The Administrative Conference will host its 69th Plenary Session on June 14th and 15th, 2018. If you have attended previous plenary sessions and are planning to attend this one, please note the new location! For the first time, the Assembly will meet in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room at George Washington University Law School. The agenda for the meeting includes four proposed recommendations, described as follows in ACUS’s Federal Register notice:
Paperwork Reduction Act Efficiencies. This proposed recommendation encourages collaboration between the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and federal agencies to maximize opportunities for making the information collection clearance process under the Paperwork Reduction Act more efficient, while still maintaining its integrity. The proposed recommendation encourages using generic clearances and common forms more frequently, providing more training to agencies, and improving several other aspects of the information collection clearance process.
Administrative Judges. This proposed recommendation addresses agency practices related to the use of administrative judges—adjudicators who preside over evidentiary hearings that are not governed by the adjudication provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. It offers recommendations for agencies to consider when designing or evaluating adjudication programs that promote impartiality in administrative judges and increase clarity and transparency with respect to the policies and procedures that govern their selection, oversight, evaluation, discipline, and removal.
Minimizing the Cost of Judicial Review. This proposed recommendation encourages federal agencies that anticipate litigation over their rules to consider early in the rulemaking process whether a rule is severable, meaning divisible into portions that can and should function independently, and outlines steps agencies should take if they intend that portions of a rule should continue in effect even though other portions have been held unlawful on judicial review. It also encourages courts adjudicating a challenge to an agency rule to solicit the parties’ views on the issue of severability in appropriate circumstances.
Electronic Case Management in Federal Administrative Adjudication. This proposed recommendation offers guidance for agencies considering whether and how to implement an electronic case management system. It provides factors for agencies to consider in weighing the costs and benefits of an electronic case management system; sets forth measures an agency should take to ensure privacy, transparency, and security; and describes ways an electronic case management system may improve adjudicatory processes.
The proposed recommendations, supporting research reports, and other key documents related to each project can be found at the links above. Public participation and comments are welcome. Again, from the Federal Register notice:
Public Participation: The Conference welcomes the attendance of the public at the meeting, subject to space limitations, and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities or special needs. Members of the public who wish to attend in person are asked to RSVP online at the 69th Plenary Session web page . . . , no later than two days before the meeting, in order to facilitate entry. Members of the public who attend the meeting may be permitted to speak only with the consent of the Chairman and the unanimous approval of the members of the Assembly. If you need special accommodations due to disability, please inform the Designated Federal Officer noted above at least 7 days in advance of the meeting. The public may also view the meeting through a live webcast, which will be available at: https://livestream.com/ACUS.
Written Comments: Persons who wish to comment on any of the proposed recommendations may do so by submitting a written statement either online by clicking “Submit a Comment” on the 69th Plenary Session web page . . . or by mail addressed to: June 2018 Plenary Session Comments, Administrative Conference of the United States, Suite 706 South, 1120 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Written submissions must be received no later than 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, June 7, to assure consideration by the Assembly.
My previous coverage of these and other projects that were under committee consideration this spring is available here.
This post is part of the Administrative Conference Update series, which highlights new and continuing projects, upcoming committee meetings, proposed and recently adopted recommendations, and other news about the Administrative Conference of the United States. The series is further explained here, and all posts in the series can be found here.