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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

MMC Responds to CRE's IQA Comments
On August 17, 2011, the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission published its final Guidelines under the Information Quality Act. MMC made changes to its proposed IQA Guidelines in response to CRE's comments on the proposed Guidelines.

MMC summarized CRE's comments as follows:

    "The Center commended the Commission on its proposed guidelines and advocated that final guidelines be published as soon as possible. The Center also recommended that the proposed guidelines be amended in certain respects before they are finalized--first, by revising when requests for correction would not be considered, and second, by providing fixed and definite dates for taking action on requests for correction."
In response to CRE's first comment, MMC generally defended its proposed list of situations when requests for correction would not be considered. However, MMC made some changes:
    "Consistent with the guidance from OMB, the Commission would report on all requests for correction received during the fiscal year and explain its practices for responding to such requests, including those that fit within the scope of any of the exceptions. In addition, the Commission did not intend that it would simply ignore, without explanation, any request that it determined fell within any of the exceptions. Rather, the responsible official would return the request to the person who submitted it, indicating that further action would not be taken and identifying the exception on which the determination was based. Clarifying language to that effect has been added to the final guidelines."
In response to CRE's first comment, MMC also deleted its IQA Guidelines exemption for public-notice-and comment proceedings:
    "The Center also advocated that the Commission delete the proposed exception concerning information disseminated in the course of a rulemaking or similar administrative process that includes an opportunity for public comment and a mechanism to dispute or challenge the information in question. For the most part, the Commission is not a regulatory agency. Rather, it provides recommendations concerning regulatory needs to other agencies, which are responsible under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and other statutes for adopting and implementing such regulations. As such, there would be very few instances when this exception would be applicable. As such, the Commission has decided to delete the proposed exception."
In response to CRE's second comment, MMC made several changes:
    "[T]he Commission declines to adopt the commenter's request that strict deadlines be established in all cases. Nevertheless, the Commission has amended the guidelines in several ways to address the Center's concerns. The guidelines have been revised to indicate that the Commission's goal is to provide a decision on each request for correction within 60 days. In the event that resolving a request requires more time, the Commission will notify the requester, explaining the reasons that more time is needed and providing an estimated decision date. Similar notice and explanation requirements have been added to the appeals section of the guidelines."
  • Click here to read MMC's response to CRE's comments