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Federal Agencies and Executive Branch: Administrative Agencies

GUIDE OUTLINE

Secondary Sources
     Treatises
     Journal Articles

Regulations
     Overview
     Federal Register
     Code of Federal Regulations

Regulatory History
     
Overview
     Compiled Regulatory Histories
     Conducting Regulatory History                        Research

Administrative Agencies
     Overview
     Administrative Decisions

Presidential Documents
     Presidential Proclamations and                        Executive Orders
     Presidential Directives
     Administrative Orders
     Reorganization Plans
     Other Presidential Information

FEDERAL AGENCY OVERVIEW

Federal agencies are part of the executive branch of the United States government. They are the means through which the government carries out and enforces law. Under the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946, an "agency" is any federal governmental authority other than Congress, the courts, and the military. The term "agency" is often used to refer to federal departments, sub-departments, and commissions.

The United States Government Manual provides an excellent overview of the executive branch of the government, including leadership tables and descriptions of every federal agency and its activities/programs. The Manual is the official handbook of the federal government.  It is published annually and includes a broad range of information on all three branches of government. The Appendix lists agencies terminated, transferred, or changed in name. Older editions of the Manual (1995-present) are available on govinfo.gov..

USA.gov also offers a full listing of federal agencies on its A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies. This website provides links to federal agency websites as well as contact information for every federal agency listed in the U.S. Government Manual. Agency websites are excellent sources of information about agency actions, staff, and related regulations.

ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS

Administrative decisions, or adjudications, are administrative actions of particular rather than general applicability that affect private rights of interest. Agency adjudications are not subject to the same procedural requirement found in the court system, but procedural safeguards do exist, particularly for formal (versus informal) adjudications.

There is no central source for accessing administrative decisions/agency adjudications. The sources below detail both free and subscription resources for accessing agency decisions, including the federal agency's website, official reports and publications, looseleaf services, and subscription databases.

The University of Virginia Library provides a detailed list of online access points for select federal agencies on its How Do I Find Government Information on Administrative Decisions research guide.

HeinOnline also has some official publications of agency decisions in its U.S. Federal Agency Documents, Decisions, and Appeals collection (on campus access or remotely with ASURITE).
 

AGENCY NAME DECISION SOURCE(S)
Agriculture Department

USDA website: 1996-present
ASU Library: 1942-1996 in print; 1942-present electronically (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1977-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1987-present (Lexis password required)

Benefits Review Board (Dept. of Labor)

DOL website: 1989-present
Westlaw: 1984-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1989-present (Lexis password required)

Board of Immigration Appeals (Dept. of Justice) DOJ website: 1995-present
ASU Library: 1940-2017 (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1940-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)

ATF website: 1998-2002
Westlaw: 1973-present (Westlaw password required)

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  
Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) (disestablished in 1985)

ASU Library: 1943-1984 (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1979-1984 (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1979 -1984 (Lexis password required)

Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA)

CBCA website: 2007-present
Westlaw: 2007-present  (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 2007-present (Lexis password required)

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

CFTC website: 1997-present
Westlaw: 1976-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury Dept.

Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury, Quarterly Journals: v.17 (1998) - v. 26 (2006)
Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury, Interpretations and Actions: 1996-present
ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: 1968-present (Westlaw password required)

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Office of the General Counsel

CPSC website: 1973-present
Westlaw: 1981-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies  by source (Lexis password required)

Contract Appeals Board—Armed Services

ASBCA website: 200-2019
Westlaw: 1955-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1951-present (Lexis password required)

Customs and Border Protection

CBP website, Customs Rulings: 1989-present
CBP website, Customs Decisions: 2002-present
ASU Library: 1967-current (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1962-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Education Department

Education website, Decisions: 1989-present
Westlaw: 1966-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Employees Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB) (Dept. of Labor)

DOL website: 1998-present
ASU Library: v.1 (1946-48)- 59 (2008) (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1976-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Environmental Appeals Board Decisions: 1992-present
Administrative Law Judge Decisions: 2005-present
ASU Library: 1972-present (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

EEOC website: 2000-present
Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

FCC website, Opinions and Orders: 1996-present
ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

FDIC website
Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Federal Election Commission (FEC)

FEC website

ASU Library: v.1 (1975)-current (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

FERC website, FERC Reporter: 2005-present
Westlaw: 1931-present (Westlaw password required)

Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA)

FLRA website:

ASU Library: 1981-present (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1970-present (Westlaw password required)

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) FMC website, Federal Maritime Commission Reports: 1919-1987
Formal Docket Decisions: 1980-present
ALJ Decisions: 1980-present
ASU Library: v.1 (1919)- 28 (1987) (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1984-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1980-present (Lexis password required)
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC)

FMSHRC website, Commission Decisions and ALJ Decisions: 1995-present
ASU Library: 1979-2003 (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1979-present (Westlaw password required)

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

FTC website:

ASU Library: v.1 (1915/1919)- 128 (1999) (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Health & Human Services

Departmental Appeals Board Decisions: 1974-present
Westlaw: coverage varies by office (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by office (Lexis password required)

Housing and Urban Development

HUD website
Fair Housing Act Cases: 1989-present
Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) (Labor Department  agency from 1933 to 1940; Justice Department Agency from 1940 to 2003;
ceased to exist in 2003 under the name INS)

DOJ website, Administrative Decisions: 1988-present
ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: 1991-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Interior Dept.

Interior Dept. website:

ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: varies by source (Lexis password required)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

IRS website, Internal Revenue Bulletin and Cumulative Bulletin: 1995-present

ASU Library:1953-present (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

International Trade Court

US Courts website, United States Court of International Trade Reports: 1999-present

ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: 1975-present (Westlaw password required)

Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)

ICC website:

ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Justice Department

DOJ website, Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice: 1992-present
ASU Library: (accessible on-campus)

Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Labor Department

Labor website, Office of the Administrative Law Judge—Decisions of the Administrative Review Boards: dates vary
Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)

MSPB website, Merit Systems Protection Board Reporter: 1979-present
ASU Library: 1994-1998 –  (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

NLRB website:

ASU Library: v.1 (1935/36) – present (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1935-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1935-present (Lexis password required)

National Mediation Board (NMB)

NMB website, Determinations of the National Mediation Board: 2018-present
ASU Library: 1934-present
(accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1935-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1935-current (Lexis password required)

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

NTSB website, National Transportation Safety Board Decisions: 1992-present
ASU Library: v.1(1967) – 7 (1991) (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1967-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

NRC website, Advance Sheets: v.46 (1997) - present

ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: 1956-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC)

OSHRC website:

Westlaw: 1971-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), Commerce Dept.

PTO website:

ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: 1928-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

PBGC Opinion Letters: 1974-2016
Westlaw: 1974-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Post Office

Post Office website:

ASU Library: Official Opinions of the Solicitor for the Post Office Dept. 1873-1951 (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1957-current (Westlaw password required)

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

SEC website:

ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: coverage varies by source (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: coverage varies by source (Lexis password required)

Social Security Administration (SSA)

SSA website, Social Security Rulings: 1960-present
‚ÄčASU Library: dates vary (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)
Westlaw: 1960-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1960-present (Lexis password required)

Treasury Dept.

ASU Library: (accessible on-campus or remotely with ASURITE)

Westlaw: 1954-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1980-present (Lexis password required)

Veterans’ Affairs, Dept. of

Board of Veterans’ Appeals Decisions: 1992-present
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Decisions: 1990-present
Westlaw: 1989-present (Westlaw password required)
Lexis: 1990-present (Lexis password required)