Digest of Federal Resource Laws

Administrative Laws

Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 551-559, 701-706, 1305, 3105, 3344, 4301, 5362, 7521; 60 Stat. 237), as amended -- Public Law 79-404, signed June 11, 1946, outlines administrative procedures to be followed by Federal agencies with respect to identification of information to be made public; publication of material in the Federal Register; maintenance of records, including those involving certain meetings and hearings; attendance and notification requirements for specific meetings and hearings; issuance of licenses; and review of agency actions.

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A 1976 amendment, P.L. 94-409 (90 Stat. 1246), added provisions prohibiting ex parte communications (5 U.S.C. 557(d)(l)) between agency employees and outside individuals having an interest in the outcome of a pending formal agency proceeding. That law also required that a public record be made of these communications.

See also entries for Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act.

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Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 -- P.L. 90-202, as amended (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.; 89 Stat. 602) prohibits discrimination in Federal employment for employees 40 years of age and older.

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American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 -- Public Law 95-341 (42 U.S.C. 1996) establishes as policy of the United States the protection and preservation for American Indians of their inherent right to freedom to believe, express, and practice their traditional religions. The Act directs Federal agencies to evaluate their policies and procedures, in consultation with native traditional religious leaders, in order to determine changes required to protect and preserve Native American religious cultural rights and practices.

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Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 -- Public Law 101-336 prohibits discrimination of individuals based on disability. It requires that public transportation services be accessible to individuals with disabilities and prohibits discrimination in employment of qualified individuals with disabilities. It requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to issue regulations relating to discrimination of disabled individuals, and requires the National Council on Disability to conduct a study of areas designated as wilderness to determine the effect of the designation on the ability of individuals to enjoy such areas.

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Architectural Barriers Act of 1969 -- Public Law 90-480 (42 U.S.C. 4151) ensures that certain buildings financed or leased by Federal agencies are constructed (or renovated) so that they will be accessible to the physically handicapped. It requires the General Services Administration, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to prescribe standards for non-military Federal buildings.

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Budget Laws -- Article 1, section 9, clause 7 of the Constitution requires appropriations in law before money may be spent from the Treasury. Chapter 11 of Title 31 of the U.S. Code prescribes procedures for submission of the President's budget and the information to be contained in it. The Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 13 and 15) prescribes rules and procedures for budget execution.

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Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (1 U.S.C. 105; 2 U.S.C. 190a-1 et seq.; 31 U.S.C. et seq.; 88 Stat. 297) -- Public Law 93-344, approved July 12, 1974, comprises the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which prescribes congressional budgetary procedures, and the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which controls certain aspects of budget execution. Effective with appropriations acts commencing on or after October 1, 1976, it changed the Federal fiscal year to October 1 through September 30, instead of July 1 through June 30.

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Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 900) -- Public Law 99-177, as amended, prescribes rules and procedures designed to eliminate excessive deficits, including "sequestration." This act is commonly known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act.

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Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 (BEA) (2 U.S.C. 900) -- Title XIII of P.L. 101-508 significantly amended the laws pertaining to the budget process, including the Congressional Budget Act and the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act. The BEA constrains direct spending through the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) requirement for all legislation affecting direct spending and receipts. Under PAYGO, all enacted legislation affecting direct spending or receipts must, in total, be deficit neutral or reduce the deficit every year through 1995. Deficit neutrality is enforced by sequester. The Office of Management and Budget is required to issue sequestration update reports on August 20 of each year for discretionary spending, PAYGO legislation, and the deficit.

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Chief Financial Officer Act (31 U.S.C. 501) -- Public Law 101-576 establishes a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for agencies, including the Department of the Interior. The CFO oversees all financial management activities, develops and maintains an integrated agency accounting and financial management system, provides policy guidance, and transmits annual reports to the agency head and Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

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Civil Rights Acts -- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-352; 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.) enforces the right of citizens to vote, confers jurisdiction upon the district courts to provide injunctive relief against discriminatory public accommodations, authorizes the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, prohibits discrimination in Federally assisted programs, and established the Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC).

Title VI of the Act extends Federal assistance to recipient/grantors via monetary and/or in-kind benefits. Recipient/grantors are required to ensure nondiscrimination in the application or renewal of grants in accordance with applicable civil rights laws.

Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, and national origin for State and Federal employees. It provides for establishment of the EEOC to investigate complaints of discrimination and to negotiate settlements.

As amended in 1970, Title VII focuses attention on the needs of Hispanics in the Federal Government.

