What Are Regulatory Bodies?

Regulatory bodies are governmental agencies that are created to oversee specific industries and practices. Some common U.S. regulatory bodies are the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, Food and Drug Administration, and the Federal Reserve System.

Regulatory bodies operate outside the jurisdiction of the executive branch of government in order to give them complete power over regulating their respective field. Regulatory bodies are able to impose regulations that have the force of law. They are also responsible for conducting trials and imposing consequences on those who have failed to observe regulations. However, similarly to how these bodies operate without executive oversight, they also conduct judicial hearings using a judge who is not a part of the judicial system. These steps are taken in order to insulate regulatory bodies from outside influences and preserve their credibility in the eyes of the public.

Each regulatory body is responsible for overseeing a specific industry or practice. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for enforcing federal safety standards upon goods and services created in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration regulates air transportation and safety, which includes overseeing pilot licensing. The Food and Drug Administration conducts food safety inspections and drug safety testing, while the Federal Reserve System oversees the U.S. banking system.