The government has come to rely on private organizations for accreditation in higher education. It created the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 Act, which provided for state "postsecondary review entities" to contract with the Department of Education.
Matthew W. Finkin,
The Unfolding Tendency in the Federal Relationship to Private Accreditation in Higher Education,
57 Law and Contemporary Problems
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/lcp/vol57/iss4/5