Dec 22, 2011

What Is Social Security Up To?

      I don't know what this means. Perhaps, it means little. However, Social Security sent over to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposed final regulation on November 14, 2011. The proposed regulation would alter the agency's "rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives." The rules cleared OMB on December 20. We have no idea what  is in this since there was no Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) as there usually is. The NPRM process allows public comment before final rules are adopted. It's been a few years since I've studied the rulemaking portions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) but my recollection is that the NPRM process can only be dispensed with if the rules are pretty minor or are needed on an emergency basis. So, what could this be? It's hard to imagine anything  to do with this topic that would either be minor or  needed on an emergency basis. What is also unusual is that these rules cleared OMB in near record time, slightly over a month. All of Social Security's other regulatory proposals pending at OMB have been there longer.
     I suspect that Social Security intends to publish these very quickly, probably before the new year. Otherwise, why the rush to get them out of OMB?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know exactly how federal rule making is supposed to work, but this raises a question I've had for a while. Why was there no public comment period for SSR 11-1p? It's possible I missed it, but should there have not been one? It is certainly a large change. Thanks.