Federal Security Agency

Federal Security Agency

Federal Security Agency

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The Federal Security Agency (FSA) was an independent agency of the United States government established in 1939 pursuant to the "Reorganization Act of 1939" (P.L. 19, 76th Cong., 1st sess.). For a time, the agency administered the Social Security old-age pension plan, oversaw food and drug safety, administered public health programs, and federal education funding.

The Reorganization Act of 1939 authorized the president of the United States to devise a plan to reorganize the executive branch of government. Pursuant to the Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued "Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1939" on April 25, 1939. The reorganization plan was designed to reduce the number of agencies reporting directly to the president.

The reorganization plan created the cabinet-level Federal Security Agency. Included in the FSA was the Social Security Board, the U.S. Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Office of Education (later the United States Department of Education), the National Youth Administration and a number of other agencies. Its first director was Paul V. McNutt. Secretly, the FSA was also a cover agency from 1942 to 1944 for the War Research Service, a secret program to develop chemical and biological weapons.Blake, Paul V. McNutt: Portrait of a Hoosier Statesman, 1966; Archives of the National Academies....
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