Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many federal agencies are there?
  • That question is difficult to answer because "federal agency" can be defined in many different ways (for further discussion on this point, please see What is a Federal Agency?). There are currently 15 executive agencies (the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, the Interior, and the Treasury), but most people would consider other organizations beneath those categories agencies as well (such as the Farm Service Agency, which is within the Department of Agriculture, or the Missile Defense Agency, which is within the Department of Defense). There are also countless offices, centers, bureaus, programs, administrations, councils, divisions, organizations, and directives within the federal government, and these organizations are frequently reorganized.

    The Federal Agency Index uses the U.S. Government Manual as its organizing guide. One way for you to estimate the approximate number of federal agencies is to look at the Manual's Appendix C, Agencies Appearing in the Code of Federal Regulations. That list may not be up-to-the-moment, and it is up to you to decide whether to count the indented sub-agencies included under the main headings.

  • Can I get a copy of the list for my own use?
  • The Federal Agency Index is kept only in html format, so it is impossible for the list's information to be disseminated separately.

  • Can you add my link to your website?
  • The Federal Agency Index is exactly that -- an index list of the websites of Federal Agencies. If you are not the representative of a Federal Agency listed within the U.S. Government Manual, then we cannot include your website within the Federal Agency Index.

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This page currently maintained by Michelle Donlin Last update: 6/11/13.