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EOs: Federal agencies must make - regulatory-guidance documents publicly available o

Posted: Oct 11th, 2019 - 1:08 pm

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders aimed at clarifying regulations and "are ensuring our laws are enforced fairly.”

The first order, entitled “Bringing Guidance Out of the Darkness,” mandates all federal government agencies publish all regulatory-guidance documents on easily searchable websites to allow Americans better access and input. The order further requires that the government “permit citizens to give their input on these guidelines,” and insists that the public “will have the ability to ask agencies to withdraw guidance they believe is wrong.”

Trump’s second order, titled “Transparency and Fairness,” prohibits government agencies from enforcing regulations “that have not been made publicly known.” Furthermore, citizens cannot be prosecuted based upon an agency’s interpretation “of how a statute or regulation applies to particular circumstances.” Instead, citizens are legally liable only regarding the actual law or regulation.

In other words, "internal memos" and other such "regulatory guidance" may not supercede an actual law or rule.


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