Federal Register

The Federal Register Tutorial

The Federal Register: What it Is and How to Use It

Welcome to the Federal Register Workshop

This program is sponsored by:

Federal Register publications are produced by:

  • OFR and the Government Printing Office (GPO)
  • GPO distributes FR/CFR publications in print, on microfiche and via the World Wide Web at: www.ofr.gov

What topics will this workshop cover ?

  • Historical background and legal basis of the Federal Register (FR) / Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) publication system
  • The regulatory process and the role of the public
  • Organization of the daily Federal Register and important elements of typical documents
  • Proposed Rules, Rules, Notices and Presidential documents
  • Organization of the CFR and the relationships among Public Laws, the FR and CFR
  • Research tools to find information in print and online publications

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Historical Background and Legal Basis of the Federal Register / CFR Publications System

Why was the Federal Register System Established ?

  • New Deal legislation of the 1930's delegated responsibility from Congress to agencies to regulate complex social and economic issues
  • Citizens needed access to new regulations to know their effect in advance
  • Agencies and Citizens needed a centralized filing and publication system to keep track of rules
  • Courts began to rule on "secret law" as a violation of right to due process under the Constitution

What Triggers Rulemaking ?

  • Legislation, Congressional hearings/reports
  • Executive orders and OMB Circulars
  • Court Orders
  • Agencies act on own initiative to carry out mission. See the Unified Agenda for regulatory plans
  • Petitions for Rulemaking and informal requests from affected parties
  • Federal Advisory Committee Recommendations
  • Emergency situations, technological developments
  • Political Factors

What is the Federal Regulatory Process ?

  • Legal structure established by the combined requirements of:
    • The Federal Register Act
    • The Administrative Procedure Act (APA)
    • Many individual laws, such as those affecting health, safety, commerce and the environment
  • Federal agencies use the regulatory process to issue and enforce legally effective regulations

What is the Federal Register Act ?

Enacted: July 26, 1935
Cite: 44 U.S.C. Chap. 15

The Federal Register Act established the basic legal structure of the regulatory system:

  • Central location for filing documents for public inspection
  • The daily Federal Register -- a single, uniform publication for Executive agency rules and notices and Presidential documents
  • The Code of Federal Regulations -- a codification (numerical arrangement) of rules (added in 1937)

What is the Effect of Publishing in the Federal Register ?

  • Provides official notice of a document's existence, its contents and legal effect
    • indicates date of issuance and the effective date of actions
  • Specifies the legal authority of the agency
    • delegation of authority from Congress
  • Gives documents evidentiary status
    • makes them admissible in court
    • establishes FR text as true copy of original signed document
  • Shows how and when the CFR will be amended

What is the Administrative Procedure Act ?

  • Enacted: June 11, 1946
    Cite: 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.
  • Added procedural requirements to ensure:
    • due process (fairness). Generally:
      • Rules can't be enforced if not published in Federal Register
      • Rules can't be effective until 30 days after publication
      • Must publish statements of organization and procedure for the "who and how" to contact at the agency
    • public participation (notice and comment rulemaking). Agencies:
      • Must give notice of proposed rules
      • Must take public comments and respond in final rule
      • Must state the legal basis and purpose of their actions

Comparison of Laws and Rules

Congress Passes Laws

  • Publish in Slip Law/Statutes at Large
  • Codified in U.S. Code
  • Power comes from Constitution
  • Courts review for constitutionality
  • Representative Democracy: Congress acts collectively
  • Set broad social and economic goals and legal requirements

Executive Agencies Issue Rules

  • Publish in Federal Register
  • Codified in CFR
  • Power delegated by Congress
  • Courts review for constitutionality & limits of delegated authority
  • Participatory Democracy: Agencies must seek and consider to represent the will of the people public comment on benefits of rules v. burdens and costs
  • Prescribe specific legal requirements to meet goals

