finally, agencies may also investigate and enforce violations.
According to the Administrative Prodecure Act:
"agency" means each authority of the Government of the United States, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency, but does not include— (A) the Congress; (B) the courts of the United States; (C) the governments of the territories or possessions of the United States; the government of the District of Columbia;... agencies composed of representatives of the parties or of representatives of organizations of the parties to the disputes determined by them;(F) courts martial and military commissions;(G) military authority exercised in the field in time of war or in occupied territory; or (H) functions conferred by sections 1738, 1739, 1743, and 1744 of title 12; subchapter II of chapter 471 of title 49; or sections 1884, 1891–1902, and former section 1641 (b)(2), of title 50, appendix;....
5 U.S.C. sec. 551(1) (2006).
Everyone in the United States is touched in some way by administrative law. While researching administrative law can be intimidating, this guide will provide you with resources to make the task easier.