How to Draft a document

how to open a document in draft mode and how to draft a strategy document
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Dr.KiaraSimpson,United States,Researcher
Published Date:05-07-2017
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May 2017(Rev 3) Document Drafting Handbook Update: May 2017(Rev 3) (Revision 3, dated June 21, 2017) Office of the Federal Register National Archives and Records Administration May 2017(Rev 3) WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRAFTING ANY DOCUMENT? 1.1 Can I combine a rule, proposed rule, or notice in the same document? No, the OFR does not accept any document for publication that combines material that would appear in different categories of the Federal Register. In cases where two categories are involved, submit two separate documents that cross-reference each other (see Example 1-1). You may request that the two documents be published in the same separate part of a Federal Register issue (see Appendix A: Special Handling Request). Example 1-1: Cross reference statement A RULE, PROPOSED RULE, NOTICE relating to SUBJECT MATTER is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. 1.2 How can my agency issue a document jointly with one or more other agencies? Your Liaison Officer should consult with us in advance for assistance when preparing common or jointly issued documents. Example 1-2 provides a sample of the headings used in a joint rule. • Make sure an authorized official from each agency has signed a jointly issued or common rule document. • Identify each agency in the heading and preamble of the document. • Carry the agencies in numerical order by CFR title number in both the heading and regulatory text. DDH: Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) Example 1-2: Adoption of jointly issued regulations TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 18 CFR Part 1312 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service 36 CFR Part 296 Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979; Final Uniform Regulations AGENCY: Tennessee Valley Authority and Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: These final regulations establish uniform procedures for implementing provisions of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. 1.3 Billing codes GPO assigns agencies a Billing Address Code (BAC), a six-digit alphanumeric code which identifies your agency or bureau’s financial contact and billing information. Each agency has a Printing Officer who works with GPO to identify and generate the correct BAC’s for each document. Some agencies have multiple billing codes depending on what part of the agency is submitting the document, so it is important to check with your Printing Officer for the correct code. • Your BAC must appear on each document submitted for publication in the Federal Register. • Type the BAC at the top of the first page of the original(s) and the certified copies of each document. • Following the BAC include the letter “P” for Microsoft Word submissions; an “M” for Manuscript Copy; or a “C” for Camera Copy. • You may include multiple BACs on a jointly-issued document. If you do not know your BAC, please consult with your Federal Register Liaison, Printing Officer, or financial unit. In addition, if you do not know who your Liaison is, contact the OFR at DDH: 1-2 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) 1.4 Document headings Begin each document with headings that identify your agency and the subject matter of your document (which are shown below in bold). The headings that appear in italics may or may not be required, depending on your document type. Follow the specific instructions (in Chapter 2: How do I write a document for the Proposed Rules category? Chapter 3: How do I write a document for the Rules and Regulations category? or Chapter 4: How do I write a document for the Notices category?) that are applicable to your document. Present the headings using the appropriate format, in the following order: Table 1-1: List of document headings Department Name OR Agency Name Subagency Name CFR Citation CFR Citation Agency Docket Number Agency Docket Number Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) Regulation Identifier Number Subject Heading (RIN) Subject Heading DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY NAME The “Department” is the highest-level agency. This is either a cabinet-level agency (usually, but not always, a Department) or an agency that stands alone (see Example 1-3, Example 1-4). This heading shows who has issued and signed a document. To include an agency or office that has not signed the document, use the AGENCY line (see sections 2.4, 3.4, 4.5). Example 1-3: Headings for a document from a cabinet-level agency DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Department Name 15 CFR Part 946 CFR Citation RIN 0648-AI90 RIN National Weather Service Subject Heading DDH: 1-3 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) Example 1-4: Headings for a document from a non-cabinet agency FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Name 12 CFR Part 220 CFR Citation No. 85-959 Agency Docket Number RIN 0648-FR22 RIN Credit by Brokers and Dealers Subject Heading SUBAGENCY NAME The “Subagency” heading is only used if your agency is part of a larger agency – usually a department. Subagencies have specific legal authority to publish in the CFR and are usually assigned a distinct billing code. If you are in doubt as to whether or not your agency should use a “Subagency” heading, check with your liaison before contacting the OFR Scheduling unit (see Example 1-5, Example 