Regulatory agencies are typically a part of the executive branch of the government and have statutory authority to perform their functions with oversight from the legislative branch. Their actions are generally open to legal review.
Regulatory agencies deal in the areas of administrative law, regulatory law, secondary legislation, and rulemaking (codifying and enforcing rules and regulations and imposing supervision or oversight for the benefit of the public at large). The existence of independent regulatory agencies is justified by the complexity of certain regulatory and supervisory tasks, and the drawbacks of political interference. Some independent regulatory agencies perform investigations or audits, and other may fine the relevant parties and order certain measures. In a number of cases, in order for a company or organization to enter an industry it must obtain a license to operate from the sector regulator. This license will set out the conditions by which the companies or organizations operating within the industry must abide.