Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies
CSDI Co-Director David E. Lewis and CSDI Ph.D. Candidate, Jennifer L. Selin recently presented their report, The Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies (Dec. 2012) to a plenary session of the Administrative Conference of the United States. The report describes the agencies of the federal executive establishment, their diverse characteristics, their place in the executive, and how their features influence political control and performance. It describes the evolution of the federal executive and notes emerging trends. The report will provide a valuable resource for members of Congress and their staffs, agency officials and the general public. A team of CSDI researchers worked over several months to provide the materials that form the basis of the report. A total of 55 statutory characteristics were tracked for 10 agencies in the Executive Office of the President, 15 executive departments, and 81 independent agencies. The report was released along with an electronic database of federal agencies and their characteristics as well as supplementary materials documenting all of the relevant statutory citations and language. The report and accompanying materials include detail about the location of each agency (e.g., EOP, Cabinet, independent agency, etc.), features of agency governance (e.g., commission, fixed terms, number of appointees), agency powers (e.g., power to raise funds, independent litigating authority), and aspects of agency political oversight (e.g., OMB and congressional reporting requirements, congressional committee jurisdiction).
The report was completed for the Administrative Conference of the United States. The Administrative Conference is an independent federal agency created to monitor and improve the fairness, efficiency and effectiveness of federal agency processes and practices through consensus-driven applied research. Conference Chair Paul Verkuil noted, "For agency general counsels, congressional staff, executive officials, and members of the judiciary, this is the place to broaden understanding of how agencies are organized."