1-6). Example 1-5: Headings for a document from a subagency DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Department Name 15 CFR Part 946 CFR Citation RIN 0648-AI90 RIN National Weather Service Subject Heading Example 1-6: Headings from a document from a subagency DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Department Name Office of the Secretary Subagency Name 10 CFR Part 6 CFR Citation RIN 0000-AA00 RIN Adjustment of Appendices to the Dairy Tariff- Rate Import Quota Licensing Regulation Subject Heading AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DOE Agency with Billing Code, Department DDH: 1-4 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) Note: The “Subagency” heading is different from the “AGENCY:” preamble caption. The “AGENCY:” line can include as specific an office as your agency prefers, regardless of agency status or document signature (see Example 1-7). Example 1-7: Headings from document with other office in AGENCY caption DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Department Name 10 CFR Chapter I CFR Citation DOE-2015-00959 Agency Docket Number RIN 1904-AC38 RIN Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Automatic Commercial Ice Makers Subject Heading AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency, DOE Office w/o Billing Code, Department Even if the document is issued by a subagency, the department name appears in the document headings (see Example 1-3). SUBJECT HEADING The “subject heading” is a title for your document that briefly and accurately describes its subject matter. Do not use legal citations in this or other headings (see sections 2.10, 3.10). If your document amends several parts or if the part heading is too general, try to include specific information, while still being concise. We may edit for style, but otherwise we use your subject heading verbatim as the index entry in the Federal Register Table of Contents and indices. If your heading is too long, it will truncate automatically, which may change your intended meaning. Your subject heading should not include language that sets out its effect on the regulations, so avoid phrases like “Amendments to…” “Revisions to…” or “Changes to the Regulations Concerning…” If you issue a follow-up document (an extension or supplemental document, for example), duplicate the headings of the earlier document and add a distinguishing phrase to the subject heading (see Example 1-8). DDH: 1-5 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) Example 1-8: Headings for a document extending a comment period FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Name 12 CFR Part 220 CFR Citation FRS-2015-00959 Agency Docket Number RIN 0648-FR22 RIN Credit by Brokers and Dealers; Extension of Comment Period Subject Heading If there are multiple agencies and CFR citations in the heading, see Example 1-2. 1.5 How do I refer to a publication that is not incorporated by reference in my document? If you provide an informational reference to a publication in your document that is not incorporated by reference, include a statement of availability which: • Identifies the title, edition/date/year, author, and publisher; and • Contains the information where to find the reference. You may include a website, but if there is a relevant physical address and phone number, you include those as well. If the reference is required to comply with the regulations, you must follow the incorporation by reference requirements in the IBR Handbook. 1.6 Signature block Your agency determines who may sign a document sent for publication in the Federal Register. The signer must be a Federal employee with the authority to take action for the 1 agency. The signature must be in ink; it cannot be from an image file or a photocopy. We 1 1 CFR 18.7. DDH: 1-6 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) recommend blue ink since a signature in black ink is often difficult to distinguish from a photocopy. Type the name and title of the person signing the document directly beneath the handwritten signature (see Example 1-9, Example 1-10). The title in the signature block must be related to the authority to sign the document. Do not include honorary titles or titles associated with a different agency role. We will reject a document signed as one person for another. This means that we will not accept your document if you sign someone else’s name and place your initials by the signature (see Example 1-11). Example 1-9: Valid signature of authorized agency official (Cynthia James) Cynthia James Cynthia James, Director. Example 1-10: Valid signature of agency official signing on behalf of another agency official (Thomas Shadwell for Cynthia James) Thomas Shadwell Thomas Shadwell Thomas Shadwell, or Thomas Shadwell, Deputy Director. Acting Director. Example 1-11: Invalid “for” signature Thomas Shadwell Cynthia James For Cynthia James, or Cynthia James ts Director. Director. DDH: 1-7 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) Do not place a signature block on a page by itself. Placing text on the signature page helps to ensure the integrity of the document. You may place the signature block either at the end of the document or between the preamble and the rest of the document. In the case of a joint document which requires multiple signatures, do not separate the signatures. All agencies should sign in the same place. If all agencies are signing at the end of the regulatory text, contact the Scheduling Unit for the best way to prepare the signature pages (see Example 1-12). Example 1-12: Placement of the signature block Preamble Preamble Regulatory text or Signatures Signatures