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-166) overturns six affirmative employment Supreme Court decisions and provides for the elimination of discrimination in the private and Federal workplace on the basis of sex, race, religion, and national origin.

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Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 -- Public Law 92-261 provides enforcement powers to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Commission is authorized to institute court proceedings to enforce the prohibition against employment discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Act also established significant changes relative to coverage and exemptions, recordkeeping, administration, government contracts, and deadlines for filing charges.

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Equal Pay Act of 1963 -- Public Law 88-38 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) requires equal pay for equal work regardless of gender.

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Equal Rights Under the Law -- 42 U.S.C. 1981 bars intentional race discrimination in employment contracts and assures that victims of discrimination achieve meaningful remedies.

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Ethics in Government -- Public Law 101-280, amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978,

Ethics Reform Act of 1989, and several other acts concerning financial disclosure, limitation on gifts, honoraria and outside employment. It imposes certain post-employment restrictions on Federal employees, includes provisions with respect to the filing of financial disclosure reports by employees, and authorizes flexibility in deciding the appropriate disciplinary action for employees who give gifts to their superiors.

Beginning January 1, 1991, the Act prohibits Federal employees from accepting honoraria. "Honorarium" is defined to mean "a payment of money or any thing of value for an appearance, speech or article by a Member, officer or employee, excluding any actual and necessary travel expenses incurred by such individual (and one relative)..."

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Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (5 U.S.C. 5301) -- Titles I, II and III of P.L. 101-509 (Pay Reform Act) authorize a pay adjustment system in which the national General Schedule pay schedule will be adjusted annually based upon increases in the Employment Cost Index (ECI), supplemented by pay increases in local areas based upon surveys of local wages. The first national schedule adjustment occurs in January 1992, and the local adjustments begin in January 1994.

The mandatory age of retirement for law enforcement officers is increased from 55 to 57.

Agencies are authorized to pay travel or transportation expenses for travel by job candidates to and from pre-employment interviews, and the travel or transportation expenses for new appointees.

The Act also authorizes an increase in uniform allowance from $125 to $400 annually for employees required to wear a prescribed uniform in the performance of official duties.

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Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act of 1982 (31 U.S.C. 901) -- Public Law 97-255 amended the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950 to require ongoing evaluations and reports on the adequacy of the systems of internal accounting and administrative control of each Executive agency.

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Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 471-535 and other U.S.C. sections) -- The Act of June 30, 1948, (63 Stat. 378) as repeatedly amended, sets forth requirements for the management and disposal of government property, including excess property (property under the control of any Federal agency, but which it no longer needs) and surplus property (excess property not required for the needs of any Federal agency).

(See also entry for Transfer of Certain Real Property for Wildlife Conservation Purposes.)

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Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, P.L. 89-554, 80 Stat. 383; P.L. 90-23, 81 Stat. 54; P.L. 93-502, 88 Stat. 1561; P.L. 94-409, 90 Stat. 1247; P.L. 98-620, 98 Stat. 3357; P.L. 99-570, 100 Stat. 3207. Requires all Federal agencies to make available to the public for inspection and copying administrative staff manuals and staff instructions, official, published and unpublished policy statements, final orders deciding case adjudication, and other documents.

Special exemptions have been reserved for nine categories of privileged material, including but not limited to confidential matters relating to National defense or foreign policy, law enforcement records, and trade or commercial secrets.

The Act requires the party seeking the information to pay reasonable search and duplication costs.

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Government Employees Training Act -- Subpart C of P.L. 89-554, approved September 6, 1966 (5 U.S.C. 4101-4119; 80 Stat. 432) authorizes Federal agencies to establish and operate training programs to raise the standards of performance of employees in their official duties and increase the economy and efficiency in agency operations.

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Higher Education Amendments of 1972 -- Title IX of P.L. 92-318 (20 U.S.C. 1681) prohibits gender discrimination by educational institutions or agencies providing educational monetary or in-kind benefits.

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Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act -- Public Law 93-638 (signed January 4, 1975; 88 Stat. 2203; 42 U.S.C. 450-458) as amended by P.L. 100-202, P.L. 101-301, P.L. 100-446, P.L. 100-472, P.L. 100-581, and P.L. 101-644.

This Act recognized the obligation of the United States to provide for maximum participation by Native Americans in Federal Indian programs and services to Indian communities, including education. It establishes a goal to provide education and services to permit Indian children to compete and achieve self-determination.

Whereas the Act originally applied only to the activities and programs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, P.L. 100-472 (102 Stat. 2285) expanded it to all bureaus within the Department of the Interior. This law declares a commitment to the maintenance of the Federal Government's unique and continuing relationship with, and responsibility to, individual Indians and Tribes.