Overview of Rulemaking Process

1. Grant of rulemaking authority

  • Congress delegates authority directly to agencies
  • President may delegate constitutional authority to subordinates
  • President or Agency Head may re-delegate authority to subordinates

2. Proposed Rule stage

  • OMB Reviews under E.O. 12866.
  • Agencies publish Proposed Rule in FR for public comment

3. Final Rule stage

  • OMB Reviews again under E.O. 12866
  • Agencies publish final rule in FR
    • responds to comments, amends CFR, sets effective date

4. Congressional review

  • Agencies submit rules to Congress and GAO (could nullify rule)

5. Effective date

  • 30 day minimum, 60 days for major rule, no minimum for good cause
  • Agency may delay or withdraw rule before it becomes effective

The following discussion and examples track a rule from the grant of authority in law to the proposed rule, the final rule, and codification in the CFR

Public Law

Federal Register
PROPOSED RULE

Federal Register
RULE

Code of Federal Regulations

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Organization and Contents of the Daily Federal Register

What is the Federal Register ?

The Federal Register is an official daily legal publication

Informs citizens of:

  • rights and obligations
  • opportunities for funding and Federal benefits
  • actions of Federal agencies for accountability to public

Cite the FR by: volume, page no. and date: 64 FR 34567 (June 5, 1999)

Organization of FR Documents

Four categories of documents

  • Presidential Documents
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Proposed Rules
  • Notices

and Three additional sections

  • Corrections
  • Separate Parts
  • Reader Aids

Regulation Numbering System

Title: 12: Broad subject area of regulations

Chapter: III: Rules of individual agency

Part: 303: Rules on a single program or function

Section: 303.1: One provision of program/function rules

Paragraph: 303.1(a): Detailed, specific requirements

What Types of documents are in the Proposed Rules section ?

Proposed Rules

  • Also known as: "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" (NPRM)

Preliminary Rulemaking Documents

  • Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • Petition for Rulemaking
  • Negotiated Rulemaking document

Miscellaneous proposals and updates

  • Extend time for comments, withdraw or change NPRM, propose waivers, exemptions and interpretations of enforcement policy

Proposed Rule

Announces possible changes to the CFR

Sets out proposed regulatory text or describes proposal

Solicits public comment on proposal

Initiates the "notice and comment rulemaking" process under the APA (5 U.S.C. 553)

  • Agencies must consider public comments, justify decisions to finalize, change or withdraw proposed rules
  • Agencies may invoke a "good cause" exception if proposed rule is "impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest."

Standard Preamble Headings & Captions

Headings:

  • Agency name,
  • CFR title and part(s),
  • docket info,
  • subject matter

Captions

  • AGENCY: e.g., Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
  • ACTION: e.g., "Proposed rule", "Notice of intent"
  • SUMMARY: brief what and why: the issues & rulemaking objectives
  • DATES: deadline for submitting comments
  • ADDRESSES: mail/fax/e-mail for submitting comments
  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: name and number/e-mail of knowledgeable person at agency
  • SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: main discussion of issues and rulemaking objectives and regulatory analyses

Proposed Rule Document -- Preamble

Headings for:

  • Agency + Sub-agency
  • CFR part( s) affected
  • Docket number
  • Regulatory Information
  • Number (RIN)
  • Subject matter

Action caption identifies category of document

Date caption for comment due date

Addresses caption for how and where to send comments

Proposed Rule Document -- Regulatory Analysis and Proposed Text

Regulatory Analyses

Amendatory Language

Proposed Regulatory Text

Advance Notices and Preliminary Rulemaking Documents

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

  • Issued at an early stage in rulemaking process
  • Describes issues and anticipated regulatory approach
  • Solicits public comment on the necessity and adequacy of action

Petition for Rulemaking

  • Member of the public requests rulemaking action

Negotiated Rulemaking ("RegNeg") document

  • Organizes negotiated rulemaking committee to discuss solutions
  • Gives interest groups opportunity to reach consensus before agency develops proposed rule

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

ANPRM is not a specific proposal. Agency invites public to comment on rules to improve quality and clarity.

