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Department of the Interior
Effective Date: 5/14/98
Series: Administrative Procedure
Part 318: Federal Register Documents
Chapter 1: How to Publish a Rule
Originating Office: Executive Secretariat and Office of Regulatory Affairs
318 DM 1
1.1 What is a rule? A rule (also called a regulation or rulemaking) is a document you publish in the Federal Register to implement or interpret law or policy. A rule is generally published first as a proposed rule and then as a final rule. Once a rule is published in final, it is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations and remains in effect until it is modified by publication of another rule.
1.2 How do I publish a rule? If you wish to publish a rule, you
must take the steps in the table below. The table also tells you where
in the manual you can find more complete guidance.
||Stage when required||Where guidance can be found|
|Prepare a regulatory alert form||ANPRM, NPRM or final rule1||Chapter 2|
|Obtain a regulatory identification number (RIN) and include the rule in the semiannual agenda||ANPRM, NPRM or final rule1||Chapter 2|
|Include the rule in the OMB regulatory report||ANPRM, NPRM or final rule1||Chapter 2|
|Prepare and circulate a record of compliance (ROC)||NPRM and final rule1||Chapter 3|
|Prepare and circulate additional required documentation as indicated by the ROC||NPRM and final rule1||Chapter 3|
|Write or revise the rule||NPRM and final rule||Chapters 4,5|
|Circulate the rule for approval and signature||ANPRM, NPRM and final rule||Chapter 6|
|Have the signed rule approved and/or certified||ANPRM, NPRM and final rule||Chapters 6,7|
|Certification for SBA or a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis||NPRM and final rule||Chapter 3|
|Send copies of the rule to Congress and GAO||Final rule||Chapter 6|
|Send the rule to the Federal Register||NPRM, final rule||Chapter 7|
1 If you propose a rule, you need to take this step only in conjunction with publishing the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) or the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), whichever comes first. On the other hand, if you are publishing a final rule without an NPRM, you must take this step before you can publish the final rule.
1.3 What is the difference between a proposed rule and a final rule? In most cases, you must publish a proposed rule (also called a notice of proposed rulemaking or NPRM) before you can publish a final rule. A proposed rule sets forth your plan/intention for the rule and solicits public comment. After you evaluate the public's comments and modify the proposal if necessary, you may then publish a final rule. The final rule will be codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.
1.4 Can I ever skip the proposed rule stage? Only rarely. If there is a compelling reason, you may publish an interim rule or a final rule without a proposal and without seeking public comment (See 5 U.S.C. §553). If a rule relates only to agency organization, procedure, or practice, or if you can show good cause, you may sometimes skip the proposed rulemaking stage. See also section 5.3, below. Ask your regulatory contact for guidance on whether you may skip the proposed rulemaking stage. The Office of Regulatory Affairs is the final arbiter.
1.5 Where can I get additional guidance on the rulemaking process? Your bureau has a regulatory contact who can answer your questions about how to develop and publish a rule. For information about the format of a rulemaking document and the technical requirements for publication in the Federal Register, consult the Document Drafting Handbook (DDH). This handbook is published by the Office of the Federal Register, and is available online at:
Replaces 6/30/82 #2417
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