Regulatory text Signature date We recommend but do not require a signature date. If you use one, use the date of actual signature. We will not accept a postdated signature, and we will not change a signature date. If the date is more than 3 months old, we will add an editorial note indicating when we actually received the document. If the date is more than 12 months old, or if there is another problem with the date, we will immediately remove the document from the production process and make it available for pick-up. 1.7 Digital submission The Federal Register Document Submission Portal lets agencies securely submit documents and special handling letters online. It also allows agencies to receive immediate feedback on the status of their documents while saving resources such as paper, toner, CDs, and courier costs. Using the portal also eliminates delayed delivery during inclement weather and helps ensure continuity of operations during emergency situations. However, all agency documents must have a valid signature, even if submitted through the web portal. We will only accept a FBCA-certified digital signing certificate, so your agency needs software that signs in the PKCS7 open standard. There is free software developed DDH: 1-8 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) by the General Services Administration available at signature/releases. The name in the signature block in the document must match the PKI signatures. Do not use initials in one and the full name in the other. All the rules for drafting documents still apply to documents that are digitally signed and submitted through the web portal. For more information on digital submission requirements and procedures (including how to get a digital signature), see Chapter 6: Electronic files and online submissions. DDH: 1-9 May 2017(Rev 3) HOW DO I WRITE A DOCUMENT FOR THE PROPOSED RULES CATEGORY? 2.1 Proposed Rule category documents This category contains documents that propose changes to your agency’s regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and request public comment on those proposed changes. Your document may propose regulatory text or describe the subjects and issues involved. We publish any document that serves as the first public notice of a rulemaking 2 proceeding and invites public input in the proposed rules category. Typical documents in this category include: • Advance notices of proposed rulemaking • General regulatory review (including review prescribed by executive orders) • Proposed rules • Petitions for rulemaking • Documents that affect other documents previously published in the proposed rules category - these documents: o Extend or reopen the comment period o Announce a meeting or hearing directly related to a proposed rule o Publish or announce the availability of supplemental information o Withdraw or terminate a proposed rule o Correct a previously published proposed rule • Negotiated rulemaking documents, which: o Establish committees o Announce committee meetings 2 1 CFR 5.9. DDH: Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) 2.2 Document requirements In addition to the requirements of Chapter 1: What are the requirements for drafting any document?, documents published in the proposed rules category must include the 3 following items : • Document Headings • Preamble • List of Subjects (for documents with proposed regulatory text) • Words of Issuance (for documents with proposed regulatory text) • A description of the proposed changes or the proposed regulatory text (for documents proposing to amend the CFR) 2.3 Document headings In addition to the requirements of Chapter 1: What are the requirements for drafting any document?, the headings of a proposed rule document also identify the CFR title and part that your document proposes to amend or that your document is related to. Present the headings for a proposed rule document using the appropriate format, as follows: Table 2-1: List of document headings Department Name OR Agency Name Subagency Name CFR Citation CFR Citation Agency Docket Number Agency Docket Number Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) Regulation Identifier Number Subject Heading (RIN) Subject Heading CFR CITATION The “CFR citation” contains the number of the CFR title and the number of each part the document proposes to amend or is directly related to. Even if the document affects only one 3 1 CFR parts 18, 21, and 22. DDH: 2-2 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) paragraph within a part, include that part number. Or, you may include the full chapter number in place of specific parts. AGENCY DOCKET NUMBER The “agency docket number” is your agency’s internal file number, which may be assigned by If you have an agency docket number, you must include it as shown in Example 1-4, Example 1-7, and Example 1-8. If you have questions about docket numbers, speak with your agency. We do not know if you have one or if you need one. RIN The “RIN” is assigned by the Regulatory Information Service Center (also known as RISC) and identifies each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. Your agency, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), determines if you need a RIN. If you have a RIN, you must include it as shown in Example 1-3, Example 1-4, Example 1-6, Example 1-7, and Example 1-8. We do not know if you have a RIN or if you need one. 2.4 Preamble requirements Each document published in the Proposed Rules category of the Federal Register must contain a preamble. The preamble follows the subject heading of the document. It explains the basis and purpose of the proposed regulatory text, but contains no