Petition for Rulemaking

Agencies publish Petitions for Rulemaking to give the public a forum to propose rule changes.

If public comments are favorable, agencies may agree to publish a proposed rule.

Petition for Rulemaking; Decision

In this example, the Agency's decision is to deny the Petition.

The denial is not a final rule. It relates back to the Petition published in the Proposed Rules section.

Miscellaneous Proposed Rule Documents

Agencies also publish updates and changes to previously published proposed rule documents:

  • Extension of time to submit comments on proposed rule
  • Further notice of proposed rulemaking to make changes in response to comments or events
  • Withdrawal of proposed rule
  • Annual review of regulations -- opportunity to comment

Extension of Time Document

Dates caption: for comments and public meeting

Supplementary Information -- recites rulemaking history

Agency grants more time for comment and sets up a second round of meetings to discuss proposed changes

What is the Rules and Regulations Section of the Federal Register ?

Contains documents with:

  • Final legal effect
  • General applicability to the public

Most, but not all, rules amend the CFR and are codified in the annual revision

The terms "rules" and "regulations" are used interchangeably in the Federal Register publication system

What Types of Documents are in the Rules & Regulations Section ?

Final Rules

Interim Final Rules

Direct Final Rules

Documents that relate to previous rules & regulations, Such as:

  • Interpretive Rules and Policy Statements
  • Withdrawal or Confirmation of rule, change to effective date
  • Temporary Rules

Final Rule

Why is it issued?

  • Generally, to amend the CFR (by adding, removing or revising text)

What does it make final?

  • Finalizes a previously issued proposed rule

    OR

  • Takes final action without a prior proposed rule (for good cause)

When is it effective?

  • At least 30 days from date of publication, in most cases
  • At least 60 days from date of publication for major rules
  • On date of publication in response to emergency, or for other good cause shown

Standard Preamble Headings & Captions

Headings:

  • Agency name,
  • CFR title and part(s),
  • docket info,
  • subject matter

Captions

  • AGENCY: e.g., Research and Special Programs Administration, DOT
  • ACTION: e.g., "Final rule", "Interim final rule"
  • SUMMARY: brief what and why: the issues & rulemaking objectives
  • DATES: effective dates; applicability and compliance dates; comment dates for interim and direct final rules
  • ADDRESSES: docket info; mail/fax/e-mail for comments or objections
  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: name and number/e-mail of knowledgeable person at agency
  • SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: main discussion of issues and rulemaking objectives and regulatory analyses

Final Rule -- Preamble

Headings:

  • Agency + Sub-agency
  • CFR part(s) affected
  • Docket No. and OMB Reg Info No. (RIN)
  • Subject matter

Action caption

Summary describes the subject, need for, and intended effect of rule

Date caption: shows effective date and compliance date

Discussion of preceding Proposed Rule

Response to comments on Proposed Rule

Basis and Purpose of rule: Economic and Regulatory Analyses

Final Rule Amendments and Regulatory Text

Appear after the "Supplementary Information" section of the Preamble

The "List of Subjects" for the rule and formal words of issuance always precede the amendments and regulatory text

Numbered amendatory instructions specifically state how the CFR will be amended

Final Rule Amendments and Regulatory Text

List of Subjects

Words of Issuance

Amendatory Instructions

Regulatory Text

Interim Final Rule

Why is it issued?

  • To react to an emergency situation
  • To relieve unnecessary restrictions on the public
  • To take public comments on interim action

When is it effective?

  • Generally, on date of publication; or
  • Less than 30 days from date of publication

Is there a comment period?

