What Is Administrative Agency;Functions And Examples In Judiciary

An administrative agency is a governmental authority, other than a legislative or judicial body, that has the power to affect the rights of private parties either through the formation of rules or through adjudication. Administrative law is that branch of public law that regulates administrative agencies in the exercise of their various powers. Such agencies include the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal Communications Commission, the Social Security Administration, the Workers’ Compensation Board, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

What Is Administrative Agency;Functions And Examples In Judiciary

Literally hundreds of such federal, state and local agencies exist. Administrative agencies are involved in one way or another in practically every aspect of business. The scope of administrative law is expanding because of the increasing complexity of the economic, industrial, and social life in the United States. Legislatures and courts have neither the technical knowledge nor the time to deal with the many complicated problems that face the nation. Advances in technology require special training and experience to attempt to solve the problems. It is obvious that every legislator, judge, and executive cannot have all of the knowledge required in handling problems in such complicated fields as taxation, atomic enetv. labor relations, consumer rights. transportation, and communications. Also, the merging of many of the legislative, judicial, and executive functions saves money.

Members of administrative agencies are usually appointed. In the case of federal agencies, they are by the President with the consent of two thirds of the members of the Senate. B. POWERS Most administrative agencies are created by and receive their powers from the legislature; that is, the legislature delegates its power to the administrative agency.

Administrative Agency May have Executive power, Legislative power, And  Judicial power


Most administrators have the power to investigate and administer. For example, they may subpoena witnesses to appear and testify, subpoena documents, and administer its rules. The power is a continuing one; thus, the agency can put a party on probation and require that he make periodic reports to show whether Or not he complied with the law.


Most administrators have the power to make appropriate regulations to cope with the problems within the jurisdiction of the agency. Thus, the agency may make rules regarding taxes, unfair methods of competition, fish and game, prices, and contracts, to name a few, This is similar to a legislature’s enacting a statute.


Most administrators have the power to hear cases within the jurisdiction of the subject matter of the agency (e. g. , tax liability, unfair competition, and unfair labor practice). This is similar to a court of law’s hearing and rendering a decision in a case. The Internal Revenue Service is an example of an agency having all three powers. The IRS enacts rules regarding taxes (a legislative function). It investigates, collects taxes, and administers its rules (an executive function). It makes determinations on tax liabilities (a judicial function).


The government must generally provide a hearing before acting in a manner that will cause serious injury to a party (e.g., suspending a driver’s license). However, in some cases, the government can act and provide a hearing later (e. g., cutting off disability benefits. discharging a civil service employee, effecting an emergency bank seizure, or calling a public health emergency, such as destruction of spoiled poultry). If the agency acts before a hearing, it can have practical consequences. The party seeking a hearing {ater has the burden of proof and the cost of going forward. Often this is a deterrent to any action by the party. The hearing must be conducted at a time when the parties have had an opportunity to prepare their cases, and the hearing must be conducted in a meaningful manner. The parties must have had timely and adequate notice detailing the reasons for the proposed hearing. A hearing officer can be disqualified by a showing that he or she is actually biased. Also, an ex parte contact with one of the parties would violate hearing procedure (e.g., having dinner with one of the parties and discussing the case).


The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies occurs when a person attempts to block an administrative proceeding about to begin, or interrupt one that has already begun, by going to court for relief rather than by seeking relief at the administrative level. The general rule is that a person cannot seek judicial review for a threatened injury until the prescribed administrative remedy has been exhausted. The reasons for the rule are as fol lows: 1. It permits full development of the facts prior to judicial review.

2. It enables the agency to employ the discretion or expertise expected of

3. It avoids piecemeal appeals from administrative agencies.

4. Administrative proceedings will not be circumvented by appeal to the courts.

5. It helps prevent the court dockets from being clogged.

6. It recognizes the autonomy of the agency and its right to transact business without undue interruption.


Some of the complaints against administrative agencies are as follows: 1. The government, through its agencies, has become too big and too hard to control and supervise. As the size of these agencies increases, the ability of the people to control those in political power becomes less and less. 2, The same persons who establish the agency’s rules act as prosecutor and as judge to determine whether or not the rules have been violated. One of our basic constitutional provisions is the separation of the powers of the government. Yet administrative agencies have in most cases legislative, judicial, and executive powers that violate this basic premise.

by Abdullah Sam
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