regulatory text. It arranges basic information on the “who, what, where, when, and why” of a document for the reader’s convenience. Do not include quotations of regulatory or statutory text in the preamble (see section 2.6). The preamble captions are: AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: DATES: ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DDH: 2-3 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) These captions must appear in the order shown, and you must use each preamble caption. The following are examples and explanations of information which must be contained within captions. AGENCY AGENCY identifies the “who” of a document by specifying the issuing agency. This caption usually repeats the name of the department or non-departmental agency as carried in the document’s headings (see Example 1-3, Example 1-4), as well as the subagency name if applicable (see Example 1-6). However, unlike the headings section, you may choose to include in this caption the name of offices or agencies which are not listed in the document’s heading (see Example 1-7) and which have not signed the document. When these names appear together, put them in order of smallest to largest, using the department’s acronym or commonly-used name (see Example 2-1). Example 2-1: AGENCY caption AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, USDA. Subagency, Department AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency. Department AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. Agency, Department AGENCY: Bureau of Public Debt, Fiscal Service, Treasury. Bureau, Subagency, Department DDH: 2-4 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) ACTION ACTION identifies the type of document by stating what the document does. It does not summarize the substance of a document. Do not allow this caption to become too long. Example 2-2: Frequently used lines for ACTION caption ACTION: Proposed rule. ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period. ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking. 4 ACTION: Proposed rule; correction . ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of meeting (or hearing). ACTION: Proposed rule; withdrawal. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. ACTION: Petition for rulemaking. ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; denial. ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; withdrawal. ACTION: Proposed policy statement. ACTION: Proposed rule; availability of supplemental information. This is not an exclusive list of available ACTION lines. If you use a different line, do not include the word “Notice.” In the proposed rules category, you can only use “Notice” in the ACTION line with the phrase “Notice of proposed rulemaking.” If you are unsure of using a different ACTION line, check with the Scheduling Unit. SUMMARY In SUMMARY, you explain the “what,” “why,” and “effect” of the document within the Federal Register/CFR publication system (see Example 2-3). Your SUMMARY should not be longer than a paragraph and must answer these three questions: • What action is being taken? • Why is this action necessary? • What is the intended effect of this action? 4 For more information on correction documents, see Chapter 5: How do I correct a document?. DDH: 2-5 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) Table 2-2: SUMMARY Use the following guidelines in preparing a SUMMARY DO DON’T Be brief. Use numbered or bulleted lists. Use language a non-expert will Include qualifications, exceptions, or specific understand. details. Describe what the document does, not Use legal citations. (For example, do not use how it affects the CFR. 40 CFR part 52 or 5 U.S.C. 552) Refer to an act of Congress by the popular Quote name of the act. Be brief. Include more detail than in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION You may not use SUMMARY to prove a point or argue a case. Supporting information, details, discussion of the regulatory history, and precise legal citations are essential in an adequate preamble but do not belong in the SUMMARY. Extended discussion of the rule belongs in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Example 2-3: SUMMARY caption SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to amend the uninspected vessel rules by requiring emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs). The Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons on Uninspected Vessels Requirements Act amends the shipping laws of the United States by requiring uninspected commercial vessels to have the number and type of EPIRBs prescribed by rule. These rules ensure rapid and effective search and rescue during emergency situations. DDH: 2-6 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) DATES DATES presents the “when” of a document. Include all dates that are essential to the document in DATES (see Example 2-4). All proposed rule documents must have at least one date. Include the following dates, as applicable: • Comment deadlines • Extension or reopening of comment period • Request for a meeting (or hearing) deadline • Public meeting (or hearing) dates • Other dates the public may need to know Note: When extending or reopening a comment period, include the FR citation, including the publication date of the original document, in DATES to link the two documents. Example 2-4: DATES caption format with multiple dates DATES: Comments: Send comments by April 30, 20XX. Public testimony: Send requests to present oral testimony by March 15, 20xx. Public Meetings: 1. March 26, 20xx, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Washington, DC. 2. April 