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US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of the General Counsel

Functional Statements > Office of the General Counsel

D. Ethics, Regulatory, and Legislative Service

The Ethics, Regulatory, and Legislative Service is under the direction of a Deputy General Counsel who reports directly to the General Counsel. The Deputy General Counsel supervises and coordinates the work of two Divisions, each of which is headed by an Assistant General Counsel:

Legislative Counsel Division;
Regulatory Services Division; and
Ethics Division.

Legislative Counsel Division

The Legislative Counsel Division drafts the Department's legislation and coordinates certain other legislative matters.
In performing its responsibilities, the Division:

  • Drafts or coordinates the drafting of all proposed legislation originating in the Department, reviews specifications for that proposed legislation, and reviews all proposed legislation submitted to the Department (including the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs (OLCA) and the Office of Communications and Outreach (OCO) for comment.
  • In consultation with OLCA and OCO, prepares or reviews letters to Congressional Committees, the Office of Management and Budget, and others on proposed and pending legislation.
  • In coordination with OLCA and OCO, reviews proposed testimony of Departmental officials before Congressional Committees relating to proposed or pending legislation.
  • Acts as the Department's liaison with the Office of Management and Budget on legislative matters.
  • Prescribes procedures to govern the routing and review, within the Department, of material relating to proposed or pending legislation.

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Regulatory Services Division
The Regulatory Services Division manages the development of the development of the Department's regulations and other documents published in the Federal Register.
In performing its responsibilities, the Division:

  • Ensures, by establishing policies and standards, by providing guidance and interpretations, and by monitoring and evaluating regulations activities, that the Department is effectively and expeditiously developing regulatory documents necessary for operations within the requirements of the law.
  • Develops policies, systems, methods, and procedures for the development and processing of regulatory documents of the Department.
  • Serves as the Department's monitor and coordinator for compliance with the publication and rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, Section 431 of the General Education Provisions Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, Executive Order 12291, and other requirements, including the scheduling dates for the publication of regulations.
  • Ensures that all regulatory documents conform to the policies and requirements of the Department, the Office of the Federal Register, and the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Assists the General Counsel in advising the Secretary on regulations issues and on specific regulations.
  • Drafts or reviews drafts of legislation, regulations, preambles, responses to public comment, and other supporting documents, and participates in public hearings necessary for the development of regulations for the Department.

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Ethics Division
The Ethics Division is responsible for counseling current and past Department employees on ethics matters and regulations. In performing its responsibilities, the Division:

  • Reviews and approves public financial disclosure statements;
  • Supervises and audits the confidential financial reports filed by regular and special government employees;
  • Reviews and clears all requests for approval of outside activity and requests to accept travel expenses from non-Federal sources;
  • Trains employees on ethics statutes and regulations; and
  • Advises the Department on actions necessary to ensure compliance with ethics laws and policies.

In addition, the Division also serves as the liaison with the Office of Government Ethics and the Office of White House Counsel on ethics matters.

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Last Modified: 03/14/2011