  • Yes, it usually runs 30, 60 or 90 days from date of publication

Interim Final Rule

Summary caption: Explains that interim final rule relieves a restriction on kiwifruit growers

Dates caption:

  • 1 day effective date
  • 60 day comment date

Also has a date for suspension of one paragraph of a section

Direct Final Rule

Why is it issued? To expedite rulemaking for non-controversial actions not expected to generate adverse comments

Is it preceded by a proposed rule? Not usually, but some agencies issue one concurrently

When is it effective? Generally, 60 to 90 days from date of publication, if it is not withdrawn due to adverse comments

Is there a comment period? Yes, it is usually 30 or 45 days from date of publication

How will I know if it was withdrawn? Monitor the Federal Register for a withdrawal document

Direct Final Rule

Action caption

Dates caption: 60 day effective date 30 day comment date

Documents that Relate to Previous Rules & Regulations

No regulatory text since it doesn't amend the CFR

  • Except for those that make technical amendments or corrections

Examples:

  • Interpretive Rule; Policy Statement on Enforcement; Clarification
  • Temporary Rule; Deviation; Waiver
  • Establishment, Delay, Suspension of Effective Date
  • Reconsideration of recently issued Final Rule
  • Withdrawal or Confirmation of Direct Final Rule

Policy Statement

Policy Statement clarifies agency policy on existing requirement.

Note: agency is codifying Policy Statement in CFR. Not required by law.

Temporary Rule Document

Date caption: Sets beginning and end of effective period of rule

Temporary CFR Amendment

Action caption: Refers to this temporary rule as a "Temporary Deviation"

Deviation is set out in preamble and Dates caption. No amendment to CFR

Final Rule Clarification

Action caption identifies document as: "Final Rule Clarification"

Agency clarifies issues discussed in the preamble of a final rule in response to questions from a state agency

Final Rule Correction / Delay of Effective Date

Action caption

Dates caption contains key information on delayed effective date of rule

Specific correction instructions

All FR documents specify date and time of filing at OFR

What documents are in the Notices section of the FR ?

Documents describing official actions and functions that:

  • May affect the public or provide important information

    BUT

  • Do not amend the CFR.

Examples:

  • Sunshine Act and Federal Advisory Committee Act meeting notices
  • Grant announcements and funding availability
  • Environmental impact statements
  • Decisions and orders applicable to particular entities.
  • Procedures for filing applications and petitions
  • Issuance or revocation of licenses
  • Delegations of authority, statements of agency organization

What is the format for Notices ?

Standardized preamble format is not required.

Headings:

  • Agency name,
  • docket info,
  • subject matter
  • No CFR cite

Captions

  • AGENCY: e. g., Environmental Protection Agency
  • ACTION: e. g., Notice
  • SUMMARY: brief what and why
  • DATES: date of meeting, hearing or comment deadline
  • ADDRESSES: mail/ fax/ e-mail/ web sites to get documents or send comments
  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: name and number/e-mail of knowledgeable person at agency
  • SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: main discussion of topic; purpose of meeting

Notice Document

Beginning of Notice Section

Does not use standard Preamble format

Uses standard Preamble format

What Presidential Documents are published in the Federal Register ?

Executive Orders: must be published in FR

Proclamations: must be published in FR

Administrative Orders & Miscellaneous Documents: publication in FR optional

Executive Orders

Directed at Executive agencies to manage operations

President has constitutional authority to issue E.O.s as

  • Head of Executive branch
  • Commander in Chief of Armed Forces

Numbered consecutively as received by OFR

Reprinted annually in 3 CFR, not codified

Original of Executive Order

Typewritten manuscript

Original signature

Executive Order Published in FR

Sequential number assigned to this E. O.

This E. O. amends a prior E. O.

