15 USC 1501: Establishment of Department; Secretary; seal
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15 USC 1501: Establishment of Department; Secretary; seal Text contains those laws in effect on May 19, 2022
From Title 15-COMMERCE AND TRADECHAPTER 40-DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

§1501. Establishment of Department; Secretary; seal

There shall be at the seat of government an executive department to be known as the Department of Commerce, and a Secretary of Commerce, who shall be the head thereof, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and whose term and tenure of office shall be like that of the heads of the other executive departments; and the provisions of title 4 of the Revised Statutes, including all amendments thereto, shall be applicable to said department. The said Secretary shall cause a seal of office to be made for the said department of such device as the President shall approve, and judicial notice shall be taken of the said seal.

(Feb. 14, 1903, ch. 552, §1, 32 Stat. 825 ; Feb. 17, 1909, ch. 137, §§1, 2, 35 Stat. 626 ; Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 297, §1, 35 Stat. 861 ; Mar. 4, 1913, ch. 141, §1, 37 Stat. 736 ; Mar. 3, 1917, ch. 163, §1, 39 Stat. 1111 ; Mar. 4, 1925, ch. 549, §4, 43 Stat. 1301 .)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, referred to in text, was entitled "Provisions Applicable to All Executive Departments", and consisted of R.S. §§158 to 198. For provisions of the Code derived from such title 4, see sections 101, 301, 303, 304, 503, 2952, 3101, 3106, 3341, 3345 to 3349, 5535, 5536 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees; section 207 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure; sections 514, 520 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure; section 3321 of Title 31, Money and Finance.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 591 of Title 5 prior to the general revision and enactment of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, by Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 378 .


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Transfer of Functions

A Department of Labor, under charge of a Commissioner of Labor, was established by act June 13, 1888, ch. 380, 25 Stat. 182 , and by section 9 of that act, the Bureau of Labor created under act June 27, 1884, ch. 127, 23 Stat. 60 , was to cease on the organization of the Department. The Department of Commerce and Labor, as an Executive Department, with a Secretary of Commerce and Labor as the head thereof, was established by act Feb. 14, 1903, ch. 552, 32 Stat. 825 , and by section 4 of that act, the Department of Labor was placed under the jurisdiction and made a part of the Department of Commerce and Labor with various other offices, bureaus, and branches of the public service also transferred to and placed under the jurisdiction of the Department so established. In subsequent appropriation and other acts, the Department of Labor was designated as the Bureau of Labor in that Department. But by act March 4, 1913, ch. 141, 37 Stat. 736 , a new executive department was created, to be called "The Department of Labor," with a Secretary of Labor to be the head thereof, and the Department of Commerce and Labor was thereafter to be called the Department of Commerce, and the Secretary thereof to be called the Secretary of Commerce.


Executive Documents

Transfer of Functions

Functions of all other officers of Department of Commerce and functions of all agencies and employees of such Department, with a few exceptions, transferred to Secretary of Commerce, with power vested in him to authorize their performance or the performance of any of his functions by any such officers, agencies, and employees by Reorg. Plan No. 5 of 1950, §§1, 2, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3174, 64 Stat. 1263, set out below.

Deputy Secretary of Commerce

For provisions directing the President to appoint a Deputy Secretary of Commerce, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, with the Deputy Secretary to receive compensation at the rate payable for Level II of the Executive Schedule and with the Deputy Secretary to perform such duties and exercise such powers as the Secretary may from time to time prescribe, see section 2(b)(1) of 1979 Reorg. Plan No. 3, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Creation of the Office of Deputy Secretary of Commerce by section 2(b)(1) of 1979 Reorg. Plan. No. 3 effective Dec. 7, 1979, see Ex. Ord. 12175, set out as a note under section 2171 of Title 19, Customs Duties.

Order of Succession

For order of succession during any period when both Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Commerce are unable to perform functions and duties of office of Secretary, see Ex. Ord. No. 13242, Dec. 18, 2001, 66 F.R. 66260, listed in a table under section 3345 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 5 OF 1950

Eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3174, 64 Stat. 1263, as amended July 2, 1954, ch. 456, title III, §304, 68 Stat. 430

Prepared by the President and transmitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress assembled, March 13, 1950, pursuant to the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, approved June 20, 1949 [see 5 U.S.C. 901 et seq.].

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Section 1. Transfer of Functions to the Secretary

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, there are hereby transferred to the Secretary of Commerce all functions of all other officers of the Department of Commerce and all functions of all agencies and employees of such Department.

(b) This section shall not apply to the functions vested by the Administrative Procedure Act (60 Stat. 237) [see 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq. and 701 et seq.] in hearing examiners employed by the Department of Commerce, nor to the functions of the Civil Aeronautics Board, of the Inland Waterways Corporation, or of the Advisory Board of the Inland Waterways Corporation.

