Home | Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Law Library

Federal Administrative Law: Agency Decisions & Orders

What are agency decisions and orders?

Authorized by law and issued by a regulatory agency, administrative “decisions” adjudicate controversies arising out of the violation or interpretation of statutes and regulations. “Opinions” arise from a question regarding a contemplated action and advise on the interpretation of statutes and regulations. “Orders” refer to final actions or dispositions regarding an agency action. The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 (5 U.S.C. § 551 et. seq.) directs an administrative law judge (ALJ) to hear and decide regulatory disputes at the initial level. ALJ decisions can be appealed to the chief administrative officer of the regulatory agency.


How are they published?

There is no single comprehensive publication that indexes or reports administrative decisions, opinions, or orders. Agency decisions and orders can be found in either the official reports issued by a regulatory agency or in commercially published unofficial reports.

Some agencies have long-standing reporters that date back to the beginning of the regulatory activity. Others do not print any report but require interested parties to call and request each item. Many agencies are now making their material available via the internet.

Some commercial publishers include agency decisions in their publications. These unofficial reports can be found by performing a subject search in the library catalog to see if the library owns any services that deal with that area of law. Alternatively, researchers can consult legal research guides for the subject area of interest.


Locating and identifying sources for agency decisions

This guide contains a list of official publications owned by the Ross-Blakley Law Library as well as internet sites that contain decisions. Most of the official reports in this library are shelved in the Government Documents Collection on the first floor.

Government Information Resources: Administrative Decisions and Other Actions
This website by the University of Virginia Library provides links to administrative decisions and other actions arranged alphabetically by agency.

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications
Call Number: GP 3.8/7: The Current edition is located on the Law Gov Docs Index Table and is also available at http://catalog.gpo.gov/F. The Government Printing Office is in the process of creating Franklin, an online catalog for the National Bibliography of U.S. Government Publications. More information about Franklin can be found at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/cip/index.html.

How to Find the Law
Call Number KF240 .C538 1989. Appendix D, “Sources of Federal Regulatory Agency Rules, Regulations and Adjudications”, contains a fairly comprehensive list of administrative reports. Arranged alphabetically by agency, it lists the official reports, unofficial reports and whether the reports appear on Lexis or Westlaw.

Use a citator, such as Shepard's on LexisNexis or KeyCite on Westlaw, to find citations to decisions and orders of various federal administrative departments, courts, boards and commissions.


Agency Name

Title of Reporter

Gov. Docs Call Number

Agriculture Dept.

Agriculture Decisions

Law Gov Docs Stacks: A 1.58: v.1 (1942) –

From v.59 (Jan. 2000) to present:

Benefits Review Board (Dept. of Labor)


From 1986 to present:

Board of Immigration Appeals (Dept. of Justice)

Administrative Decisions Under Immigration and Nationality Law

Law Gov Docs Stacks: J 21.11: v.1 (1940) – 22 (2000)

From 1955 (v.8) to present:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)

Quarterly Bulletin
(contains Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm Rulings and Treasury Dept. Decisions dealing with ATF)

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 70.7: 1980–1992:2
Law Gov Docs Microforms: T 70.7: 1993–2000:1

June 1998–2002:

Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAB)

Decisions of the Civil Aeronautics Authority

Law Gov Docs Stacks: CAB 1.21: v.1 (1938/1940) – v.106 (March 1984)

Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA)


From 2007 to present:

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

Opinions and Orders

From 1997 to present:

Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office (GAO)

U.S. First Comptroller Decisions

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 13.5: v.1 (1880) – v.7 (1893–94)

Digest of Decisions of the Second Comptroller of the Treasury

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 14.5: v.1 (1817–65) – v.4 (1893–94)

Decisions of the Comptroller of the Treasury

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 15.5: v.1 (1894) – v.27 (1921)

Digest of Decisions of the Comptroller of the Treasury

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 15.6: 1894–1920 (1 v.)

Decisions of the Comptroller General of the United States

Law Gov Docs Stacks: GA 1.5: v.1 (1921) – v.73 (1993–94)

From Oct. 1995 to present:

Recent Decisions:

Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury Dept.