Changes are not integrated in the CFR

By law, E. O. s are compiled, not codified

Proclamations

Two types:

  • Ceremonial: To designate special observances
  • Substantive: Usually relate to international trade, export controls, tariffs; reservation of Federal lands

Numbered consecutively as received by OFR

  • No legal distinction between E.O.s & Proclamations: Subject matter determines type of document used
  • Reprinted annually in 3 CFR, not codified

Original of Ceremonial Proclamation

Printed on parchment style paper

Original signature

Proclamation Published in FR

Sequential number assigned to this Proclamation

Cite to title 3 of the CFR for annual compilation

Administrative Orders and Miscellaneous Documents

Various documents are published in the FR at the direction of the President:

  • Determinations
  • Memoranda
  • Reorganization Plans
  • Notices of Continuation of National Emergencies

For a comprehensive record of Presidential statements and directives, consult:

  • Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
  • Public Papers of the Presidents series

Federal Register Correction section

OFR or GPO typographical and clerical errors are corrected by identifying the document by its headings, document category, FR document number, page number, and publication date.

We set out specific information necessary to correct error based on text of signed original.

Agencies correct their errors by publishing a signed original in the appropriate category.

What are Separate Parts ?

"Separate" parts are placed at the end of the daily Federal Register issue

  • Identified by Roman numerals -- Part II, Part III, etc. of daily issue
  • Has own cover page with name of agency and brief description

Agencies request separate parts for high profile documents. Can be used to group related Final Rules, Proposed Rules and Notices together

  • Placement at end enables GPO to provide extra copies at lower cost

OFR places late arriving documents, such as Presidential documents in separate parts for production purposes

Daily Federal Register Research Tools and Finding Aids

Table of Contents

CFR Parts Affected in this Issue

Reader Aids

Researching Information

In today's Federal Register

In previous Federal Registers

How can I find information in today's Federal Register ?

These research tools are available in both the online and printed editions.

  • Federal Register Table of Contents:
    • Alphabetical and descriptive list of all documents in a single issue
    • Appears at the front of each issue
    • Online edition has hypertext links to each document in the issue
  • CFR Parts Affected In This Issue
    • Lists documents is numerical order by CFR title and part
    • Appears at the front of each issue
    • Accessible from search page of online edition

Federal Register Table of Contents

Documents are listed by agency name in alphabetical order

Cross-references direct you from cabinet departments to subordinate agencies

Each agency document is arranged by category:

  • Rules
  • Proposed Rules
  • Notices

Presidential Documents are arranged as follows:

  • Executive Orders
  • Proclamations
  • Determinations/Memoranda

How is the Federal Register Table of Contents arranged ?

Documents listed by agency in alphabetical order

Cross-references from cabinet departments to sub-agencies

Documents arranged by category:

  • Rules
  • Proposed Rules
  • Notices

What information can I find in Contents entries ?

Each document has a brief description of subject matter

Page Numbers show the span of pages from beginning to end

A list of any "Separate Parts" in the issue appears at the end of the Table of Contents

CFR Parts Affected in this Issue

Located in the front of the printed edition, after the Table of Contents

Lists CFR titles and parts affected in an issue

Indicates whether the documents affecting CFR parts are rules or proposed rules

Lists the number designations of E.O.s, Proclamations, or other Presidential documents published in this issue

Cites the page numbers where relevant documents begin

Reader Aids

Located in the back of each daily FR issue

Contain information on recent FR activity and new laws

Include:

  • CFR Parts Affected During (the current month)
  • FR Pages and Dates (the current month)
  • Reminders -- Rules Going Into Effect (the current day) and Comments Due Next Week
  • List of Public Laws (recently enacted)
  • OFR customer service information including:
    • phone numbers
    • world wide web addresses
    • e-mail addresses

CFR Parts Affected During (the current month)

Cumulative table published at the end of each FR issue in Reader Aids

Lists documents in numerical order by CFR title and part

You can quickly determine:

  • The CFR titles and parts affected by documents published during the current month
  • Whether the documents affecting the CFR parts are rules or proposed rules
  • The number designation of Presidential documents published during the current month
  • The page numbers where the relevant documents begin

FR Pages and Dates (the current month)

