Federal Register
Overview
 
The Federal Register abbreviated FR, or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal
Official Journal
Official Journal may refer to the public journal of several nations and other political organizations:* Belgian Official Journal* Journal Officiel de la République Française* Official Journal of the European Patent Office...

 of the federal government of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies. It is a daily (except holidays) publication.

The Federal Register is compiled by the Office of the Federal Register
Office of the Federal Register
The Office of the Federal Register is an agency of the United States government within the National Archives and Records Administration.The Office publishes the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, and United States Statutes at Large, among others. It also administers the Electoral College....

 (within the National Archives and Records Administration
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

) and is printed by the Government Printing Office.

There are no copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 restrictions on the Federal Register: as a work of the U.S.
Encyclopedia
The Federal Register abbreviated FR, or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal
Official Journal
Official Journal may refer to the public journal of several nations and other political organizations:* Belgian Official Journal* Journal Officiel de la République Française* Official Journal of the European Patent Office...

 of the federal government of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies. It is a daily (except holidays) publication.

The Federal Register is compiled by the Office of the Federal Register
Office of the Federal Register
The Office of the Federal Register is an agency of the United States government within the National Archives and Records Administration.The Office publishes the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, and United States Statutes at Large, among others. It also administers the Electoral College....

 (within the National Archives and Records Administration
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

) and is printed by the Government Printing Office.

There are no copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 restrictions on the Federal Register: as a work of the U.S. government, it is in the public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

.

Citations from the Federal Register are [volume] FR [page number] ([date]), e.g., 65 FR 741 (2000-10-01).

History

The Federal Register system of publication was created in 1935 under the Federal Register Act and was further enlarged and amended by the Administrative Procedure Act
Administrative Procedure Act
The Administrative Procedure Act , , is the United States federal law that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the federal government of the United States may propose and establish regulations. The APA also sets up a process for the United States federal courts to directly review...

 of 1946.

Contents

The Federal Register is the main source for the U.S. federal government agencies':
  • Proposed new rules and regulation
    Regulation
    Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

    s
  • Final rules
  • Changes to existing rules
  • Notices of meetings and adjudicatory proceedings


In essence, the Federal Register is a way for the government to think aloud to the people, and also serves as official journal of record for the approved act
Act of Congress
An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by government with a legislature named "Congress," such as the United States Congress or the Congress of the Philippines....

s of the U.S. Government. The notice and comment process outlined in the Federal Register gives the people a chance to participate in agency rulemaking
Rulemaking
In administrative law, rulemaking refers to the process that executive and independent agencies use to create, or promulgate, regulations. In general, legislatures first set broad policy mandates by passing statutes, then agencies create more detailed regulations through rulemaking.By bringing...

.

The United States Government Manual
United States Government Manual
United States Government Manual is the official handbook of the Federal Government, published by the United States Government Printing Office. The first edition was issued in 1935...

is published as a special edition of the Federal Register. Its focus is on programs and activities .

Format

Each daily issue of the Federal Register is organized into four categories:
  • Presidential Documents (executive orders and proclamation
    Proclamation
    A proclamation is an official declaration.-England and Wales:In English law, a proclamation is a formal announcement , made under the great seal, of some matter which the King in Council or Queen in Council desires to make known to his or her subjects: e.g., the declaration of war, or state of...

    s)
  • Rules and Regulations (policy statements and interpretations of rules by federal agencies)
  • Proposed Rules (petitions by agencies for assistance in rulemaking and other proposals)
  • Notices (scheduled hearings and meetings open to the public, grant applications, and administrative orders)


The citation "44 FR 33,238" refers to "Federal Register, volume 44, page 33,238." The published notice, called a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Notice of proposed rulemaking
A notice of proposed rulemaking is a public notice issued by law when one of the independent agencies of the United States government wishes to add, remove, or change a rule or regulation as part of the rulemaking process. It is an important part of United States administrative law which...

 (or "NPRM") typically requests public comment on a proposed rule, and provides notice of any public meetings where a proposed rule will be discussed. The public comments are considered by the issuing government agency, and the text of a final rule is published in the Federal Register.

The final rules promulgated by a federal agency and published in the Federal Register are ultimately reorganized by topic or subject matter and re-published (or "codified") in the Code of Federal Regulations
Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government of the United States.The CFR is published by the Office of the Federal Register, an agency...

(CFR), which is updated annually.

Coverage

Not all documents created by U.S. federal agencies are published in the Federal Register. The government has the power to classify documents
Classified information in the United States
The United States government classification system is currently established under Executive Order 13526, the latest in a long series of executive orders on the topic. Issued by President Barack Obama in 2009, Executive Order 13526 replaced earlier executive orders on the topic and modified the...

 so that they are not published.

The agencies required to publish in the Federal Register are those who are required to promulgate regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations
Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government of the United States.The CFR is published by the Office of the Federal Register, an agency...

 ("CFR").

Each agency is required to list the sections of the CFR that will be affected by the proposals or rulings in the day's Federal Register. The List of CFR Sections Affected is published monthly, and is used to update CFR sections changed by new rules published in the Federal Register.

A unified agenda is published semi-annually (April and October of each year), listing regulatory efforts that federal agencies expect to undertake in the coming months. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act and other laws and Executive Orders, this agenda includes indices showing segments of the public and levels of government that are expected to be affected by each of these coming regulations.

