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REGWRITER ALERT: ABA approves Resolution 112 on Incorporation by Reference

August 22, 2016

ABA approves Resolution 112 seeking Congressional action to amend the Administrative Procedures Act.

After months of debate, the ABA House of Delegates approved a Resolution from the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice to make all incorporated by reference (IBR) standards in regulations readily available to the public.

ABA House Resolution 112 urges Congress to amend the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)—5  U.S.C. Section 552(a)(1)—to require agencies to make privately drafted standards that are incorporated by reference into Federal regulations accessible, at no charge, to members of the public. This would include, at a minimum, posting the IBR standards online on the Federal Depository Library System ( The Resolution also seeks to ensure agencies review historical regulations and make the IBR standards available online or, as appropriate, amend or repeal regulations to eliminate unnecessary IBR standards.

Currently, the APA exempts the IBR standards from the requirement that they be published in the Federal Register. This effectively means that binding safety standards, used in such regulations on safety for children’s toys, are not easily accessible to members of the public. These IBR standards are currently only available if the public visits the Office of Federal Register’s reading room in Washington, DC.

With its approval, the Resolution will be forwarded to the ABA Legislation Committee and the Government Affairs Office to seek Congressional action.

View the full text of the resolution and report: