- United States federal executive departments
The United States federal executive departments are among the oldest primary units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States—the Departments of State, War, and the Treasury all being established within a few weeks of each other in 1789.
Federal executive departments are analogous to ministries common in parliamentary or semi-presidential systems but, with the United States being a presidential system, their heads otherwise equivalent to ministers, do not form a government (in a parliamentary sense) nor are they led by a head of government separate from the head of state. The heads of the federal executive departments, known as secretaries of their respective department, form the traditional Cabinet, an executive organ that serves at the disposal of the president and normally act as an advisory body to the presidency.
Since 1792, by statutory specification, the cabinet constituted a line of succession, after the Speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate to the presidency in the event of a vacancy in both that office and the vice presidency. The Constitution refers to these officials when it authorizes the President, in Article II, section 2, to "require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices." In brief, they and their organizations are the administrative arms of the President.
Executive Departments of the present
All departments are listed by their present-day name and only departments with past or present cabinet-level status are listed. Order of succession has always included the Vice President; at times – including presently – the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate have also been included.
Department Creation Order of
Notes 2009 Outlays
Employees State 1781 4 Initially named "Department of Foreign Affairs" 16.39 18,900 Treasury 1789 5 19.56 115,897 Defense 1947 6 Initially named "National Military Establishment" 1947-49 651.16 3,000,000 Justice 1870 7 Position of Attorney General created in 1789, but had no department until 1870 46.20 112,557 Interior 1849 8 90.00 71,436 Agriculture 1862 9 134.12 109,832 Commerce 1903 10 Originally named Commerce and Labor; Labor later separated 15.77 43,880 Labor 1913 11 137.97 17,347 Health and Human Services 1953 12 Originally named Health, Education, and Welfare; Education later separated 879.20 67,000 Housing and Urban Development 1965 13 40.53 10,600 Transportation 1966 14 73.20 58,622 Energy 1977 15 24.10 109,094 Education 1980 16 45.40 4,487 Veterans Affairs 1989 17 Initially named "Veterans Administration" 97.70 235,000 Homeland Security 2002 18 40.00 208,000 Total outlays, employees: $3,997.80B 4,193,144
Seal of the Department of Agriculture
Seal of the Department of Commerce
Seal of the Department of Defense
Seal of the Department of Education
Seal of the Department of Energy
Seal of the Department of Health and Human Services
Seal of the Department of Homeland Security
Seal of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Seal of the Department of the Interior
Seal of the Department of Justice
Seal of the Department of Labor
Seal of the Department of State
Seal of the Department of Transportation
Seal of the Department of the Treasury
Seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Executive Departments of the past
Department Dates of Operation Notes Department of War 1789–1947 Renamed Department of the Army in 1947 Post Office Department 1792–1971 Reorganized as quasi-independent agency, United States Postal Service Department of Commerce and Labor 1903–1913 Divided between Department of Commerce and Department of Labor Department of the Army 1947–1949 From 1947-1949, these departments were executive departments with non-cabinet level secretaries who reported to the a civilian Secretary of Defense with cabinet rank but no department. From 1949 on, they were Military Departments within the Department of Defense Department of the Navy 1798–1949 Department of the Air Force 1947–1949 Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 1953–1979 Divided between Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education
- Relyea, Harold C. "Homeland Security: Department Organization and Management" (PDF), Report for Congress, 2002. RL31493 (August 7, 2002).
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- ^ http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/budget/FY2011BIB.html
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- ^ "Chapter 24: Peace Becomes Cold War, 1945-1950". American Military History. Army Historical Series. II. United States Army. 2005. pp. 531–533. http://www.history.army.mil/books/amh/amh-24.htm. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
United States federal executive departments
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