Education Regulations:

Reasons for Delays in Issuance

HRD-91-4BR: Published: Nov 15, 1990. Publicly Released: Nov 15, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the reasons for delays in the Department of Education's issuance of 83 regulations relating to 3 laws.

GAO found that: (1) Education issued only 13 of the 83 regulations within the required 240 days; (2) for the 70 regulations not issued within the time frame, Education submitted a schedule of revised issue dates to congressional committees, as required; (3) Education did not issue 51 of the 70 regulations by the revised date; (4) Education and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) spent an average of 389 days, ranging from 72 to 988 days, developing the 80 regulations issued at the time of the review; (5) OMB failed to review 58 of the 80 regulations within its 20-day time frame; (6) OMB averaged 34 days to review 51 proposed regulations and 18 days to review the final versions of the 80 regulations; and (7) Education program offices used 53 percent of the allotted time in preparing regulations. In addition, GAO found that the primary reasons for Education not issuing regulations within the established time frames included: (1) the high volume of regulations to be issued; (2) lengthy periods required to obtain and respond to comments; (3) complex legal and policy issues requiring additional research; and (4) concurrent program and reviewing office duties and responsibilities.

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