(P.L. 105-244; 112 SEC. 492 [20 U.S.C. 1098a]
REGIONAL MEETINGS AND NEGOTIATED RULEMAKING.
(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary shall obtain public involvement in the development of proposed regulations for this title.1 The Secretary shall obtain the advice of and recommendations from individuals and representatives of the groups involved in student financial assistance programs under this title, such as students, legal assistance organizations that represent students, institutions of higher education, guaranty agencies, lenders, secondary markets, loan servicers, guaranty agency servicers, and collection agencies.
(2) ISSUES.-The Secretary 2shall provide for a comprehensive discussion and exchange of information concerning the implementation of this title, as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 through such mechanisms as regional meetings and electronic exchanges of information. The Secretary shall take into account the information received through such mechanisms in the development of proposed regulations and shall publish a summary of such information in the Federal Register together with such proposed regulations.
(b) DRAFT REGULATIONS.-
(1) IN GENERAL.-After obtaining the advice and recommendations described in subsection (a)(1) and before publishing proposed regulations in the Federal Register, the Secretary shall prepare draft regulations implementing this title as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 and shall submit such regulations to a negotiated rulemaking process. Participants in the negotiations process shall be chosen by the Secretary from individuals nominated by groups described in subsection (a)(1), and shall include both representatives of such groups from Washington, D.C., and industry participants. To the extent possible, the Secretary shall select individuals reflecting the diversity in the industry, representing both large and small participants, as well as individuals serving local areas and national markets. The negotiation process shall be conducted in a timely manner in order that the final regulations may be issued by the Secretary within the 360-day period described in section 437(e) of the General Education Provisions Act.
(2) EXPANSION OF NEGOTIATED RULEMAKING.-All regulations pertaining to this title that are promulgated after the date of enactment of this paragraph shall be subject to a negotiated rulemaking (including the selection of the issues to be negotiated), unless the Secretary determines that applying such a requirement with respect to given regulations is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest (within the meaning of section 553(b)(3)(B) of title 5, United States Code), and publishes the basis for such determination in the Federal Register at the same time as the proposed regulations in question are first published. All published proposed regulations shall conform to agreements resulting from such negotiated rulemaking unless the Secretary reopens the negotiated rulemaking process or provides a written explanation to the participants in that process why the Secretary has decided to depart from such agreements. Such negotiated rulemaking shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of paragraph(1), and the Secretary shall ensure that a clear and reliable record of agreements reached during the negotiations process is maintained.
(c) APPLICABILITY OF FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT.-The Federal Advisory Committee Act shall not apply to activities carried out under this section.
(d) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.-There are authorized to be appropriated in any fiscal year or made available from funds appropriated to carry out this part in any fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, except that if no funds are appropriated pursuant to this subsection, the Secretary shall make funds available to carry out this section from amounts appropriated for the operations and expenses of the Department of Education.
1. Section 490D(a)(1)(B) of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (P.L. 105-244; 112 Stat.1755) amended this paragraph by striking "parts B, G, and H of this title," and inserting "this title;". The amendment was executed to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
2. Section 490D(a)(2)(A) of P.L. 105-244 (112 Stat. 1755) purported to amend this paragraph by striking "During such meetings the" although the prior statute read "During such meetings, the". The amendment was executed to reflect the probable intent of Congress.