Cumulative table of page spans and dates appears in each day's FR during the current month at the end of the issue in Readers Aids

Page spans are on the left side of the table with corresponding dates of publication on the right side

Use the date table with entries from the CFR Parts Affected During (the current month) to find the date a document was published in FR

Reminders

Rules Going Into Effect (the current day) reminds you of rule documents that become effective on the current day, comprising:

  • Rule documents published in past issues
  • Rule documents published in the current issue with immediate effective dates

Comments Due Next Week reminds you of previously published proposed rule documents that have comment deadlines the following week

List of Public Laws & PENS

Appears at the end of each issue in Reader Aids

Identifies new Public Laws by:

  • Their House or Senate Bill or Resolution Numbers
  • The Public Law number assigned by the OFR
  • The popular name of the legislation, or a description of the purpose of the law from the enacting clause

PENS subscription information (Public Laws Electronic Notification Service).

  • Free e-mail service for info on newly enacted public laws
  • To subscribe send e-mail to: listserv@www.gsa.gov with the text message: SUBSCRIBE PUBLAWS-L <firstname><lastname>

How can I find documents in past Federal Register issues?

Daily Federal Register (print edition)

  • Index to CFR Parts Affected During Current Month

Federal Register Index (print edition)

  • cumulative subject index of documents updated monthly

LSA (List of CFR Sections Affected)

  • printed monthly, and available online
  • numerical listing of changes keyed to CFR parts/sections

Search the Federal Register Online

  • Search by category, subject matter, date, and page number to retrieve documents from 1995 through present day
  • Hypertext Table of Contents for each day since Jan. 1998

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The CFR -- Organization & Contents

What is the Code of Federal Regulations ?

The CFR contains Federal rules that have:

  • General applicability to the public
  • Current and future effect as of the date specified on the cover (or as specified in the online edition)

Rules are always published first in the FR as amendments to the CFR

The CFR is published in a set of about 200 volumes

  • Printed soft cover books (available from GPO & Depository Libraries): Different color each year
  • Microfiche (available from GPO & Depository Libraries)
  • Online at: Code of Federal Regulations (free access)

How is the CFR organized ?

Federal regulations are organized into:

  • 50 titles
  • According to broad subject matter categories
  • Examples: Environment, Defense, Public Health, Transportation

Each title is completely revised and reissued once each year on a staggered schedule.

  • Titles 1 -- 16: updated as of January 1
  • Titles 17 -- 27: updated as of April 1
  • Titles 28 -- 41: updated as of July 1
  • Titles 42 -- 50: updated as of October 1

What is the CFR numbering system ?

The CFR has a uniform numbering system

  • Most of the 50 titles conform to the system
  • Titles 3, 41, and 48 have significant variations

The section is the basic unit of the CFR

Cite the CFR by title and section: 12 CFR 303.1

Text is divided into descending levels of units

CFR Structure

The following table illustrates the CFR numbering system:

Title: 12: Broad subject area of regulations

Chapter: III: Rules of individual agency

Part: 303: Rules on a single program or function

Section: 303.1: One provision of program/function rules

Paragraph: 303.1(a): Detailed, specific requirements

Paragraph Levels

Sections may contain up to 6 levels of paragraphs.

We strongly recommend agencies use no more than 3 levels.

Paragraph Designations Cite paragraph as

Level 1: (a), (b), (c), etc. § 303.1(a)

Level 2: (1), (2), (3), etc. § 303.1(a)(1)

Level 3: (i), (ii), (iii), etc. § 303.1(a)(1)(i)

Level 4: (A), (B), (C), etc. § 303.1(a)(1)(i)(A)

Level 5: (1), (2), (3), etc. § 303.1(a)(1)(i)(A)(1)

Level 6: (i), (ii), (iii), etc. § 303.1(a)(1)(i)(A)(1)(i)

How are rules codified in the CFR ?

