1. Not a part of the government.
Just because the word federal is present does not mean that they are part of the government. Is Federal Express part of the government? Of course not!
The Federal Reserve is rather a group of banks that have been given control of our money supply. They are a central bank. One of the most evil things that could ever come to be.
Article I,Section 8, Clause 5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
This gives the government the power to create money. It does not give them the power to delegate it to another group that is not part of the government.