Classification of Powers of Administrative Agencies

Administrative agencies, in order to realize their purpose efficiently and effectively, need wider power and discretion. For this reason, they blend together three powers of government: executive, legislative and judicial powers. Even though in principle the later two powers belong to the legislature and courts, granting such powers has become a compulsive necessity for an effective and efficient administration.
Administrative agency rules and regulations often have the force of law against individuals. This tendency has led many critics to charge that the creation of agencies circumvents the constitutional directive that laws are to be created by elected officials. According to these critics, administrative agencies constitute an unconstitutional, another bureaucratic branch of government with powers that exceed those of the three recognized branches (the legislative, executive, and judiciary). In response, supporters of administrative agencies note that agencies should be created and overseen by elected officials, or the president. Agencies are created by an enabling statute; a state or federal law gives birth to agency and outlines the procedures for the agency’s rule-making. Furthermore, agencies include the public in their rule-making processes. Thus, by proxy, agencies are the will of the electorate.
Supporters of administrative agencies also note that agencies are able to adjudicate relatively minor or exceedingly complex disputes more quickly or more flexibly than the state and federal courts, which helps to preserve judicial resources and promotes swift resolutions. Opponents argue that swiftness and ease at the expense of fairness are not virtues, the thrive of the administrative agencies.