The federal government has established a number of agencies and programs that implement and enforce laws. Some familiar government agencies include:
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – This agency is charged with implementing environmental laws
- Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) – This agency enforces laws relating to alcohol, tobacco, and firearms
- Social Security Administration – This program gives people social security benefits
Individual states also have agencies to benefit and protect their citizens.
Government agencies perform three kinds of services:
- Implementation – When the legislative branch of the government creates a law or policy, there is a coordinating agency charged with implementing the law. For example, when the government passes an environmental law they may use the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the law.
- Entitlement – Entitlement agencies are designed to provide benefits to and guarantee the rights of people. An example of an entitlement agency is the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration provides retirement and disability benefits to people who are entitled to them.
- Enforcement – Some agencies are created to enforce the law. An example of an enforcement agency is the Department of Justice. The Department of justice investigates violations of the law. They also arrest and charge those who have criminally violated the law.
Whether you are fighting a social security benefit denial or applying for a liquor license, the applicable administrative laws are complex and confusing. An attorney can help you better understand your matter and your rights in dealing with whatever government agency you have a conflict with. More importantly, an experienced government lawyer will know what you can do to resolve the conflict.