Availability

To purchase current or back copies of Federal Register, one may contact the U.S. Government Printing Office. In each issue of Federal Register, there is a subscription page. Currently, a year's subscription rate within the U.S. is US$929. Each individual issue may be priced from $11 to $33 depending on its pages. Virtually every law library
Law library
A law library is a library designed to assist law students, attorneys, judges, and their law clerks and anyone else who finds it necessary to correctly determine the state of the law....

 associated with an American Bar Association
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association , founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation...

–accredited law school will also have a set, as will federal depository libraries
Federal depository library
The Federal Depository Library Program is a United States program created to make U.S. federal government publications available to the public at no cost. As of June 2008, there are 1,252 depository libraries in the United States and its territories. A "government publication" is defined in the U.S...

.

The Federal Register is not small; for example, the 2010 Federal Register was 81,405 pages long. Although the Federal Register is quite important from a legal and historical perspective as a record of the regular business of American government agencies, few people read it regularly (even lawyers, except for those specializing in keeping track of developments in it), due to its massive volume and the dry style of its content.

Free sources

The Federal Register has been available online since 1994. Federal depository libraries within the U.S. also receive copies of the text, either in paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 or microfiche format. Outside the U.S., some major libraries may also carry the Federal Register.

Any agency proposing a rule in the Federal Register must provide contact information for people and organizations interested in making comments to the agencies. The agencies are required to give due diligence
Due diligence
"Due diligence" is a term used for a number of concepts involving either an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations...

 to these concerns when it publishes its final rule on the subject.

As part of the Federal E-Government eRulemaking Initiative, the web site Regulations.gov
Regulations.gov
Regulations.gov is a U.S. Federal government web site that acts as an "Internet portal and document repository" that allows members of the public to participate in the rulemaking processes of some Federal government agencies....

 was established in 2003 to enable easy public access to Federal Register publications related to rulemaking and was further enhanced in 2005 with the launch of the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS). Through FDMS, the public can use Regulations.gov to access entire rulemaking dockets from participating Federal Departments and Agencies" to include providing on-line comments directly to those responsible for drafting the rulemakings.

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations is available on the web site ecfr.gpoaccess.gov. This web site explains what the e-CFR is, and its legal status. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR. The e-CFR is an unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments.

In April, 2009 Citation Technologies
Citation Technologies
Citation Technologies Inc is a regulatory compliance software company. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, its flagship products are CyberRegs and the citation platform. It is a privately owned company founded in 1990....

 created a free, searchable website for Federal Register articles dating from 1996 to the present.

GovPulse.us, a finalist in the Sunlight Foundation's Apps for America 2, provides a web 2.0 interface to the Federal Register, including sparklines of agency activity and maps of current rules.

On July 25, 2010 the Federal Register 2.0 website went live. The new website is a collaboration between the developers who created GovPulse.us, the Government Printing Office and the National Archives and Records Administration
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

.

On August 1, 2011 the Federal Register announced a new Application Programming Interface (API) to facilitate programatic access to the Federal Register content. The API is fully RESTful utilizing the HATEOAS
HATEOAS
HATEOAS, an abbreviation for Hypermedia as the Engine of Application State, is a constraint of the REST application architecture that distinguishes it from most other network application architectures. The principle is that a client interacts with a network application entirely through hypermedia...

 architecture with results delivered in the JSON format. Details are available at the developers page and Ruby and Python client libraries are available.

Paid sources

Other than paid copies or subscriptions, people may obtain Federal Register contents from commercial databases:
  • Citation Technologies
    Citation Technologies
    Citation Technologies Inc is a regulatory compliance software company. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, its flagship products are CyberRegs and the citation platform. It is a privately owned company founded in 1990....

      offers the complete Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) through subscription-based web portals such as CyberRegs
    CyberRegs
    CyberRegs was created in 1997 by Citation Technologies as the first web-based Environment, Health and Safety document portal for regulatory compliance. Up until the creation of a dynamic Internet environment, EHS professionals relied on hardcopies, PDFs, and CDs for their regulatory document needs...

    .
  • Westlaw
    Westlaw
    Westlaw is one of the primary online legal research services for lawyers and legal professionals in the United States and is a part of West. In addition, it provides proprietary database services...

     (January 1, 1981–): Searchable text format since . The Unified Agenda and the official English text of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods
    United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods
    The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods is a treaty offering a uniform international sales law that, as of August 2010, has been ratified by 77 countries that account for a significant proportion of world trade, making it one of the most successful...

    , which became effective January 1, 1988, are included. Sunshine Act Meeting Notices are not available prior to 1991. Unified Agenda documents are not available prior to October 1989.
  • LexisNexis
    LexisNexis
    LexisNexis Group is a company providing computer-assisted legal research services. In 2006 it had the world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information...

     (July 1, 1980–): Searchable text format since .
  • HeinOnline
    HeinOnline
    HeinOnline, sometimes spelled Hein Online, is an internet service launched in 2000 that is a source of legal information, much like Westlaw and LexisNexis. Like those services, use of HeinOnline requires a subscription, although most law schools provide access to students for free. It is published...

    (1936–): Full coverage available dating back to 1936 in an image-based searchable PDF format.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK