Recommendations (1968 - 1995)

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This recommendation examines the obligation of agencies to index and make their adjudicatory decisions available to the public.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) imposes numerous affirmative disclosure obligations on agencies. Under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), each agency, in accordance with published rules, is required to make final adjudicatory decisions and orders1 available...

United States consulates around the world complete the processing of some nine million applications for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas each year. Approximately ninety percent are granted; ten percent are denied. Under current practice, the only review of a consular official’s denial of a visa may be by a more senior officer in the consulate, or, on points of law, by the Visa Office in the State Department...

The Social Security Administration annually processes more than 1.5 million requests for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income requiring a determination whether the claimant is disabled. The Administrative Conference has addressed various aspects of the Social Security Administration’s administrative procedures in earlier recommendations.1 This recommendation focuses more...

  • Adopted on: June 16, 1989

The Alien Legalization Program, authorized under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, created a program to allow certain aliens present illegally in the United States to convert their status to that of a legal resident.  The program is administered by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and has a short and defined lifetime, which is heading toward completion.  The legalization program contains two separate pieces:...

  • Adopted on: December 14, 1989

In 1978, Congress enacted the most comprehensive revision of the federal civil service laws since the Pendleton Act of 1883.  The Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) of 1978 created new institutions and processes for personnel management, including a substantially restructured system for considering complaints, grievances and appeals filed by federal employees in response to personnel actions.[1]  Personnel disputes typically involve...

The orderly and peaceful transfer of governmental authority following presidential elections is a hallmark of American government. The Presidential Transition Act of 1963 recognizes a smooth transition is necessary to “assure continuity in the faithful execution of the laws and in the conduct of the affairs of the Federal Government, both domestic and foreign,” and it directs all officers of the government...

Indemnification of government contractors for third-party liability involves this issue: Who should bear the risk of liability for injury or damage to a third party caused by products and services supplied by government contractors? This issue is especially significant when the products and services involve high-risk or hazardous governmental activities.

The liability of the...

Among the Federal Reserve Board’s (FED’s) responsibilities is implementation of the Bank Holding Company Act (BHCA) (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.). The BHCA’s principal purposes are to ensure the safe and sound operation of bank holding companies (BHCs), to promote competition within the banking industry, and to separate banking from commerce.

Under the BHCA, the FED has also been...

Individuals appointed to government positions are sometimes required to divest themselves of property to satisfy conflict-of-interest requirements, such as the prohibition in 18 U.S.C. 208 on participation in matters affecting one’s financial interest. In other instances, divestiture of property by such appointees would be simpler and serve conflict-of-interest purposes better than the establishment of...

Many cases over which administrative law judges, administrative judges, and other agency hearing officers preside do not involve broad regulatory issues and are often appropriately resolved by settlement. Following in the footsteps of several innovative federal judges,1 some administrative agencies have begun to provide additional mechanisms for resolving these cases. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...

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