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The Federal Bureaucracy

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The Federal Bureaucracy

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The Federal Bureaucracy

The Federal Bureaucracy

The Federal Bureaucracy

The Federal Bureaucracy

The federal bureaucracy is huge: roughly 2.6 million employees, plus many freelance contractors. Everybody in the bureaucracy works to administer the law. For the most part, the executive branch manages the federal bureaucracy. Although the executive branch controls the majority of the federal bureaucracy, the legislative and judiciary branches also have some influence. Congress, for example, controls the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service, and the Government Accountability Office, among other bureaucracies. Through its power of oversight, Congress also monitors the federal bureaucracy to make sure that it acts properly. The courts sometimes get involved in the bureaucracy when issues of law and constitutionality arise, such as when a civil service regulation is violated or if an agency oversteps its jurisdiction.

There are five types of organizations in the federal bureaucracy:

  1. Cabinet departments
  2. Independent executive agencies
  3. Independent regulatory agencies
  4. Government corporations
  5. Presidential commissions

Cabinet Departments

The executive office consists of fifteen departments, as shown by the table on the next page. Each department is headed by a secretary.

 
CABINET DEPARTMENTS

Department

Date Established

State1789
Treasury1789
Interior1849
Justice1870
Agriculture1889
Commerce1913
Labor1913
Defense1947
Housing and Urban Development1965
Transportation1967
Energy1977
Health and Human Services1979
Education1979
Veterans’ Affairs1988
Homeland Security2002

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