The Social Security Administration is clearing out its regulatory cupboard as we approach the end of the Obama administration and the end of Carolyn Colvin's tenure as Acting Commissioner of Social Security. The agency has sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposal titled Revisions to Rules of Conduct and Standards of Responsibility for Appointed Representatives. The following blurb is all that it is publicly known at the moment.
This regulatory change adds several affirmative duties and prohibited actions for representatives. We will clarify some of our rules regarding processing representative sanction actions at the hearing and Appeals Council levels and change the timeframe for suspended representatives to request reinstatement when the Appeals Council denies an initial request for reinstatement from 1 to 3 years.
OMB is part of the White House. If OMB approves the proposed rules, which is not automatic, the proposal get published in the Federal Register. The public can then comment on the proposal. The agency must consider the comments. The consideration given is usually nothing more than giving some meaningless reason why the comment will be ignored. This process generally takes at least a year.