For the purpose of this title, “independent establishment” means-
- (1) an establishment in the executive branch (other than the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission) which is not an Executive department, military department, Government corporation, or part thereof, or part of an independent establishment; and
- (2) the Government Accountability Office.
- Independent agencies are not subject to direct control by the president or the executive branch, unlike executive agencies. The leaders of independent agencies do not serve as part of the president’s Cabinet.
- To create an independent agency, Congress passes a statute granting an agency the authority to regulate and control a specific area or industry.
- A commission, board, or body consisting of between five to seven members, on the other hand, typically leads independent agencies. The president appoints the board or commission members subject to the senate’s confirmation.
- Each member serves for a limited term, which is typically four years, and the members’ terms are staggered in order to prevent the complete turnover of the board all at once.
There are two principal ways that administrative agencies can be created: executive agencies and legislative agencies. Executive agencies are created by the president, while legislative agencies are established by an act of Congress.