Federal, state, and local governments throughout the United States include many administrative agencies within them. Administrative agencies range from large and well-known agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to smaller and more less-known agencies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. While federal administrative agencies are abundant and influential, state administrative agencies are just as numerous and powerful. For example, just like some federal agencies, many state administrative agencies have the power within their states to regulate air and water pollution, regulate the admission and licensing of professions, and regulate the administration of social welfare benefits.
What do Agencies do?
While federal administrative agencies execute the laws of the United States, state administrative agencies execute the laws of their respective states. Functionally, all administrative agencies can be lumped into three categories (according to the kind of regulatory authority that they are given). First, there are agencies that are primarily engaged in regulating private conduct. Second, there are agencies that are involved in administering entitlement programs, such as welfare, foodstamps, social security, Medicaid, and Medicare. Third, there are administrative agencies that do not fall neatly into the first two groups, but that hold certain regulatory powers (examples include the IRS collecting taxes and the Department of State issuing passports).
Whichever category an agency falls into, there are three types of agency action that an agency (whether federal or state) may be authorized to take. For one, an agency may be authorized to create enforceable rules. When an agency engages in rulemaking, it promotes a regulation that has the same force and effect as the law. Second, an administrative agency may be authorized to adjudicate certain matters within its jurisdiction. Like a court of law, when an agency engages in adjudication, it applies existing rules and laws to a set of facts to determine an outcome. Third, some administrative agencies may be authorized to exercise investigative powers, which include law enforcement powers.
Administrative Law Practice
R. Vaughn Gourley, P.C.’s attorneys possess a thorough understanding of administrative agencies and their policies, procedures, and regulations. Our administrative law attorneys assist clients throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, and Clark County in various administrative law matters both before federal and state administrative agencies. Given the pervasive character of governmental regulation and the sheer amount of federal and state administrative agencies in today’s society, individuals and businesses in almost every industry and sector of society may encounter the effects of an administrative agency at some point. Whether you need guidance in obtaining a business license, need help in obtaining a land use permit, or need assistance in working directly with a large administrative agency, our attorneys will work directly with you to protect your interests and to attain the goals that you desire. R. Vaughn Gourley, P.C.’s administrative law lawyers stand ready to represent you in your administrative law matters. Call us today, or use the Contact Us section of our website to have your particular question answered.