Congress is responsible for creating independent regulatory agencies. The core of those agencies lies in the fact that they have independency from the executive offices. Those entities do not have the responsibility of applying their propositions for the review to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The primary aim of those organizations is to offer the standards for various areas of the community’s activities. Independent regulatory agencies should impose rules and guidelines that do not have any political impact and should have accountability for those rules.


The period between the 19th and the 20th century is symbolized by the active emergence of those organizations in the US. The primary purpose was to straighten things up in various country’s industries that required alterations in a non-political environment. The Interstate Commerce Commission became the first independent regulatory organization and existed until the end of the 20th century. With time, the key objectives of those agencies were reformed and started to include not only commercial aspects of the economy, but also different issues connected to health, safety, and nature protection.

Some of the examples of independent regulatory authorities that started to exist later are the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. There are many independent regulatory organizations in the US that direct their activities towards different purposes. One distinctive feature of these types of establishment is that their commissioners have independency from the president of the US. In other words, the only way to take power away from the agency’s decisions or the board is according to some causes, through impeachment. Consequently, the commissioners can have an unlimited period of service for one specific independent agency.

Most of the independent regulatory authorities control large businesses, and they provide standards and regulations to a higher number of big entities than the executive agencies.

For instance, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an example of the agency that holds independence from the executive departments. The NRC was founded by Congress in 1975, and it seeks to protect people and the environment. An interesting fact that it came to existence from the Atomic Energy Commission that was responsible for the nuclear regulations. Still, because of numerous complaints and attacks against AEC, the decision to eliminate the agency and delegate the duties to other organizations. The fundamental function of this independent regulatory agency is to make sure that the use of radioactive materials will not harm the country’s population or ecosystem. Thus, NRC is responsible for the regulations of commercial nuclear power plants and other establishments that imply the use of radioactive materials. NRC does not depend on politics, and administrative offices cannot influence its’ practices or standards.

Another significant point about independent regulatory commissions is their subjectivity to the Regulatory Flexibility Act. As far as most of those agencies have an influence on mostly big entities, the small businesses are not that much at stake from their regulations. However, there are still regulatory authorities whose activities and propositions might impact small organizations. Thus, several independent agencies have to comply carefully with the RFA principles and take into consideration the implications of their regulations. Among those commissions, there are Federal Trade Commission, Farm Credit Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Credit Union Administration, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and others.

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