3, 20xx, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pittsburgh, PA. 3. April 8, 20xx, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hudson, WI. 4. April 15, 20xx, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Madison, WI. Only include date information in DATES. Group dates according to type of date (such as deadline for public comments dates, public meeting dates, and registration deadlines). Place any discussion related to the dates (for example, meeting location, docket access, meeting agenda, content of material available for inspection) in ADDRESSES or SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, as applicable. Calculated dates vs. specific dates We only calculate and insert dates tied to Federal Register publication or filing on public inspection. In calculating the date, we count the day after publication as the first day, and then each succeeding day, including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. When the computed date falls on a weekend or a Federal holiday, we use the next Federal business day. You can use the “Table of Effective Dates and Time Periods” to see which date we will use. This DDH: 2-7 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) table appears in the Reader Aids section of the first Federal Register issue each month and is available at If you need us to calculate and insert a date, present the date as shown in Example 2-5. If your agency is using a specific date, or dates, (frequently referred to as a date certain) for your proposed rule, use the format in Example 2-6. Example 2-5: DATES caption with an OFR-calculated date DATES: Send comments on or before INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER. Example 2-6: DATES caption for a document with agency-provided dates DATES: The agency must receive comments on or before October 20, 20xx. A public meeting will be held at 9 a.m., October 9, 20xx. Send requests to present oral testimony on or before October 2, 20xx. Example 2-7: DATES caption for withdrawing a proposed rule DATES: The Fish and Wildlife Service is withdrawing the proposed rule published October 2, 2012 (77 FR 60208) as of October 2, 2013. Example 2-8: DATES caption for extending the comment period DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule published June 27, 2016, at 81 FR 41651, is extended. Comments should be received on or before September 26, 2016. DDH: 2-8 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) ADDRESSES ADDRESSES contains the “where” of the document. All proposed rules must have at least one address. Include the following types of address (including electronic), as applicable, needed for: • Mailing public comments • Sending public comments electronically • Hand-delivering public comments • Attending a public hearing (or meeting) • Examining any material available for public inspection, including material to be incorporated by reference. Only include address information in ADDRESSES. Include the electronic address and only brief instructions for how to send comments via, an agency website, or email, and group them by type (see Example 2-9, Example 2-10). If you need to include detailed instructions, add them to SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Place any discussion related to the addresses (for example, how to register for a meeting, meeting agenda, or content of material available for inspection) in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section (see Example 2-13). Example 2-9: ADDRESSES caption in a document with multiple addresses ADDRESSES: The hearing locations are: 1. Philadelphia – Ramada Inn (Meadows Ballroom, Section A & B), 76 Industrial Highway, Essington, PA 19029. 2. Chicago – O’Hare Ramada Inn (Penthouse Ballroom, 9th Floor), 6600 Mannheim Road, Des Plaines, IL 60018. 3. Atlanta – Ramada Inn Central (Georgian Ballroom), I-85 at Monroe Drive, Atlanta, GA 30324. 4. Denver – Main Post Office Building (2nd Floor Auditorium, Room 269), 1823 Stout Street, Denver, CO 80202. OMB has issued a directive that requires agencies to use the “ADDRESSES” template displayed in Example 2-10 when drafting regulatory actions that offer opportunity for public comment. DDH: 2-9 Document Drafting Handbook May 2017(Rev 3) Example 2-10: OMB-required ADDRESSES template for regulatory actions offering the opportunity for public comment ADDRESSES: You may send comments, identified by docket number and/or RIN number, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for sending comments. • Agency Web Site: Complete URL. Follow the instructions for sending comments on the Agency electronic docket site / website. • E-mail: E-mail Address. Include docket number and/or RIN number in the subject line of the message. • Fax: Fax Number. • Mail: Mailing Address for paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions. • Hand Delivery / Courier: Street Address. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to Complete URL, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on sending comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Participation” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Complete URL(s) and/or Street Address(es). Remember to: • Substitute appropriate information for the bracketed items • List all applicable submission methods • State full URLs: o o o You may include brief instructions following bulleted items or in the optional Instructions paragraph. You may also use the optional Instructions and Docket paragraphs to highlight or cross-reference agency-specific instructions and to provide access to rulemaking dockets. DDH: 2-10

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