Keeping Track of Federal Agencies – Fall 2012 Edition


Policy Intern Adeeb Sahar wrote this post.

The Regulatory Information Service Center compiles the semi-annual Unified Agenda, a list of all the rules federal agencies expect to issue in the upcoming year. The Sunlight Foundation reviewed the most recent Agenda to identify steps each executive branch agency is taking to promote transparency and the status of each item.

The following rule descriptions are provided by federal agencies and do not represent Sunlight’s interpretations. We previously reviewed the agenda last year.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission:

  • Real Time Public Reporting of Swaps Transactions – Implements a real-time public reporting regime for swaps and specifies the appropriate time delay for public dissemination of block trade and large notional swap transaction and pricing data. Final action taken 12/2011.
  • Swap Data Record-keeping and Reporting Requirements – The comment period for the Commission’s proposed Swap Data Record-keeping and Reporting to Public Requirements rules closed on February 7, 2011. The Commission staff is in the process of reviewing comments and drafting the final rule. Final Rule Stage. Final action 12/2011.

Corporation for National and Community Service:

  • FOIA Regulation Amendment – Shortens the time to file an appeal and increases the financial rates for searching and reviewing records that have been requested. Proposed Rule Stage. Last action taken 1/2012.

Department of Defense:

  • Safeguarding Unclassified DoD Information – Safeguards unclassified DoD information within contractor information systems from unauthorized public access and disclosure. Final Rule Stage. Final action taken 4/2012.
  • FOIA Program Regulation – Ensures appropriate agency disclosure of information. Final Rule Stage. Final action taken 12/2011.
  • FOIA Act Program Amendment – Ensures appropriate agency disclosure of information. Final Rule Stage. Final action taken 1/2012.
  • Withholding of Unclassified Technical Data From Public Disclosure – The Secretary of Defense may withhold from public disclosure, notwithstanding any other provision of law, any technical data with military or space application under the control of the DoD, to protect national interest. Proposed Rule Stage. Last action taken 6/2012.

Department of Energy:

  • FOIA – Revises DOE’s FOIA regulations to reflect current procedures for processing requests for information that are submitted to the Agency, to ensure compliance with the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 and to make the regulation more user friendly. Final Rule Stage. Final action taken 12/2012.

Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership of Investment Interests – Requires applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report annually certain physician ownership or investment interests. The Secretary is required to publish applicable manufacturer and applicable GPO submitted payment and ownership information on a public website. Proposed Rule Stage. Comment period ended 2/2012.

Department of Homeland Security:

  • FOIA and Privacy Act Procedures – Amends FOIA regulations including provisions governing information subject to Privacy Act exemptions and procedures for verification of the identity persons under the Privacy Act. Proposed Rule Stage. Last action taken 3/2012.

Department of Justice:

Department of Transportation:

  • Maintenance of and Access to Records Pertaining to Individuals – Adds a system of records relating to external civil rights inquiries and complaints to the list of DOT Privacy Act Systems of Records that are exempt from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act. Proposed Rule Stage. Comment period ended 12/2012.
  • Consumer Complaint Information – Requires each motor carrier of household goods to submit a quarterly report of specific identified information regarding complaints that each receives from shippers and consumers to the Agency. Final Rule Stage. No action taken since 4/2008.

Department of Treasury:

  • FOIA and Privacy Act – Makes technical corrections to certain appendices to its regulations regarding disclosure of records. These amendments update the procedures by which individuals may request disclosure of information under FOIA and the Privacy Act. Final Rule Stage. Last action taken 12/2011.
  • Publishing Delinquent Debtor Information – Amends regulations authorizing Federal agencies to publish or otherwise publicly disseminate information regarding the identity of persons owing delinquent nontax debts to the United States for the purpose of collecting the debts, provided certain criteria are met. Proposed Rule Stage. Comment period ended 5/2012.

Environmental Protection Agency:

  • Compliance Data Reporting Rule – Requires electronic reporting of performance testing information already collected by industry by revising the reporting requirements for national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants. Proposed Rule Stage. Last action taken 4/2012.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

Federal Acquisition Regulation:

  • Updates to Contract Reporting and CCR – Updates contract reporting for the Federal Procurement Data System and Central Contractor Registration (CCR) reporting. CCR reporting requirements will be refined to implement transparent reporting in accordance with the Federal Funding and Transparency Act. Proposed Rule Stage. Comment period ended 1/2012.
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Reporting Requirements – Requires contractors to report on their use of Recovery Act funds. Information from these reports will be made available to the public. Final Rule Stage. Comment period ended 6/2009.

Federal Housing Finance Agency:

  • Availability of Unpublished Information – Establishes the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) practices and procedures governing the release of non-public information, including records, information, and material not covered by, or exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Proposed Rule Stage. Last action 12/2011.
  • FOIA – Describes the policies and procedures for public disclosure of information required to be disclosed under the FOIA and procedures to protect from disclosure business confidential and trade secret information, as appropriate. Final Rule Stage. Final action taken 12/2011.
  • Privacy Act Implementation – Describes the procedures whereby individuals can access an FHFA system of records under the Privacy Act. Final Rule Stage. Final action taken 12/2011.

Financial Stability Oversight Council:

  • FOIA – Implements the requirements of the FOIA by setting forth procedures for requesting access to FSOC records. Final Rule Stage. Comment period ended 5/2011.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

  • Privacy Act—NASA Regulations – Establishes procedures for individuals to access their Privacy Act records maintained by NASA, to request amendment of information in records concerning them, and to provide procedures for administrative appeals and other remedies. Final Rule Stage. Next action scheduled for 10/2012.

National Archives and Records Administration:

National Endowment for Humanities:

  • Privacy Act Regulations – Amends the current Privacy Act regulations to update the agency’s system of records and to perform a general review and updating of the Privacy regulations. Proposed Rule Stage. Last action taken 4/2012.
  • FOIA – Issues new FOIA regulations for the National Endowment for the Humanities, providing the NEH’s proposed procedures for disclosure of records. Proposed Rule Stage. Last action taken 1/2012.

National Science Foundation:

  • Availability of Records and Information – Incorporates the provisions of the Open FOIA Act of 2009 which addresses a range of policy and procedural issues impacting FOIA administration, including adding an additional component for FOIA requests, providing for multi-track processing by component, reducing duplication fees and making changes that clarify procedures or processes. Final Rule Stage. Direct final rule scheduled for 8/2012.

Office of Government Ethics:

  • Executive Branch Financial Disclosure – Revises the executive branch public and confidential financial disclosure report systems for high-level officials and certain mid-level employees, respectively. Final Rule Stage. Final rule amendments scheduled for 11/2012.

Office of Personnel Management:

  • FOIA – Revises the Agency’s e-FOIA regulations. The revisions include incorporating the e-FOIA Act of 1996, the Agency reorganization of 2003 and to make plain language modifications. Final Rule Stage. Final action taken 3/2012.

Securities and Exchange Commission:

  • Disclosure of Payments By Resource Extraction Issuers – Implements an extension of time for public comment on a rule requiring resource extraction issuers to disclose their annual reports to foreign governments or the U.S. federal government. Final Rule Stage. Final action taken 12/2011.