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F e d e r a l r e s e r v e Ba n k o f D a lla s DALLAS. TEXAS 75222 Circular No. 79-20 January 31, 1979 IMPROVEMENT OF RULEMAKING PROCEDURES TO ALL BANKS AND OTHERS CONCERNED IN THE ELEVENTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT: The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has issued a policy statement expanding its rulemaking procedures to improve the quality and public understanding of its regulations. The principal elements of the procedures the Board will followwith some exceptions--in developing new or revised Federal Reserve regula tions include: -- Early involvement of the public, by such means as advance notice of rulemaking; identification of areas in which the Board would particularly like comment; open conferences or informal public hearings; and direct solicitation of the views of interested persons or groups, with attention given to getting views from differing sources. -- Early involvement of designated members of the Board. -- Staff preparation of a regulatory analysis, prior to pro posals for rulemaking, that will describe the need for and purposes of a new or revised regulation; examine available alternative courses of action; estimate the possible economic impact and the burdens of compliance, record keeping, and reporting that would be involved, and indi cate the reasons for the particular course of action selected. — Staff presentation of a regulatory proposal to the Board only after the designated Board members are satisfied that the issues have been adequately considered at the staff level, that the proposal is understandable and that it will impose no unnecessary burdens. -- Board consideration of regulatory proposals, ordinarily, at meetings open to public observation. This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (FedHistory@dal.frb.org) -2- -- Allowance of at least 60 days for public comment. -- Staff analysis of comment received and presentation of the analysis to designated Board members. The Board will consider a proposal for action only after the designated Board members are satisfied that public comment has received full consideration. -- Final Board action, ordinarily at an open meeting. The Board's announcement of its action will discuss reasons for the action and the Board's reasons for accepting or rejecting suggestions received from the public. -- Board publication of a descriptive semi-annual agenda of regulations under development or review, and of the status of regulatory development projects already announced. -- Board review of each of its regulations at least once each five years. Where delays occasioned by the new lengthier rulemaking procedures would not be necessary or in the public interest, the Board will adopt ex pedited procedures. Section 1 of the policy statement provides a number of examples of regulatory actions for which expedited procedures are appropriate. The new procedures do not apply to the formulation of monetary policy or to amendments of regulations required to implement monetary policy decisions of the Board or the Federal Open Market Committee. The Board's policy statement is enclosed. Sincerely yours, Ernest T. Baughman President Enclosure Extract From Federal Register VOL. 44, NO. 14 Friday, January 19, 1979 pp. 3957 - 3959 rulemaking procedures that will be more elaborate than those prescribed in the Board’s Rules of Procedure for Rulemaking (12 CFR 262.2). When the Board has good cause to follow more expedited procedures, such as those set forth in its regulations, it will state the reasons in the F e d e r a l R e g is t e r notice accompanying the action. The new procedures do not apply to the formulation of monetary policy or to amendments of regulations required to implement monetary policy decisions. The Board believes that this ap proach fully complies with the spirit of Executive Order No. 12044 ( “Im proving Government Regulations”) and contributes significantly to fur thering the President’s goals of reduc ing regulatory burdens and Improving regulations. The Board is implementing this policy Immediately and welcomes sug gestions for improving the policy. DATES: Comments should be submit ted in writing on or before March 20, 1979. The new policy is effective Janu ary 10,1979. ADDRESS: Submit comments to the Secretary to the Board, Board of Gov ernors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, D.C. 20551. The com ments received will be available for in spection and copying. FO R FU R T H E R CONTACT: [6210-01-M ] Title 12—Banks and Banking CHAPTER II— FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM SUPCHAPTER A —BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM [Docket No. R-0196] PART 262—RULES OF PROCEDURE Statement o f Policy A G E N C Y: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. ACTIO N: Statement of policy regard ing expanded rulemaking procedures. SU M M A R y: The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System desires to Improve the quality of its regula tions through greater public participa tion in the development of its regula tions and early involvement by Board members in the process to assure that regulations are not unduly burden some and complex. The Board also wishes to improve public understand ing of the considerations underlying the regulations it adopts. To accom plish these objectives, the Board is adopting a general policy of following IN F O R M A T IO N Jerauld C. Kluckman, Associate Di rector, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, D.C. 20551. Telephone: (202) 452-3401. SU P PL E M E N T A R Y INFO R M A T IO N: The Board, with participation by the Federal Reserve Banks, is engaged in a Regulatory