Chapter 2

Researching Administrative Law

2.2 Agencies

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Research in administrative law may begin with a search for information about the agency or agencies involved. Minnesota NorthStar is the official government portal for the State and provides up-to-date information about state administrative agencies, boards and commissions.[1] It contains information about executive branch agencies as well as multi-member boards and other commissions whose members are citizens appointed by the governor.

The Minnesota Legislative Manual,[2] formerly known as “the blue book” is now available online. It contains more concise information about all branches and levels of Minnesota government, including state agencies and local political subdivisions. It also contains an explanation of how the legislature functions, as well as a listing of all legislators and their committee assignments.

Many agencies also have self-published material available which describes their organization and duties. State agencies’ websites are hosted on Minnesota Northstar[3] and often provide useful information. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s website, (http://www.pca.state.mn.us/) for example, provides an organization chart for the agency,[4] information on its citizen board and its committee meeting schedule,[5] publications available from the agency,[6] its rules,[7] its news releases,[8] information on the air[9] and water permit application review process,[10] and links to Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

There are several resources that provide information about agencies and their officers in all fifty states. The Administrative Rules section[11] of the National Association of [State] Secretaries of State[12] website and Washburn Law’s Directory of State Information are excellent starting points.[13]

Research in Minnesota administrative law often leads to federal laws and agencies, since a number of federal and state programs intertwine. Several sources provide information about the United States government. The United States Government Manual[14] is the official compilation of information about federal administrative agencies. The federal government’s online portal USA.gov[15] is another helpful resource for searching federal and state websites. Additional resources are discussed in Section 2.4 on Federal Regulations.


[1] State Agencies, Boards, Commissions, Minnesota.Gov, http://mn.gov/portal/government/state/agencies-boards-commissions/ (last visited Sept. 29, 2014).

[2] Minnesota Legislative Manual, Minnesota Secretary of State, http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=1744 (last visited Sept. 29, 2014).

[3] Minnesota.Gov, http://mn.gov/portal/ (last visited Sept. 29, 2014).

[4] About Us, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/index.html (last visited Sept. 29, 2014).

[5] MPCA Citizen’s Board, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-overview/mpca-citizens-board/index.html (last visited Sept. 29, 2014).

[6] MPCA Publications , Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-publications/index.html (last visited Sept. 29, 2014).

[7] Regulations , Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/regulations/index.html (last visited Sept. 29, 2014).

[8] MPCA News Releases, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-news/current-news-releases/list.html (last visited Sept. 29, 2014).

[9] Air , Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/air/index.html (last visited Oct. 1, 2014).

[10] Water , Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/index.html (last visited Oct. 1, 2014).

[11] Administrative Codes & Registers Section of NASS, AdministrativeRules.org, http://www.administrativerules.org/ (last visited Oct. 1, 2014).

[12] National Association of Secretaries of State, http://www.nass.org/ (last visited Oct. 1. 2014).

[13] WashLaw, http://www.washlaw.edu/uslaw/index.html (last visited Oct. 1, 2014).

[14] Office of the Federal Register, United States Government Manual available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=GOVMAN .

[15] USA.gov, http://www.usa.gov/ (last visited Oct. 1, 2014).