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Many laws enacted by Congress require agencies to issue regulations, which means publication of those regulations in the daily Federal Register. First the proposed rule is published with an opportunity for public comment. Then the final rule is published. "Substantive" rules do not take effect until at least thirty days after public notice. Information other than proposed rules and rules published in the Federal Register include Presidential Executive Orders and Proclamations and notices. Notices are documents applicable to the public such as notices of investigations, committee meetings, and grant application information and deadlines.

After publication in the Federal Register as a final rule, regulations are then codified in the annual Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Agencies also engage in "order-making" as well as "rule-making". In these cases the agency adjudicates. These orders establish policies and set precedents which commonly have the impact of law. Many agencies publish official reports of their decisions.

Executive Orders are official documents through which the President manages the operations of the Federal Government and also have the force of law.

Cornell Law Library
The Regulation Home Page

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Federal Register
Daily publication of all executive and administrative rules and regulations.
1995 to current. Current year in paper, GovPubs Ref and earlier years on microform, GovPubs

Code of Federal Regulations Government Printing Office
Codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published originally in the Federal Register by the executive branch of the federal government. Incomplete. Volumes are being added throughout 1997 as revised editions become available. Current paper edition of the CFR, GovPubs Ref

Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations
Agencies are reviewing all existing regulations in accordance with the National Performance Review. The Regulatory Plan database shows this activity. The Unified Agenda summarizes the rules and proposed rules each agency expects to issue during the following six months. Also search the Unified Agenda as a whole, browse the table of contents by departments, or use the subject index.

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Government regulatory agencies post their own sets of rules, regulations, decisions and rulings. Listed below is a collections of Web resources that give access to administrative law. Some sites give access to full-text; other sites give only summaries.

Bureau of Export Administration Regulations
A searchable database of new and revised regulations. Fee-based at $21/month

Commodity Futures Trade Commission
A selection of Docket Letters, Opinions & Order.

Environmental Protection Agency
This mega-site contains topic homepages for various agency divisions of the EPA such as: Offices of Ground Water, Acid Rain, Ozone depletion, etc. Most contain regulation sub-sites.

Federal Aviation Administration
This site contains transportation decisions along with regulations and certification information. User friendly "Quick Jump" search available.

Federal Communications Commission Compliance & Information Bureau
This site contains news releases, orders & reports, Public Notices, and the current quarterly FactSheet.

Federal Depository Insurance Corporation
This site contains abstracts of current laws along with file letters.

Federal Trade Commission
Commission actions and links to full text statutes administered by the Commission. A citizen friendly E-Mail address for comments & complaints also included.

Food & Drug Administration
This site contains FDA Enforcement Reports from 2/21/90 to present, Federal Register Notices from 1995 to present, and selected Background Papers from 1990 to present.

General Accountability Office
This site contains decisions, assessments, and reports to Congress on major rules.

Centers for - Medicare/Medicaid
This site contains rules and regulations along with current proposed changes to health care.

Internal Revenue Service
This site contains tax regulations with "plain English" summaries for those issued since 8/1/95. Regulations are also available for downloading. Also contains a citizen friendly e-mail address for comments to the IRS on the regulations.

Labor Department - Davis-Bacon Wage Determination
This site provides prevailing wage rate for construction related occupations. Fee-based, $600 annually.

Labor Department - Office of Administrative Law Judges
This contains information on various subjects under the jurisdiction of the Labor Department such as Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Construction Contracts, etc.

Management and Budget
OMB evaluates, formulates, and coordinates management procedures and program objectives within and among Federal departments and agencies. OMB Circulars are here.

National Credit Union Administration
This site contains Rules & Regulations, Interpretive Rulings, Legal Opinions from 1988 to present. Also contains Regulatory Alerts

National Labor Relations Board
This site contains decisions and notices.

Securities and Exchange Commission
This site contains Proposed and Final rulings plus issues of SEC-News Digest. A citizen friendly e-mail address for comments is also included.

Social Security Administration
This site contains rulings in effect along with a cumulative index for rulings going back to 1960. Also citizen friendly Personal Earnings & Benefits Estimate Statements are available from this site.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
This site contains the Official Gazette Notices for 1995 to date.

Veterans Appeals Board Decisions
This searchable site contains Decisions back to 1994


Executive Orders National Archives
Executive orders available from the National Archives date from E.O. 11001, 1962. They are official documents through which the President manages the operations of the Executive Branch. E.O.'s are published in the Federal Register and Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Codification of Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders
Apr 13, 1945 - Jan 20, 1989
Provides in one convenient source proclamations and E.O.s "with general applicability and continuing effect." Full text by subject.

Disposition of Executive Orders 1961 to present
E.O's of Kennedy through Clinton. The list includes citations to the Federal Register and if the E.O. has been revoked or amended. Full text is not available.

Presidential Directives and Where to Find Them Library of Congress

Presidential Directives and Executive Orders Federation of American Scientists
An explanation and list of Directives. Includes NSDD-National Security Decision Directives (Reagan), NSD, National Security Directives (Bush) and PDD/PRD Presidential Decision Directives (Clinton). Also includes information about and some Executive Orders.

The following site has topic oriented selections to find administrative rules and regulations.


Legal Citations
To cite the Federal Register, use the volume number, FR, and the page number of the beginning of the text. The year is frequently added in parenthesis.
Print citation: 61 FR 32,220 (1996)
Electronic citation: 61 FR 32,220 (1996). ONLINE. Available HTTP: [4 October 1997].

To cite the Code of Federal Regulations, use the title number, CFR, and the section number. The year is frequently added in parenthesis.
Print citation: 42 CFR 9239 (April 1993)
Electronic citation: 42 CFR 9239. ONLINE. Available HTTP: [3 November 1997]

To cite decisions, use the case name, volume number, name of the agency, the page number and the date.
Print citation: Hazard Express, 324 NLRB 158, 1997
Electronic citation: Hazard Express, 324 NLRB 158, 1997. ONLINE. Available HTTP: [17 November 1997]

To cite Executive Orders, use the number of the E.O. and the date.
Print citation: E.O. 13040, March 1997
Electronic citation E.O. 13040, March 1997. ONLINE. Available HTTP: [19 December 1997}

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation Cornell University Law School


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