The Rulemaking Process from Start to Finish

The following discussion and examples track a rule from the grant of authority in law to the proposed rule, the final rule, and codification in the CFR

Public Law

Federal Register NPRM

Federal Register RULE

Code of Federal Regulations

What Triggers Rulemaking ?

Legislation, Congressional hearings/reports

Executive orders and OMB Circulars

Court Orders

Agencies act on own initiative to carry out mission
See the Unified Agenda for regulatory plans

Petitions for Rulemaking and informal requests from affected parties

Federal Advisory Committee Recommendations

Emergency situations, technological developments

Political Factors

Authorization in Public Law

Rulemaking usually begins with Congressional action.

The next example shows a grant of rulemaking authority:

  • Under the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996 (ADAA) (Public Law 104-250), enacted October 9, 1996
  • The ADAA amended the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
  • Signals Congressional intent for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to administer the regulations on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Rulemaking Instructions in the Law

FDA must issue regulations to implement the law.

  • Law sets a schedule for issuing proposed and final rules
  • Instruction to publish "regulations" will not always make explicit reference to FR, but the agency must publish in Federal Register and follow APA notice and comment rulemaking process.

Proposed Rulemaking

The APA requires agencies to give the public the opportunity to comment by submitting:

  • Written data
  • Views or arguments

The time needed to issue an NPRM varies

  • The animal drug law set a 6 month time limit

In the next example:

  • FDA published the proposed rule on May 8, 1997, about 7 months after the law was enacted, slightly past the deadline

Final Rulemaking

It is not unusual for more than a year to pass between proposed and final rules.

  • In the next example, FDA published the final rule on March 5, 1998, in time to meet the 18 month statutory deadline

The preamble of a final rule typically contains:

  • Statement of the requirements in the law
  • Cite to proposed rule and other rulemaking history
  • Discussion and analysis of public comments received
  • Justification for agency's final decisions

CFR Codification

In the next example:

  • FDA published the new animal drugs rule on March 5, 1998
  • The rule was integrated into the April 1, 1998 revision of title 21 -- "Food and Drugs"

Part Level Table of Contents, Authority Citations, and Source Notes

The next example shows:

  • A new entry in the table of contents at the part level to reflect the newly added section of regulatory text
  • The authority citation below the table of contents:
    • Refers readers to the agency's statutory, Presidential or internal authority to issue regulations in this part
  • The source note below the authority cite:
    • Indicates when the part was last published in full, citing the volume, page and date

CFR Text, Section Level Source Notes, and Authority Citations

In the next example:

  • The text of new section 514.117 has been inserted into CFR Title 21, Chapter I, Part 514, Subpart B according to instructions in final rule
  • A source note follows the text of the section to indicate the recent amendment that added this section
  • No separate authority citation for this section
    • The section level authority for this section is the same as the part level authority

CFR Research Tools

Tables of Contents

Incorporation by Reference Tables

Table of CFR Titles and Chapters

Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the CFR

Redesignation Tables

List of CFR Sections Affected

What research tools are in each printed volume of the CFR ?

At the front of each CFR volume, look for:

  • Tables of contents to all material within the book
  • Tables of contents to the title, subtitle(s), chapter(s), and subchapter(s) within the book

At the back of each CFR volume, look for:

  • A table of "Material Approved for Incorporation by Reference" (IBR)
  • A "Table of CFR Titles and Chapters"
  • An "Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the CFR"
  • Redesignation Tables
  • A "List of CFR Sections Affected"

Table of Contents to a Subtitle

Table of Contents shows page numbers for the beginning of each part

Part Level Table of Contents

Table of Contents lists the sections in the part and subparts

Material Approved for Incorporation By Reference

The incorporation by reference (IBR) table directs you to regulatory material not published in the FR & CFR

IBR material has the force of law as though it were published in full text the FR & CFR

Congress authorized IBR to enforce voluntary standards already used in science & industry

