Recommendation 2015-2 – Technical Assistance by Federal Agencies in the Legislative Process offers best practices for agencies when providing Congress with technical drafting assistance. It is intended to apply to situations in which Congress originates the draft legislation and asks an agency to review and provide expert technical feedback on the draft without necessarily taking an official substantive position. The recommendation urges agencies and Congress to engage proactively in mutually beneficial outreach and education. It highlights the practice of providing congressional requesters with redline drafts showing how proposed bills would affect existing law; suggests that agencies consider ways to involve appropriate agency experts in the process; and urges agencies to maintain a strong working relationship between legislative affairs and legislative counsel offices.
Citation: Admin. Conf. of the U.S., Recommendation 2015-2, Technical Assistance by Federal Agencies in the Legislative Process, 80 Fed. Reg. 78161 (Dec. 16, 2015).
Federal agencies play a significant role in the legislative process. While agencies can be the primary drafters of the statutes they administer, it is more common for agencies to respond to Congressional requests to provide technical assistance in statutory drafting. Despite the extent of agency involvement in drafting legislation, the pre