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S. 628: GOOD Act


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 9, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 628

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 9, 2021

(for himself, Mr. Lankford, Mr. Paul, Mr. Hagerty, Ms. Lummis, Mr. Braun, Mr. Tillis, Mr. Cramer, Ms. Ernst, Mr. Cornyn, and Mr. Cruz) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To increase access to agency guidance documents.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Guidance Out Of Darkness Act or the GOOD Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Agency

The term agency has the meaning given that term in section 551 of title 5, United States Code.

(2)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(3)

Guidance document

(A)

Definition

The term guidance document

(i)

means an agency statement of general applicability (other than a rule that has the force and effect of law promulgated in accordance with the notice and comment procedures under section 553 of title 5, United States Code) that—

(I)

does not have the force and effect of law; and

(II)

is designated by an agency official as setting forth—

(aa)

a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue; or

(bb)

an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue; and

(ii)

may include—

(I)

a memorandum;

(II)

a notice;

(III)

a bulletin;

(IV)

a directive;

(V)

a news release;

(VI)

a letter;

(VII)

a blog post;

(VIII)

a no-action letter;

(IX)

a speech by an agency official; and

(X)

any combination of the items described in subclauses (I) through (IX).

(B)

Rule of construction

The term guidance document

(i)

shall be construed broadly to effectuate the purpose and intent of this Act; and

(ii)

shall not be limited to the items described in subparagraph (A)(ii).

3.

Publication of guidance documents on the internet

(a)

In general

Subject to subsection (d), on the date on which an agency issues a guidance document, the agency shall publish the guidance document in accordance with the requirements under subsection (c).

(b)

Previously issued guidance documents

Subject to subsection (d), not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, each agency shall publish, in accordance with the requirements under subsection (c), any guidance document issued by that agency that is in effect on that date.

(c)

Single location

(1)

In general

All guidance documents published under subsections (a) and (b) by an agency shall be published in a single location on an internet website designated by the Director under paragraph (4).

(2)

Agency internet websites

Each agency shall, for guidance documents published by the agency under subsections (a) and (b), publish a hyperlink on the internet website of the agency that provides access to the guidance documents at the location described in paragraph (1).

(3)

Organization

(A)

In general

The guidance documents described in paragraph (1) shall be—

(i)

categorized as guidance documents; and

(ii)

further divided into subcategories as appropriate.

(B)

Agency internet websites

The hyperlinks described in paragraph (2) shall be prominently displayed on the internet website of the agency.

(4)

Designation

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall designate an internet website on which guidance documents shall be published under subsections (a) and (b).

(d)

Documents and information exempt from disclosure under FOIA

If a guidance document issued by an agency is a document that is exempt from disclosure under section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the Freedom of Information Act), or contains information that is exempt from disclosure under that section, that document or information, as the case may be, shall not be subject to the requirements under this Act.

(e)

Rescinded guidance documents

On the date on which a guidance document issued by an agency is rescinded, or, in the case of a guidance document that is rescinded pursuant to a court order, not later than the date on which the order is entered, the agency shall, at the location described in subsection (c)(1)—

(1)

maintain the rescinded guidance document; and

(2)

indicate—

(A)

that the guidance document is rescinded;

(B)

if the guidance document was rescinded pursuant to a court order, the case number of the case in which the order was entered; and

(C)

the date on which the guidance document was rescinded.