The federal government has until recently made very little use of the corporation as an agency for executing the laws of Congress. Early in the course of our national development the federal government chartered banks and shared in their ownership, utilizing them in the fiscal operations of the treasury. At various other times the federal government has chartered other corporations under some power granted by the Constitution, particularly railroad corporations under the commerce power. Beginning with the World War the corporate form of administrative agency was utilized to avoid difficulties which would arise if the execution of the war-time activities were attempted by one of the political departments of the government. Most of these corporations were organized under state incorporation laws pursuant to an act of Congress authorizing the President to incorporate and utilize such an agency. However, at least two such corporations were chartered on less definite congressional authority--upon an executive officer's order on his own authority while acting in the execution of a legislative mandate to use or create "any agency" necessary to effectuate the purposes of a given statute.
Maurice S. Culp,
CREATION OF GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol33/iss4/2