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H.R. 3786 (112th): Plain Regulations Act of 2012

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 18, 2012 (Introduced).


I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3786

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 18, 2012

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To ensure clarity of regulations to improve the effectiveness of Federal regulatory programs while decreasing burdens on the regulated public.

1.

Short title

This Act may be referred to as the Plain Regulations Act of 2012.

2.

Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to improve the effectiveness and accountability of Federal agencies to the public by promoting clear regulations that are easier for the Government to implement and for the public to comply with.

3.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Agency

The term agency means an Executive agency, as that term is defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code.

(2)

Regulation

The term regulation means a rule, as that term is defined in section 551(4) of title 5, United States Code, that is issued by an agency.

(3)

Plain language

The term plain language means language that is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience.

4.

Responsibilities of Federal agencies

(a)

Preparation for implementation of plain writing requirements for regulations

(1)

In general

Not later than 9 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the head of each agency shall—

(A)

designate one or more senior officials within the agency to oversee the agency implementation of this Act;

(B)

communicate the requirements of this Act to the employees of the agency;

(C)

train employees of the agency to use plain language in developing and implementing regulations;

(D)

establish a process for overseeing the ongoing compliance of the agency with the requirements of this Act; and

(E)

designate one or more agency points-of-contact to receive and respond to public input on—

(i)

agency implementation of this Act; and

(ii)

the agency reports required under section 6.

(2)

Persons designated

Persons designated under paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(E) may be the same persons designated to carry out similar functions under the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–272; 5 U.S.C. 301 note).

(b)

Requirement To use plain language in new and revised regulations

Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, each agency shall use plain language in accordance with the guidance issued by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–274; 5 U.S.C. 301 note) in all new and substantially revised proposed and final regulations issued by the agency.

(c)

Certification of compliance

For each proposed or final rule issued by an agency, the head of the agency shall certify to the Director that the agency head has read the proposed or final rule and that the rulemaking documents are in plain language.

(d)

Exemption from certain information collection provisions

Agency actions to collect information from the public about a regulation are exempt from the information collection provisions of sections 3506(c) and 3507 of title 44, United States Code, if the agency head certifies that the sole reason for the information collection is to improve the clarity of the regulation under the requirements of this Act.

5.

Responsibilities of Office of Management and Budget

(a)

Guidance

Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should develop and issue guidance on implementing the requirements of this Act. The Director may designate a lead agency, and may use interagency working groups to assist in developing and issuing the guidance.

(b)

Return of regulations

If the Director finds that, with respect to any regulation proposed to be issued by an agency, the agency did not follow the guidance issued by the Director under the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–274; 5 U.S.C. 301 note), the Director shall return the regulation to the agency to be redrafted in plain language and resubmitted to the Director for approval.

(c)

Publication of certifications

The Director shall publish the certifications from agency heads required under section 4(c) on the official Web site of the Office of Management and Budget.

6.

Reports to Congress

(a)

Initial report

Not later than 9 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the head of each agency shall publish on the plain writing section of the agency’s Web site created under the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–274; 5 U.S.C. 301 note) a report that describes the agency plan for compliance with the requirements of this Act.

(b)

Annual compliance report

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the head of each agency shall publish on such plain writing section of the agency’s Web site a report on agency compliance with the requirements of this Act.

7.

Judicial review and enforceability

(a)

Judicial review

There may be no judicial review of compliance or noncompliance with any provision of this Act.

(b)

Enforceability

No provision of this Act may be construed to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any administrative or judicial action.