Designing Federal Permitting Programs

Recommendation 2015-4 – Designing Federal Permitting Programs describes different types of permitting systems and provides factors for agencies to consider when designing or reviewing permitting programs. The recommendation discusses both ‘‘general’’ permits (which are granted so long as certain requirements are met) and ‘‘specific’’ permits (which involve fact-intensive, case-by-case determinations), as well as intermediate or hybrid permitting programs. It encourages agencies that adopt permitting systems to design them so as to minimize burdens on the agency and regulated entities while maintaining required regulatory protections.

Citation: Admin. Conf. of the U.S., Recommendation 2015-4, Federal Licensing and Permitting80 Fed. Reg. 78,164 (Dec. 16, 2015).


Implementation Contact
(202) 480-2092

Final Recommendation

  • Recommendation number: 2015-4
  • Adopted on: December 4, 2015
  • Committees: Regulation

Regulatory permits are ubiquitous in modern society, and each year dozens of federal agencies administering their regulatory permit authority issue tens of thousands of permits covering a broad and diverse range of actions.[1] The APA includes the term “permit” in its definition of “license.” In addition to agency permits, the APA defines licenses to include “the whole or part of an agency…certificate, approval, registration,...

Committee Meetings & Events

October 1, 2015 Committee Meeting (Committee on Regulation)

October 1, 2015 - 2:00 pm EDT
Location name: 
Administrative Conference of the United States

October 22, 2015 Committee Meeting (Committee on Regulation)

October 22, 2015 - 9:00 am EDT
Location name: 
Administrative Conference of the United States

64th Plenary Session

December 4, 2015 - 9:00 am EST
Location name: 
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Answer this question to help us prevent spam:
Question text provided by

Confirm your attendance in the following dates:

Asterisks (*) indicate required information.

Having problems submitting this form? You can provide this information via telephone at 202-480-2080