Improvement Project in volving a zero-base review of all Feder al Reserve regulations that affect the public. Each regulation is being ana lyzed to determine: the fundamental objectives of the regulation; whether the regulation is obsolete or a differ ent approach would be appropriate; the costs and benefits of the regula tion; whether it can be made less bur densome or nonregulatory alternatives adopted without reducing its effective ness to achieve present-day goals; and whether the regulation is as simple as possible and understandable to those who must comply. To date, this review has been completed for two regula tions (Regulations C and E; see 43 FR 53708 and Board release of Nov. 9, 1978), and substantial staff work has been done on others. Deadlines have been set to assure that the review of remaining regulations will be complet ed as soon as possible. The Board also has decided to im prove access to all Federal Reserve regulatory materials by authorizing is suance of a new, publicly distributed regulatory service that will include regulations, published and previously unpublished Board interpretations, previously uncirculated Board and staff rulings and opinions, relevant policy statements and other materials that affect the public. The Board plans to introduce this service in early 1980 and will update it periodically. The Board believes that ready access to the full range of regulatory materi als will enable those regulated to oper ate with a far greater degree of cer tainty, and understanding of and com pliance with Board rules will be en hanced. As a further effort to improve its regulations and the regulatory proc ess, the Board as a matter of policy also will apply expanded procedures to the development of new regulations. These procedures are more elaborate than those prescribed in the Board’s Rules of Procedure for Rulemaking (12 CFR 262.2). At the same time, the Board is aware that a lengthier, more involved rule making procedure may result in delays detrimental to those making plans or seeking immediate relief from undue burdens. Therefore, when the Board believes that more expedited proce dures are fair, necessary, or desirable, it will follow such procedures and inform the public of the reasons for its decision. Ordinarily, consideration of a regulation In a new area of the law will involve greater time and public participation than an amendment to an existing regulation in an estab lished area of the law. Examples of regulatory actions for which expedited procedures may be appropriate are the following: (1) The regulation is a technical amendment (e.g., reflecting a name change) or a clarifying change; (2) The regulation requires prompt action in the public interest (e.g., changes in reserve requirements, stock market margin requirements, or the discount rate, or actions designed to eliminate a loophole); (3) The regulation reduces a burden where further delay would cause un necessary harm; (4) The regulation is a reformulation of a proposal previously issued for public comment; and (5) The regulation must be adopted within a statutory deadline. The Board believes its policy will result in improved Board regulations and fully complies with the spirit of Executive Order No. 12044, dated March 23, 1978 ("Improving Govern ment Regulations”) (43 F R 12661). In several ways, it goes beyond that Order. For example, the policy gener ally will be followed for all new pro posals, whether or not they are re garded as “significant,” and a regula tory analysis will be made in all cases. To implement this approach the Board has adopted the following policy statement: S t a t e m e n t o r P o l i c y R e g a r d in g E x p a n d e d R u l e m a k in g P r o c e d u r e s s e c t io n 1 Policy. I t is the policy o f the Board o f Governors o f the Federal Reserve System to improve the quality and minimize the burdens o f its regula tions by carefully considering an anal ysis o f proposed regulations before they are published fo r comment, en couraging maximum public participa tion in the development o f the regula tions, and inform ing the public o f the reasons fo r the Board’s regulatory ac tions. T o achieve these objectives and to comply with the spirit o f Executive Order 12044, the Board is setting forth in this statement expanded rulemak ing procedures that it intends to follow in developing regulations. I f the Board finds it necessary or beneficial in the public interest to avoid delay by follow ing more expedited procedures, such as those set forth in the Board’s Rules o f Procedure fo r Rulemaking (12 C F R 262.2), the Board w ill state its reasons in a notice accompanying its actions. T h e new procedures do not apply to the formulation o f monetary policy or to amendments o f regula tions required to implement monetary policy decisions. Examples o f regulatory actions fo r which expedited procedures may be appropriate are the following: (1 ) T h e regulation is a technical amendment (e.g., reflecting a name change) or a clarifying change; (2 ) T h e regulation requires prompt action in the public interest (e.g., changes in reserve requirements, stock market margin requirements, or the discount rate, or actions designed to eliminate a loophole); (3 ) T h e regulation reduces a burden where further delay would cause un necessary harm; (4 ) T h e regulation is a reformulation o f a proposal previously issued fo r public comment; and (5) Th e regulation must be adopted within a statutory deadline. SECTION 3 P u b lic involvem ent in the develop m ent o f proposals. T h e Board believes that the public can make valuable con tributions in identifying issues that should be addressed in its regulations. W ith respect to regulations imple menting