Quarterly Journal (Comptroller's Decisions)

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 12.18: v.1 (1981) – v.22 (2003)

From 1998 to present:

Interpretations and Actions (Corporate, CRA, Deposit Guarantee, and Mergers Decisions)

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 12.3/11x: v.5:3 (1992) –

From 1996 to present:

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Office of the General Counsel

Advisory Opinions

From 1973 to present:

Contract Appeals Board - Armed Services

Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals

From April 1996 to present:

Court of Federal Claims

Court of Claims Reports

Law Gov Docs Stacks: JU 3.9: v.113 (1949) – v.231 (1982)

Federal Claims Reporter

Law Core v.27 (1993) –

From 1997 to present:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Customs Rulings

From 1989 to present:

Customs Bulletin

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 17.6/3-5: v.1 (1967) – 20 (1986); v.23 (1989); v.32 (1998) – 33 (1999)
Law Gov Docs Microforms: T 17.6/3-5: v.21(1988) – 22(1988); v.24 (1990) – 36 (2002)

Customs Bulletin and Decisions

Law Gov Docs Stacks: T 17.6/3-4: v.37/1 – 37/14 (2003)
Law Gov Docs Stacks: HS 4.103: v.37/15 – 38/1 (2003)

From 2002 to present:

Defense Dept. See Military Courts



Education Department

Office of Hearings and Appeals Decisions

From 1989 to present:

Decisions of the Secretary

From 1989 to present:

Employees Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB) (Dept. of Labor)

Digest and Decisions of the Employees Compensation Appeals Board

Law Gov Docs Stacks: L 28.9: v.36 (1984) – 55 (2004)

From 1998 to present:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Environmental Appeals Board Decisions

From 1992 to present:

Decisions and Orders originating from the EPA's Office of Administrative Law Judges

From 1989 to present:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Decisions - Federal Sector

Law Gov Docs Microforms: Y 3.EQ2:18/: 9001–9195(1984), 1001(1984) – 96:10(1996)

From 2000 to present:

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Federal Communications Commission Reports: Decisions, Reports, and Orders

Law Gov Docs Stacks: CC 1.12: v.1 (1935) – 45 (1965); 2nd series v.1 (1965) – 99 (1985); v.100:1 (1985) – 104:4 (1986)

FCC Record: a Comprehensive Compilation of Decisions, Reports, Public Notices, and Other Documents

Law Gov Docs Stacks: CC 1.12/3: v. 1(1986) – 7:18(1992); v.8:19 (1993) –
Law Gov Docs Microforms: CC 1.12/3: v. 3:10–11(1988); v.7:17; v.19–26 (1992); v.8:1–18 (1993)

Memorandum Opinions and Orders

From 1996 to present:
(search by document type MO&O)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

FDIC Enforcement Decisions and Orders

From 1975 to present:

Federal Election Commission (FEC)

Federal Election Commission Record (digest of advisory opinions)

Law Gov Docs Stacks: Y 3.EL2/3:11: v.5 (1979) – v.27 (2001)

From 1990 to present:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Reporter

Law Gov Docs Stacks: E 2.17: v.1 (1977) –

From 2005 to present:

Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA)

Decisions of the Federal Labor Relations Authority

Law Gov Docs Stacks: Y 3.F31/21-3:10-4/:
v.1(1979) – 17 (1985); v.21 (1986) – v.26 (1987); v.29 (1987); v.47 (1993) – 48 (1994); v.50 (1995); v.60 (2005)
Law Gov Docs Microforms: Y 3.F31/21-3:10-4/:
v.18 (1985) – 28 (1987); v.30 (1988) – 59 (2004)
Law Gov Docs Stacks: Y 3.F 31/21-3:9/CASE NO.

