Last week the Government Printing Office (GPO), the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) jointly released a new, XML-based version of the Federal Register at FederalRegister.gov.
This new site is important because much of the business of the United States government is conducted by federal agencies—in addition to Congress and the United States courts. The Federal Register is the news magazine of the federal agencies. Published Monday through Friday, the Federal Register provides notice of new regulations, requests for comment on proposed regulations, and news about actions taken by agencies and the President. Attorneys who have clients involved in regulated industries (basically everything!) monitor the register for news affecting their clients. Here are two examples from today’s Federal Register:
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development released application information for the FY2010 Housing Counseling Grant;
- The Environmental Protection Agency corrected the text of its July 15, 2010 Call for Information on accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from bioenergy sources.
The new site is in beta. It is an unofficial version of the Federal Register for now, but the site provides links to the official PDF version in FDsys.gov.
The advantages of the new site include:
- Reader-friendly font and format
- News organized into six sections: Money, Environment, World, Science & Technology, Business & Industry, and Health & Public Welfare
- News indexed by topic
- News indexed by agency
- Calendar feature showing important dates for a given regulation
- Links for submitting comments on proposed regulations (could be improved–Cornell’s Regulation Room is much better)