Sec. 2. Performance of Functions of Secretary

The Secretary of Commerce may from time to time make such provisions as he shall deem appropriate authorizing the performance by any other officer, or by any agency or employee, of the Department of Commerce of any function of the Secretary, including any function transferred to the Secretary by the provisions of this reorganization plan.

Sec. 3. Administrative Assistant Secretary

[Repealed. July 2, 1954, ch. 456, title III, §304, 68 Stat. 430 . Section authorized an Administrative Assistant Secretary of Commerce.]

Sec. 4. Incidental Transfers

The Secretary of Commerce may from time to time effect such transfers within the Department of Commerce of any of the records, property, personnel, and unexpended balances (available or to be made available) of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of such Department as he may deem necessary in order to carry out the provisions of this reorganization plan.

Message of the President

To the Congress of the United States:

I transmit herewith Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1950, prepared in accordance with the Reorganization Act of 1949 and providing for reorganizations in the Department of Commerce. My reasons for transmitting this plan are stated in an accompanying general message.

After investigation I have found and hereby declare that each reorganization included in Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1950 is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2(a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949.

I have found and hereby declare that it is necessary to include in the accompanying reorganization plan, by reason of reorganizations made thereby, provisions for the appointment and compensation of an Administrative Assistant Secretary of Commerce. The rate of compensation fixed for this officer is that which I have found to prevail in respect to comparable officers in the executive branch of the Government.

The taking effect of the reorganizations included in this plan may not in itself result in substantial immediate savings. However, many benefits in improved operations are probable during the next years which will result in a reduction in expenditures as compared with those that would be otherwise necessary. An itemization of these reductions in advance of actual experience under this plan is not practicable.

Harry S. Truman.      

The White House, March 13, 1950.

Federal Maritime Board, and Maritime Functions of Secretary of Commerce

Section 307 of Reorg. Plan No. 21 of 1950, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3178, 64 Stat. 1273, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, provided that the functions transferred by the provisions of that Plan should not be subject to the provisions of Reorg. Plan No. 5 of 1950, set out above. Said Reorg. Plan No. 21 of 1950 created, within the Department of Commerce, the Federal Maritime Board, and the Maritime Administration, the latter, with a Maritime Administrator at its head. It abolished the United States Maritime Commission, transferring some of its functions and some of the functions of its Chairman to said Federal Maritime Board. It transferred the remainder of the functions of that Commission and its Chairman to the Secretary of Commerce, with power vested in him to authorize their performance by said Maritime Administrator.

Executive Order No. 13339

Ex. Ord. No. 13339, May 13, 2004, 69 F.R. 28037, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 13403, §3, May 12, 2006, 71 F.R. 28543, which established in the Department of Commerce a President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, was superseded by Ex. Ord. No. 13515, §4(a), Oct. 14, 2009, 74 F.R. 53638, set out below, and by Ex. Ord. No. 14031, §4(a), May 28, 2021, 86 F.R. 29680, set out in a note under section 3501 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

Executive Order No. 13515

Ex. Ord. No. 13515, Oct. 14, 2009, 74 F.R. 53635, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 13585, §4, Sept. 30, 2011, 76 F.R. 62282; Ex. Ord. No. 13652, §8, Sept. 30, 2013, 78 F.R. 61819, which established the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, was superseded by Ex. Ord. No. 13872, §4(a), May 13, 2019, 84 F.R. 22324, set out below, and by Ex. Ord. No. 14031, §4(a), May 28, 2021, 86 F.R. 29680, set out in a note under section 3501 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

Extension of Term of Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Prior to revocation of Ex. Ord. No. 13515, term of Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders was extended until Sept. 30, 2019, by Ex. Ord. No. 13811, §1(s), Sept. 29, 2017, 82 F.R. 46363, formerly set out in a note under section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Previous extensions of term of Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were contained in the following prior Executive Orders:

Ex. Ord. No. 13708, Sept. 30, 2015, 80 F.R. 60271, extended term until Sept. 30, 2017.

Ex. Ord. No. 13652, Sept. 30, 2013, 78 F.R. 61817, extended term until Sept. 30, 2015.

Ex. Ord. No. 13585, Sept. 30, 2011, 76 F.R. 62281, extended term until Sept. 30, 2013.

Executive Order No. 13872

Ex. Ord. No. 13872, May 13, 2019, 84 F.R. 22321, which established the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to promote the economic empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, was superseded by Ex. Ord. No. 14031, §4(a), May 28, 2021, 86 F.R. 29680, set out in a note under section 3501 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

Extension of Term of Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Term of Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders extended until Sept. 30, 2021, by Ex. Ord. No. 13889, Sept. 27, 2019, 84 F.R. 52743, set out as a note under section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.