U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Mar 28, 2023

§ 1.904 - Procedures for guidance documents identified as “significant” or “otherwise of importance to the Department's interests.”

(a) For guidance documents proposed to be issued by an agency, if there is a reasonable possibility the guidance document may be considered “significant” or “otherwise of importance to the Department's interests,” or if the agency is uncertain whether the guidance document may qualify as such, the agency shall email a copy of the proposed guidance document (or a summary of it) to the Office of Budget and Program Analysis (OBPA) for review and further direction before issuance. Each proposed guidance document determined to be significant or otherwise of importance to the Department's interests must be approved by the Mission Area Under Secretary before issuance. In such instances, OBPA shall obtain a Z-RIN and coordinate submission of the proposed guidance document to departmental reviewers as deemed necessary. For purposes of this rule, even if not “significant,” a guidance document shall be considered “otherwise of importance to the Department's interests” if it may reasonably be anticipated to:

(1) Relate to a major program, policy, or activity of the Department or a high-profile issue pending for decision before the Department;

(2) Involve one of the Secretary's top policy priorities;

(3) Garner significant press or congressional attention; or

(4) Raise significant questions or concerns from constituencies of importance to the Department, such as Committees of Congress, States or Indian tribes, the White House or other departments of the Executive Branch, courts, consumer or public interest groups, or leading representatives of industry.

(b) USDA shall submit significant guidance documents to OMB for coordinated review. In addition, USDA may determine that it is appropriate to coordinate with OMB in the review of guidance documents that are otherwise of importance to the Department's interests.

(c) If the guidance document is determined by OMB to be not significant, the proposing agency shall issue the guidance document through its standard process.

[85 FR 34085, June 3, 2020, as amended at 85 FR 55359, Sept. 8, 2020]