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Rep. McIntosh Seeks CPSC `Guidance' Documents.

Rep. David McIntosh, chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs, of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, is completing a canvass of regulatory agencies. McIntosh is looking for copies of any "guidance documents" that could lead regulated industries to believe the "guidance" was legally binding, when it is not.

McIntosh's canvass is designed to aid his legislation, HR 3521, The Congressional Accountability for Regulatory Information Act of 2000. McIntosh says his bill has a provision to improve the public's understanding of the effect of agency guidance documents (such as guidance, guidelines, manuals, and handbooks). The bill requires agencies to include a notice on the first page of each agency guidance document to make clear that, if the document has no general applicability or future effect, it is not legally binding.

The Congressman noted, "Under the Congressional Review Act, `rules' subject to Congressional review are broadly defined to include not only regulatory actions subject to statutory notice and comment but also other agency actions that contain statements of general applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy."

Consequently, McIntosh has asked CPSC to submit copies of all non-codified documents issued since March 1996 showing whether each "guidance" document included the recommended explanation of its legal effect.
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Publication:CPSC Monitor
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 2000
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