As ordered reported by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on March 15, 2018
H.R. 4809 would require agencies to post their regulatory guidance documents online. Typically, such documents explain how regulations are interpreted by the agency but are not themselves legally binding. Agencies often disseminate such guidance to the public in memorandums, notices, bulletins, directives, news releases, letters, blog posts, or speeches.
Federal policies require agencies to post important information online to promote open and transparent government. According to the Government Accountability Office, many agencies already provide guidance documents using websites, email, meetings, social media, mass media, and newsletters. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant cost.
Enacting H.R. 4809 could affect direct spending by agencies that use fees, receipts from the sale of goods, and other collections to cover operating costs. Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Because most agencies can adjust the amounts collected as their operating costs change, CBO estimates that any net changes in direct spending by those agencies would be insignificant. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4809 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
H.R. 4809 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
On March 26, 2018, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 2296, the GOOD Act, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on February 14, 2018. The two pieces of legislation are similar and CBO’s estimates of their budgetary effects are the same.