From 1979 to present:

Administrative Law Judge Decisions

Law Gov Docs Stacks: Y 3.F31/21-3: 9-3/: v. 21 (1983) –

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)

Decisions of the Federal Maritime Commission

Law Gov Docs Stacks: FMC 1.10: v.7 (1961/1964) – 21(1978/1979); v.23 (1980/1981) – 28 (1987)
Law Gov Docs Microforms: FMC 1.10: v.21 (1978/1979) – 22 (1979/1980)

Formal Docket Decisions from 1987 to present:

Selected ALJ Decisions from 1998 to present:

Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC)

Decisions / Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission

Law Gov Docs Stacks: Y 3.M66:9: v.1 (1979) – 25:10 (2003); v.25:12 (2003)

Commission Decisions and ALJ decisions from 1995 to present:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Federal Trade Commission Decisions

Law Gov Docs Stacks: FT 1.11: v.1 (1915/19) – 128 (1999)

FTC Cases by Case Name from 1996 to present:

Adjudicative Opinions from 1996 to present:

Advisory and Staff Opinions

Advisory Opinions from 1982 to present:

Health & Human Services

Departmental Appeals Board Decisions

From 1974 to present:

Housing and Urban Development

Administrative Law Judges Decisions

Fair Housing Act Cases from 1989 to present:

Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) (Justice Dept.)

See Also: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Admin. Decisions Under Immigration and Nationality Laws

Law Gov Docs Stacks: J 21.11: v.1 (1940) – 22 (2000)

Admin. Decisions Under Employer Sanctions and Unfair Immigration Related Employment Practices Laws of the U.S.

Law Gov Docs Stacks: J 1.103: v.1 (1988) – 8 (2000)

From 1988 (v.1) to present:

Interior Dept.

Decisions of the Department of the Interior

Law Gov Docs Stacks: I 1.69: v.1 (1881) – v.101 (1994)

Interior Board of Land Appeals Decisions

Law Gov Docs Stacks: I 1.69/5x: v.18 (1975) – v.67 (1982)

From 1992:

Interior Board of Indian Appeals

Interior Board of Indian Appeals, from 1970 to present:

Indian Self-Determination Act Decisions, from 1997:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Internal Revenue Bulletin and Cumulative Bulletin

Law Tax KF6301.A4 (1919–21)
Law Tax KF6301.A41 – A44 (1923 – )

From 1995 to present:

International Trade Court United States Court of International Trade Reports

Law Gov Docs Stacks - JU 9.5/2: v.1 (1980) – 26 (2002)

From 1999 to present:

United States Customs Court Reports

Law Gov Docs Stacks - JU 9.5: v.1(1938) – 85 (1980)

Court of Customs Appeals Reports / Cases Decided in United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals

Law Gov Docs Stacks - JU 7.5: v.1 (1910/11) – 69 (1981/82)

Cases Decided in United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Law Gov Docs Stacks JU7.5/2: v.1 (1982/83) – 13 (1994/95)

Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)

Interstate Commerce Commission Reports 1st series

Law Gov Docs Stacks - IC 1.6: v.1 (1877) – 367 (1984)

Interstate Commerce Commission Reports 2nd series

Law Gov Docs Stacks - IC 1.6/10: v.1 (1984) – 10 (1995)

Surface Transportation Board Reports


Surface Transportation Board Decisions and Notices

From 1996 to present:

Justice Dept.

Official opinions of the attorneys general of the United States

Law Gov Docs Stacks - J 1.5: v.1 (1852) – 43 (1982)

Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice

Law Gov Docs Stacks - J 1.5/4:v.1 (1977) – 20 (1996)

From 1992 to present:

Labor Dept.

Office of the Administrative Law Judge (OALJ) - Decisions of the Administrative Review Boards

http://www.oalj.dol.gov/ (Dates vary)

Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)

United States Merit Systems Protection Board Reporter

Law Gov Docs Stacks - MS 1.10: v.1 (1979) – 13 (1983); v. 31 (1987) –

From 1979 to present:

Military Courts

West's Military Justice Reporter

Law Gov Docs Stacks - D 1.19B: v.1 (1978) –

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

Decisions and Orders of the National Labor Relations Board

Law Gov Docs Stacks - LR 1.8: v.1 (1935/36) –

Board Decisions, from v.1 (1935) to present:

ALJ Decisions from 2003 to present:

Regional Directors from 1995 to present:

National Mediation Board (NMB)

