An administrative agency is a government body which has the power to direct and supervise implementation of certain legislative statutes. Administrative agencies are made up of experts in the field in which the agency operates. Administrative agencies have the functions of rulemaking, investigation, and adjudication as directed by legislature.
While exercising adjudicatory function, an administrative agency can make another agency a party to administrative proceedings.
According to the Model State Administrative Procedure Act (MSAPA) of 1961, and Federal Administrative Procedure Act (FAPA), an agency comes under the meaning of a party to an agency proceeding. Under both the acts, a party to an agency proceeding includes any other agency that seeks to get admitted as a party in an administrative proceeding.[i]
According to the MSAPA of 1981, an agency comes under the meaning of person. A person is defined under MSAPA of 1981 as an individual, a partnership, a corporation, an association, or a governmental subdivision. A public or private organization or a legal entity also comes under the definition of a person. Another agency can also be called a person according to MSAPA.
Party to agency proceedings under MSAPA of 1981 means a person to whom an agency action is specifically directed. A person who can intervene in an administrative proceeding can also be considered as a party to a proceeding.[ii]
[i] 5 USCS § 551