The Secretary of the Interior is directed, upon the request of any Indian Tribe, to enter into self-determination contracts with Tribal organizations to plan, conduct, and administer programs, including those which the Department is authorized to administer for the benefit of Indians because of their status as Indians.

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Job Training and Partnership Act (29 U.S.C. 1501-1781, 49,49a-49 note; 96 Stat. 1322) -- Public Law 97-300, approved October 13, 1982, repealed the expiring Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 801, et seq; 87 Stat. 839), yet continued authority for many of the CETA programs.

Like CETA, this Act is designed to create programs to prepare youth and unskilled adults with the skills to enter into the labor force, and to provide training assistance for those economically disadvantaged and/or facing serious barriers to productive employment. An important feature of the law is the creation of a partnership whereby private businesses and State and local governments provide training and productive work experiences for those economically disadvantaged.

Job Corps Civilian Conservation Corps (Job Corps). Originally created under P.L. 93-203, approved December 28, 1973, and later authorized under CETA, the Job Corps provides residential and nonresidential enrollees who have obtained the age of 14, but not 22, intensive programs of education, vocational training, work experience, counseling, and other activities.

As of January 1, 1991, the Service administered three Job Corps centers with 560 participating students.

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Lobbying Prohibitions -- The U.S. Criminal Code (18 U.S.C. 1913; 62 Stat. 792; June 25, 1948) prohibits the use of appropriated funds to influence Congress outside of official channels. Federal employees may respond to requests for information from Congressional offices, but the penalties for violation of the prohibition on lobbying include mandatory dismissal from Federal service, as well as imprisonment not to exceed one year and/or fines not to exceed $500.

31 U.S.C. 1352, entitled "Limitation on the Use of Appropriated Funds to Influence Certain Federal Contracting and Financial Transactions," as amended by P.L. 101-121, signed on October 23, 1989, stipulates that no appropriated funds may be expended by the recipient of a Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement to pay any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with any of the following covered actions: the awarding of any Federal contract; the making of any Federal grant; the entering into of any cooperative agreement; and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

Recipients are required to file a disclosure form and certify that they have not violated the provisions of the law. Any person who fails to comply with the disclosure and reporting requirements is subject to a civil fine of not less than $10,000 nor more than $100,000 for each such failure. The Secretary is required to report semiannually to Congress, on May 31 and November 30 of each year.

Each year, along with the Department's budget justifications, the Inspector General is also to submit to Congress an evaluation of the effectiveness of the law and the Department's compliance with it.

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Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (15 U.S.C. 205) -- Public Law 94-168, as amended on August 23, 1988 (P.L. 100-418), requires each Federal agency to use the metric system of measurement, where applicable, by the end of Fiscal Year 1992. An amendment on October 11, 1996 (P.L. 104-289) ensures that the use of specific metric components in metric construction projects do not increase the cost of Federal buildings to tax payers. These include, but are not limited to, construction projects on lands in connection with agriculture, conservation programs, and reclamation.

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Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a, 88 Stat. 1896) -- Public Law 93-579, approved December 31, 1974, was enacted to promote greater governmental respect for the privacy of citizens. It has been amended by Public Laws 94-183, approved December 31, 1975 (89 Stat. 1057); 97-365, approved October 25, 1982 (96 Stat. 1749); 97-375, approved December 21, 1982 (96 Stat. 1821); 97-452, approved January 12, 1983 (96 Stat. 2478); 98-477, approved October 15, 1984 (98 Stat. 2211); 98-497, approved October 19, 1984 (98 Stat. 2292); 100-503, approved October 18, 1988 (102 Stat. 2507); and 101-56, approved July 19, 1989 (103 Stat. 149).

The Act requires Federal agencies to adopt minimum standards for the collection and processing of personal information, and to publish detailed descriptions of these procedures. It also limits the making of such records available to other public and private agencies or parties, and requires agencies to make records on individuals available to them upon request, subject to certain conditions and exclusions.

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Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794) as amended -- Title 5 of P.L. 93-112 (87 Stat. 355), signed October 1, 1973, prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

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Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 USC 4601, 4602, 4621-4638, 4651-4655) -- P.L. 91-646, approved January 2, 1971, (84 Stat. 1894) and repeatedly amended, established uniform land acquisition policies for all Federal agencies, and established requirements for the uniform and equitable treatment of persons displaced from their homes, businesses or farms by Federal or Federally assisted programs, including land acquisition.

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Last updated: January 10, 2013