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The Federal Register is a daily publication of the Federal government that provides official notification and record of Federal agency rulemaking actions, proposed rulemakings, and a host of notices and announcements of other agency actions and meetings. The Federal Register was established in 1935 by the Federal Register Act. Over the years numerous laws and Executive Orders have expanded and modified the use of the Federal Register in the Federal rulemaking process. (See Administrative Procedure Act, Government in the Sunshine Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Orders, and Regulatory Agendas.)

The four sections of the Federal Register are entitled "Presidential Documents," "Rules and Regulations," "Proposed Rules," and "Notices." The "Presidential Documents" section contains the President's Executive Orders, Proclamations, and other documents that the President orders published in the Federal Register. The "Rules and Regulations" section contains: (1) the text of the final rules that will appear in the next edition of a specific Title of the Code of Federal Regulations and (2) a preamble containing background and explanatory material to help the reader understand the purpose and effect of the rule. The "Proposed Rules" section announces rules that agencies expect to issue in the future and, in most cases, provides the proposed text of those rules. (See Informal Rulemaking, Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.) The "Notices" section contains documents that agencies are required to publish or choose to publish in the Federal Register that are not part of the codified regulations system. Examples are announcements of meetings, hearings, and investigations; delegations of authority; notice of petitions or applications; and availability of agency reports, studies, guidelines, and environmental impact statements.

The Federal Register is now available on-line at /aces/aces140.html.

This glossary was first compiled by The Regulatory Group, Inc., for its training courses more than 20 years ago. It is constantly being amended and revised to stay current with the developments in the Federal regulatory process. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions on how this glossary can be further improved.
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