new areas o f law or major re visions o f existing regulations, the Board will endeavor to obtain prelimi nary views o f interested persons prior to the development o f a proposed reg ulation. For this purpose, the Board w ill utilize such procedures as it deems appropriate, including publication o f an advance notice o f proposed rule making, which m ay suggest specific issues on which comments should be focused; scheduling o f an open confer ence or inform al public hearing; and direct solicitation o f views from inter ested persons or groups, selected so as to assure that conflicting interests and appropriate public bodies are fairly represented. SECTION 4 In itia l analysis o f proposals. Before presenting any proposals regarding a regulation to the Board fo r formal action, the staff will prepare a regula tory analysis o f the proposal. Th e extent o f the regulatory analysis at this stage w ill vary, depending upon the nature o f the regulation. In every case, at a minimum, the regulatory analysis will discuss the need fo r and purposes o f the regulation, set forth the various options available, discuss, where appropriate, their possible eco nomic implications, evaluate their compliance, recordkeeping and report ing burdens, and recommend the best course o f action based on an evalua tion o f the alternatives. I f the regula tion concerns an area where consider able information is available, a corre spondingly more exhaustive regula tory analysis will be expected. W hen the designated Board mem bers involved are satisfied that the issues have been adequately treated by the staff, that the proposals are as simple as possible and understandable to those who must comply and that no unnecessary burdens would be im posed, the sta ff w ill present the pro posals to the Board fo r action. SECTION 2 s e c t io n Developm ent o f regulatory plan. Des ignated members o f the Board will become involved at an early stage in the development o f regulations and w ill meet w ith sta ff to review the issues to be considered, the alternative approaches to be explored, a tentative plan to obtain public comment, and target dates fo r completion o f steps in the development o f the regulation. s Prelim in a ry action by the Board. Consideration o f the proposals by the Board ordinarily will take place at a meeting open to public observation. T h e Board ordinarily w ill authorize publication o f a proposed regulation fo r comment. A t that time, the regula tory analysis o f the proposals w ill be made available to the public. s c c t io n s General p u b lic participa tion . Th e Board generally w ill allow at least 60 days fo r public comment on a pro posed regulation. T h e notice accompa nying the proposal will contain a sum m ary analysis o f the regulation and inform the public th a t copies o f the regulatory analysis are available through the Freedom o f Inform ation O ffice. W hen deemed appropriate, the Board may also schedule an informal public hearing. SECTION 7 S ta ff analysis follow in g public com ments. T h e sta ff will prepare a sum mary o f comments received, and this document, as well as the written com ments. w ill be made available to the public. A fte r taking account o f the public comments, the sta ff w ill pre pare recommendations fo r considera tion by the designated Board mem bers. W hen these members are satis fied that the public comments have re ceived fu ll and appropriate attention, the sta ff’s analysis and recommenda tions w ill be presented to the Board fo r action. SECTION 8 F inal action by the Board and an nouncement o f its decision. Final action on the proposals by the Board ordinarily will take place at a meeting open to public observation. Th e Board w ill announce the reasons fo r what ever action it takes regarding a pro posed regulation. T h e announcement w ill discuss the Board’s rationale fo r accepting or rejecting arguments re garding the significant issues raised by the public. I f the earlier regulatory analysis made available to the public is changed materially, a revised regula tory analysis w ill be made available. SECTION 9 Sem iannual agenda o f regulations. On the first Monday in October, the Board w ill publish in the F e d e r a l R e g i s t e r a schedule showing the times during the next twelve months when it w ill publish a semiannual agenda o f regulations under development or review. T h e agenda shall describe the regulations that the Board anticipates w ill be considered, the need and legal basis fo r the action being taken, and the status o f regulations previously listed on the agenda. Each item on the agenda w ill include the name and tele phone number o f a knowledgeable member o f the Board's staff. Supple ments to the agenda may be published at other times during the year as ap propriate. SECTION 10 P eriod ic review o f regulations. Th e Board will review each o f its existing regulation* at least once every five years. Each regulation is to be re-ex amined with a view toward eliminating or sim plifying it and easing burdens imposed by it. In selecting regulations to be reviewed, the Board w ill consider such factors as the length o f time since the last evaluation o f the regula tion, the continued need fo r it, the type and number of'com plain ts and suggestions received, the direct and in direct burdens imposed by the regula tion, and the need to sim plify or clari fy the regulation and eliminate dupli cation. Essentially the same proce dures described in this policy state ment w ill be followed in the periodic review o f regulations. Board o f Governors o f the Federal Reserve System, January 15,1979. T heodore E. A l l is o n , Secretary o f the Board. [FR Doc. 79-1910 Filed 1-18-79; 845 am]