from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2014, Issue No. 75
November 14, 2014

Secrecy News Blog:


The National Archives is seeking a new Director of the Federal Register program, a position that requires a Top Secret security clearance.

The Federal Register is sometimes described as the "daily newspaper" of the executive branch. Each weekday, it "provides citizens access to proposed and final regulations, rules, and other administrative actions of the Federal government," according to an announcement in USA Jobs.

In addition to overseeing the Federal Register itself, the Director of the Federal Register program is responsible for administering the Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Government Manual, the Public Papers of the Presidents, and other foundational U.S. government documents.

So why does the Director need a Top Secret clearance?

One reason is that he or she would play a role in continuity of government under conditions of national emergency, and would be responsible in particular for production of the so-called Emergency Federal Register.

"Over the past several years, Federal agencies have developed contingency plans to maintain operations in the case of a broad range of emergency circumstances," according to a recent proposed rule that was published (naturally) in the Federal Register on October 28.

"The FRA [Federal Register Act] authorizes the President to activate the Emergency Federal Register (EFR) system in place of the daily Federal Register in certain limited circumstances.... The purpose of the EFR is to support the preservation of the rule of law and a constitutional form of government," the proposed rule explained.

Up to now, as far as anyone can tell, the Emergency Federal Register "has never actually replaced the 'real thing'," said Harold C. Relyea, a specialist in U.S. government information policy.

The search for a new Director of the Federal Register is open through November 21.


New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from public distribution include the following.

Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview, November 10, 2014:

FEMA's Disaster Declaration Process: A Primer, November 12, 2014:

A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Comparison of Current Proposals in Brief, November 6, 2014:

Contracting with Inverted Domestic Corporations: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, November 7, 2014:

Bee Health: Background and Issues for Congress, November 3, 2014:

Zivotofsky v. Kerry: The Jerusalem Passport Case, October 30, 2014:

Landsat: Overview and Issues for Congress, October 27, 2014:

Aiding, Abetting, and the Like: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 2, October 24, 2014:

Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate, November 12, 2014:

The Administration's Supplemental Request for Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases, CRS Insights, November 7, 2014:

Could the Defense Contract Audit Agency Be Held Liable for Malpractice? Recently Filed Litigation Raises the Question Again, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 7, 2014:

Three Parties, Two Cases, One Set of Documents; Not a Fast and Furious Resolution, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 10, 2014:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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