Type of Agency Power, as Affecting Whether Power may be Delegated

The general rule is that delegated powers cannot be further delegated by a person to whom the powers are actually delegated.  But an administrative agency is conferred with the power to delegate its duties and powers in certain circumstances.  This may be either through an express or implied provision in a statute or through an implication based on the nature of that particular agency.

There are different types of agency powers and some among those powers are not permitted to be delegated.  Administrative officers or agencies cannot delegate those powers which are authorized by law to do only by them.  Powers which cannot be delegated also includes the following matters:

  • If an administrative agency head is vested with powers related to personal trust or confidence and s/he should exercise that power on the basis of his/her judgment or discretion, then that power cannot be delegated.[i]
  • An agency head can delegate an authorized employee with administrative as well as ministerial powers, but he is not permitted to delegate discretionary and quasi-judicial powers and functions unless there is a statute expressly permits such delegation.[ii]

[i] State ex rel. Cartwright v. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co., 662 P.2d 675, 679 (Okla. 1983)

[ii] In re Buttolph, 141 Vt. 601, 604-605 (Vt. 1982)


Inside Type of Agency Power, as Affecting Whether Power may be Delegated