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US Federal Government Information: Agency Information

Information on this page

Agencies are often described as the fourth branch of government. This is the work of agencies is the work of the federal government that most closely affects our lives.

Most agencies are administered through the executive branch, which executes the laws, and the work of agencies allows for this to happen. Agencies provide rules and regulations and decisions that help with this. Some definitions from Merriam Webster:

Regulationan authoritative rule dealing with details or procedure

RuleA prescribed guide for conduct

Unified Agenda: Semi-annual compilation about regulations under development by agencies

Executive Office of the President (EOP)

The Executive Office of the President was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. The EOP now consists of such entities as the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget.

Tips on Finding Agency Information

  • Check agency's website
  • Google strategically
  • Don't forget the Library [government depository]
  • Consult the Catalog of Government Publications.​
  • Utilize NARA or Yale's databases for historical sources

The document below has greater detail on how to search these effectively.

Unified Agenda

The Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions is published every spring and fall and announces federal agencies' regulatory plans. Beginning in 2007, the Unified Agenda only includes rulemaking actions with significant economic impact.

Tracking federal regulations

There are quite a few ways to track federal regulations. Some of the resources listed below are official government sites, while others are tools that aggregate information from many sources (including government documents) to allow users to monitor regulatory activities.

Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations

The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations. It also includes executive orders and other presidential documents.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

Administrative decisions, rules, and regulations

Administrative rules and regulations are issued by government agencies in response to congressional laws. Regulations are published first in the Federal Register and then are incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations. For more information about the rulemaking process, check out the following:

These resources will direct you to administrative decisions and actions that are outside the scope of the Federal Register and the CFR.

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