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Legislative definitions of a federal agency are varied, and even contradictory, and the official United States Government Manual offers no definition. While the Administrative Procedure Act definition of "agency" applies to most executive branch agencies, Congress may define an agency however it chooses in enabling legislation, and subsequent litigation, often involving the Freedom of Information Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. These further cloud attempts to enumerate a list of agencies.
The executive branch of the federal government includes the Executive Office of the President and the United States federal executive departments (whose secretaries belong to the Cabinet). Employees of the majority of these agencies are considered civil servants.
The majority of the independent agencies of the United States government are also classified as executive agencies (they are independent in that they are not subordinated under a Cabinet position). There are a small number of independent agencies that are not considered part of the executive branch, such as the Library of Congress and Congressional Budget Office, administered directly by Congress and thus are legislative branch agencies.
Agencies and other entities within the legislative branch:
Agencies within the judicial branch:
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