Quasi-Official Agencies: Roles & Purposes

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  • 0:01 Quasi-Official Agencies
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Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Federal agencies are not the only organizations that help provide services to businesses. Quasi-official agencies also impact businesses through their multiple roles and purposes.

Quasi-Official Agencies

How would you categorize the National Park Service or the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.? Would you consider them a federal agency? They actually have their own classification, called quasi-official agencies, which are not official executive agencies but are stipulated to publish information regarding their programs in the Federal Register.

In other words, the designation of a quasi-official agency is a catchall to categorize organizations that did not fit within the established framework of governmental federal agencies. Some examples of quasi-official agencies include Fannie Mae, United States Institute of Peace and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Let's examine the role of quasi-official agencies within the United States.

Roles and Purposes of Quasi Agencies

Quasi-official agencies tend to straddle both the private and government arena but are still highly political in nature. Although they are not government agencies, they have acquired powers through official agencies. They are staffed by private workers and are considered a hybrid organization. The government views these agencies as having the best of both worlds: private workers with government support.

Quasi-official agencies have specific roles. The first role is to make credit available to disadvantaged groups. The government created government sponsored enterprises (GSE), such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to help disadvantaged groups have access to credit and home ownership. These agencies were given GSE designation so that it did not appear that their financial loans were coming from the federal budget.

A second role of quasi-official agencies is to provide organized management, research and development. Quasi-official agencies, known as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), were created after World War II due to the need for specific science and engineering skills.

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