  • Consists mostly of technical standards (ANSI, ASTM) and state laws and regulations

Under the FOIA, the Director of the Federal Register must approve IBR to give it force and effect of law

  • Agency produced material is generally ineligible for IBR

Table of CFR Titles and Chapters

A list of all CFR titles, subtitles, chapters, and part spans in numerical order -- titles 1 to 50

Includes the names of agencies assigned to CFR chapters\

A more detailed list is located in the CFR Index and Finding Aids, a separate publication

Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the CFR

If you don't know an agency's name or location in the CFR, use this table to find:

  • A list of all agencies that publish in the CFR
  • References to sub-agencies under main agencies
  • Where the regulations of each agency and sub-agency appear in the CFR by title, subtitle and chapter

Redesignation Tables

A Redesignation Table helps you find the new location of parts and sections of regulations

An agency publishes this table when it has done extensive reorganization and renumbering

The table appears in the preamble of the rule document and is then included as a research tool in the back of the CFR

List of CFR Sections Affected (in a specific CFR volume)

This list helps you track amendments in each CFR volume since 1986 by year and FR page number

Lists the type of amendment and the text affected down to the paragraph level

For years before 1986, use the seven separate volumes of the List of CFR Sections Affected

A cumulative, monthly LSA is also published separately

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Online Research

How can I do online research in the Federal Register ?

Search the FR for documents in all issues from 1994 to present, at:

Browse the FR table of contents using the hyperlinks to retrieve documents in today's issue, or in any issue from 1994 to present, at:

  • FDsys, click on the desired Issue date and then click on "Table of Contents "

How can I do online research in the CFR ?

Visit Code of Federal Regulations and follow the links to:

  • Browse your choice of CFR titles in any volume from 1996 to present
  • Perform an advanced search of the CFR in any volume from 1996 to present using FDsys' Advanced Search

How can I be sure my CFR Research is up to date?

Check the "LSA" (List of CFR Sections Affected), to:

  • Locate Final changes to CFR sections by month, back to 1997.
  • Check the "LSA" (List of CFR Sections Affected):
    • Final changes to CFR sections in the last 12 month's FR issues.
    • Also lists proposed changes to CFR parts.
  • Check Last Month's List of CFR Parts Affected
    • Final and proposed changes to CFR parts in last month's FR issues.
  • Check the Current List of CFR Parts Affected
    • Final and proposed changes to CFR parts in this month's FR issues.
  • Check the List of CFR Parts Affected Today
    • Final and proposed changes to CFR parts in today's FR.
    • Use this service for daily monitoring.

What other information on Federal Register publications and services is on the Web ?

To learn more about Office of the Federal Register publications and services, go to the National Archives and Records Administration's Federal Register home page:

http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/

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How can the public participate in rulemaking?

Citizens have a right to express their views before an agency adopts final rules.

Each Federal Register document tells you:

  • Whether comments are requested
  • How, when and where to comment

Writing effective comments?

  • Type neatly and cite rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading; FR cite)
  • Include your name and address
  • Follow directions -- agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or label comments with CFR parts or section numbers
  • Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes

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Customer Service Information

Phone numbers:

  • FR/CFR, Presidential Documents, US Government Manual: 202/523-5227
  • Electronic and on-line services (voice): 202/523-4534
  • Privacy Act Compilation: 202/523-3187 ext. 6
  • Public Laws Update Services: 202/523-6641
  • TTY: 202/523-5229

Internet addresses:

E-mail addresses:

  • Reference questions: info@fedreg.nara.gov
  • PENS: send e-mail to listproc@lucky.fed.gov with the following text message: SUBSCRIBE PUBLAWS-L <firstname><lastname>

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How to Enroll in a Federal Register Workshop?

Call the Office of the Federal Register at 202 523-4534 to register for workshops.

We offer workshops in Washington DC and in selected cities across the country.

Look for announcements of dates and locations of future workshops:

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