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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

431.8 - Federal Register Documents


OPR: Office of Information Services

1. Purpose. This chapter cites authority and defines general responsibilities for the preparation of material to be published in the Federal Register.

2. Authority.

A. The authority for the issuance of this chapter is Executive Order 12291, "Federal Regulation," February 17, 1981.

B. The Code of Federal Regulations (1 CFR 15.10) as supplemented by the Federal Register Document Drafting Handbook, provides further guidance with respect to matters required to be published in the Federal Register and to its manner of preparation and filing.

C. Departmental Regulations (318 DM 1-10) supplement the above provisions and require the USGS to designate a Federal Register Liaison Officer and alternate who will be the primary contacts for the USGS for all matters pertaining to Federal Register documents and issuances and related functions (318 DM 1.4B).

3. Definitions.

A. Rule/Regulation. A document which has legal effect and is designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or describes the organization, procedures, or practices of an agency. Rules may have general or particular applicability and are eventually codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

B. Rulemaking. This is the agency process for formulating, amending, or repealing a rule.

C. Notice. The purpose of a notice is to advise the public of information or an event which may be of general interest. Material which is not regulatory or procedural and does not set requirements to be followed may be published as notices. Typical notices are: notices of hearings and meetings; notices of the availability of reports, environmental impact statements or other documents; and delegations of authority, when considered to have a direct effect on the public.

Notices are not subject to codification and are not reprinted in the CFR. The only index reference to such material is in the monthly, quarterly, and annual Federal Register publications of the Subject Index.

4. Responsibilities. The USGS is responsible for ensuring that all materials required by Public Law or Departmental directive be published in the Federal Register.

A. The Director, USGS, is authorized to publish in the Federal Register notices which pertain to the responsibilities and functions assigned to the USGS. Issuance of proposed or final rules for codification in the Code of Federal Regulations is reserved for Secretarial signature (220 DM 7.1).

B. Division Chiefs may publish in the Federal Register notices pertaining to their Division responsibilities and functions.

C. Office of Information Services. The Office Chief is responsible for designating two Federal Register Liaison Officers for the USGS to serve as principal and alternate in accordance with the requirements of 318 DM 1.4B. These individuals act as liaison with the Department and the Office of the Federal Register.

D. The Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of Information Services, is responsible for:

(1) Serving as the contact point for the Departmental Liaison on all matters pertaining to Federal Register documents and issuances.

(2) Providing advice and assistance to USGS employees on the preparation of documents.

(3) Reviewing all documents for format and compliance with the provisions of 318 DM, 1 CFR 1-22, and the Federal Register Document Drafting Handbook.

(4) Assuring the appropriate organizational elements and individuals are included in the review and clearance of all documents.

(5) Forwarding a copy of each news release accompanying a Federal Register document to the USGS Public Affairs Officer.

E. The USGS Public Affairs Officer is responsible for preparing the final version of news releases to supplement Federal Register documents whenever public interest in the subject matter of a document warrants broader publication. Draft news releases will be prepared by the responsible Division or Office and will accompany the documents submitted to the Federal Register Liaison Officer. (The news release and document should be published concurrently.)

F. The Certifying Officer, Office of the Director, is responsible for carrying out the responsibilities in 1 CFR 16 which include:

(1) Certifying two copies as exact duplicates of the original document.

(2) Assuring that the USGS billing code, 4310-31, has been placed on the original and two certified copies.

(3) Assuring that the name and title of the signing official have been typed or stamped on the original and two certified copies.

G. Originating Offices of Federal Register documents are responsible for following the guidance for the preparation of Federal Register documents contained in 318 DM 1-10. Additionally, they will ensure that:

(1) A determination is made within the office as to whether a news release is necessary.

(2) The Public Affairs Officer has been contacted regarding the necessity for a news release. (If a news release is necessary, it must be circulated with the document for review and approval, and the Public Affairs Officer must be included in the distribution of copies (318 DM 2.5).)

(3) The Federal Register document is circulated for review and comment when the document directly or indirectly affects the functions of other organizational components.

(4) Each finalized document, together with a news release (if necessary), is submitted to the Federal Register Liaison Officer before the document is forwarded for formal review and signature.

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Last modification: 30-Aug-2017@09:41 (bt)