What U.S. government entities are a division of no cabinet department?

The CIA is one, I believe. What are others?


List in Independent Agencies.

The CIA may be an independent agency but since 2004 its head reports to the Director of National Intelligence.


Lots. Wikipedia has a an article listing several examples. Most regulatory boards and commissions are independent agencies, as is the US Postal Service, the Federal Reserve (if you want to consider that a government agency), and everybody’s favorite, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.


There is no organization in the United States government named Nasa. Did you perhaps mean NASA?

I’ve noticed that the BBC has started titlecasing acronyms: “Nasa” instead of “NASA”. (Example.) Perhaps Siam Sam is using BBC style.

I think “Nasa,” as opposed to “NASA,” is a division of the CIA, specializing in sniffing out spies.

  1. The SDMB will not allow a post with all caps.

  2. Stop being obtuse; you knew what he meant.

The term “NASA” is not defined in the US Code. Perhaps you meant the “National Aeronautics and Space Administration?”

So the heads of independent agencies do not serve at the pleasure of the President? I gather they are nominated and confirmed as all executive branch officers are, but the President can’t fire them?


It depends on the controlling legislation which establishes the agency in question. Most things that are organized as boards and commissions have members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate but who can not be fired by the President. For example, the SEC:

On the other hand, for NASA:

The Wikipedia article lists entities in the Executive Branch. There are also government entities in the other two branches, including the Congress, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court.

Anyone know why the National Transportation Safety Board isn’t under the Department of Transportation? It would seem like an obvious fit.

Same question with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy or the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor.

Because all of those agencies are commissioned to do investigations, adjudicate disputes, and promulgate new regulations (or recommendations, in the case of the NTSB.) They therefore require a measure of independence from the administration, which is why they are not placed within the cabinet departments, whose job is to execute policy at the direction of the President.

Nitpick: The president can fire them, but only upon a showing of good cause (as opposed to other officials who, as you pointed out, can be fired for any reason at all). See here for a little discussion.

That’s the style the newspapers over here write too, and it’s the style I use. Sue me if you don’t like it.

The Smithsonian Institution is a US federal entity, but not part of the executive, legislative, or judicial branches. It is a “trust instrumentality,” governed by a Board of Regents that includes the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Vice President, three Senators, three Representatives, and nine citizen members. Appropriations come through the Department of the Interior, but the Institution doesn’t belong to it.