Determinations of the National Mediation Board

Law Gov Docs Stacks - NMB 1.2:C 84: v.1 (1930) – 5 (1978)
Law Gov Docs Stacks - NMB 1.9: v.6 (1976) – 30 (2003), 32 (2004/2005)

From 1998 to present:

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

National Transportation Safety Board Decisions

Law Gov Docs Stacks - TD 1.122: v.1(1967) – 7 (1991)

From 1992 to present:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Issuances

Law Gov Docs Stacks - Y 3.N88:11/: v.1(1975) – v.22(1985).
Law Gov Docs Microfiche - Y 3.N88:11/: v.23 (1986) – 26 (1987), v.28 (1988) – 59 (2004)

Advance Sheets - Nuclear Regulatory Commission Issuances

Law Gov Docs Stacks - Y 3.N88:11-2/: v.60(2004) –

From v.46, 1997 to present:

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHARC)

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Reports

Final Administrative Law Judge Decisions, from 1993 to present;
Final Commission Decisions, from 1972 to present:

Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), Commerce Dept.

Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents

Law Gov Docs Stacks - C 21.6: 1869–1968 (compiled from v. 1 – v.857 of the Official Gazette)

U.S. Patents Quarterly (USPQ)

Law Treatises KF2975.A2 U5: v.1 (1929) – 231(1986)

U.S. Patents Quarterly (USPQ) Weekly Advance Sheets

Law Treatises KF2975 .A2 U51

Final Decisions of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) from 1997 to present:

Precedential BPAI opinions (dates vary):

Informative BPAI opinions - recent:

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Decisions, from 1994 to present:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

PBGC Opinion Letters

From 1974 to present:

Post Office

Official Opinions of the Solicitor for the Post-Office Dept.

Law Gov Docs Stacks - P 6.5: v.1(1873/85) – 9 (1936/51)

Administrative Decisions

From 1957 to present:

Purchasing Protest Decisions

From 1987 to present:

Board of Contract Appeals Decisions

From 1990 to present:

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Securities and Exchange Commission Decisions and Reports

Law Gov Docs Stacks - SE 1.11: v.1 (1934/1936) – 56 (2003)

SEC Docket

Law Gov Doc Stacks - SE 1.29: 1973 – 1983
Law Gov Docs Microforms - SE 1.29: v.24 (1981) –

Federal Court Actions/Litigation Releases from 1995 to present:

Administrative Proceedings, 1995 to present:

Commission Opinions, 1996 to present:

ALJ Decisions and Orders, from 1965 to present:

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Social Security Rulings - Disability

Law Gov Docs Stacks - HE 3.6: D63/2: 1961–1986

Social Security Acquiescence Rulings

Law Gov Docs Stacks - HE 3.6/2-2: 1988–1995
Law Gov DocsS tacks - SSA 1.6/2:1995

Social Security and Acquiescence Rulings (currently in effect) from 1960 to present:

Tax Court

Reports of the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals

Law Tax KF6280.A2 T36: v.1 (1924) – 47 (1942)

Reports of the Tax Court of the United States

Law Tax KF6280.A2 T37: v.1 (1942) – 53 (1969)

Reports of the United States Tax Court

Law Tax KF6280 .A2 T38: v.54 (1970) –

TC and Memorandum Opinions, from 1995 to present;
Summary Opinions, from 2001 to present:

Treasury Dept.

Treasury Decisions

Law Gov Docs Stacks - T 1.11: v.1 (1899) – 101 (1966)

Customs Bulletin

Law Gov Docs Stacks - T 17.6/3-5: v.1 (1967) – 20 (1986); v.23 (1989); v.32 (1998) – 33 (1999)
Law Gov Docs Microforms - T 17.6/3-5 (Cabinet 3): v.21 (1988) – 22 (1988); v.24 (1990) – 36 (2002)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Bulletin, from 2002 to present:

Veterans' Affairs, Dept. of

Veterans' Appeals Board. Decisions.

Board of Veterans' Appeals Decisions, from 1992 to present:

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Decisions, from 1990 to present:


PO BOX 877806 • 1102 S MCALLISTER AVE • TEMPE, AZ 85287-7806 • 480-965-6144 • FAX: 480-965-4283