Recommendations

The main statutory function of ACUS is to bring together the public and private sectors to recommend improvements to administrative and regulatory processes.

ACUS’s Office of the Chairman, with the approval of the Council, engages consultants to study administrative processes or procedures that may need improvement. Consultants or in-house staff then prepare a comprehensive research report proposing recommendations.  An ACUS committee discusses this report, preparing a draft Recommendation to submit to the Council and, with approval, to the Assembly.  Following a debate the Assembly adopts the final Recommendation, which ACUS undertakes to implement.

                                                                               ACUS Recommendation Process

On occasion, the ACUS membership has acted to adopt a “Statement” to express its views on a particular matter without making a formal recommendation on the subject.  ACUS statements are typically the product of the same process that leads to recommendations, but may set forth issues, conclusions from a study, or comments, rather than recommendations.  ACUS has adopted 19 such statements, which are included in the searchable database of recommendations.

Many areas of government agency activities are characterized by fragmented and overlapping delegations of power to administrative agencies.  Congress often assigns more than one agency the same or similar functions or divides responsibilities among multiple agencies, giving each responsibility for part of a larger whole.  Instances of overlap and fragmentation are common.  They can be found throughout the administrative state, in...

  • Recommendation number: 2012-6
  • Adopted on: December 6, 2012
  • Committee: Judicial Review

The Administrative Conference of the United States has long had an interest in ensuring appropriate judicial review of Government actions and in considering related questions regarding jurisdiction and forum.  For example, the Conference’s seminal Recommendation 69-1 recommended amendment of the Administrative Procedure Act—subsequently enacted by Congress—to waive sovereign immunity and thereby permit citizens “to challenge in...

Federal agencies in diverse areas have developed third-party programs to assess whether regulated entities are in compliance with regulatory standards and other requirements.  Through these programs, third parties assess the safety of imported food, children’s products, medical devices, cell phones and other telecommunications equipment, and electrical equipment used in workplaces.  Third parties also ensure that products labeled...

Civil monetary penalties are used by the Congress and federal agencies to enforce and promote compliance with federal laws and regulations by deterring violations.  These laws and regulations serve vital public purposes such as ensuring workplace or transportation safety, preserving the environment, and protecting consumers from dangerous products.  As the then Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget testified to...

  • Recommendation number: 2011-1
  • Adopted on: June 16, 2011
  • Committee: Rulemaking

Agencies are increasingly turning to e-Rulemaking to conduct and improve regulatory proceedings.  “E-Rulemaking” has been defined as “the use of digital technologies in the development and implementation of regulations”[1] before or during the informal rulemaking process, i.e., notice-and-comment rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).  It may include many types of activities, such as posting notices of proposed...

  • Recommendation number: 2011-2
  • Adopted on: June 16, 2011
  • Committee: Regulation

One of the primary innovations associated with the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) was its implementation of a comment period in which agencies solicit the views of interested members of the public on proposed rules.[1]  The procedure created by the APA has come to be called “notice-and-comment rulemaking,” and comments have become an integral part of the overall rulemaking process.

In a December 2006 report titled “...

The Conference believes that it is important to ensure that services provided by government contractors—particularly those services that are similar to those performed by government employees—are performed with integrity and that the public interest is protected.  In that light, the Conference recommends that the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (“FAR Council”) promulgate model language in the Federal Acquisition Regulation...

  • Recommendation number: 2011-4
  • Adopted on: June 17, 2011
  • Committee: Adjudication

Since the early 1990s, video teleconferencing technology (“VTC”) has been explored by various entities in the public and private sectors for its potential use in administrative hearings and other adjudicatory proceedings.[1]  In the last 10 years, advances in technology and carrier services coupled with reduced personnel and increased travel costs have made the use of VTC more attractive to local, state and federal governments.  ...

Incorporation by reference allows agencies to comply with the requirement of publishing rules in the Federal Register to be codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) by referring to material published elsewhere.[1]   The practice is first and foremost intended to—and in fact does—substantially reduce the size of the CFR.  But it also furthers important, substantive regulatory policies, enabling agencies to draw on the...

  • Recommendation number: 2011-6
  • Adopted on: December 8, 2011
  • Committee: Regulation

In June 1991, the Administrative Conference issued Recommendation 91-1, “Federal Agency Cooperation with Foreign Government Regulators,” finding that “[i]f American administrative agencies could ever afford to engage in regulatory activities without regard to the policies and practices of administrative agencies abroad, the character and pace of world developments suggest that that era has come to a close,” and recommending...