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Guidance documents lack the force and effect of law, unless expressly authorized by statute or incorporated into a contract.

The agency may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted on the website existing under the EO, except to establish historical facts. The agency should also include a link to the proposed or final regulations required by Section 4 of the EO.

Executive Order 13891, Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents, was issued by the President on October 9, 2019. To increase public access to and awareness of guidance documents, the Executive Order requires all federal agencies to establish and maintain a single, searchable, indexed database that contains links to all guidance documents. The Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register, which are not maintained by the Department, also include some of the Department’s interpretations of law and similar material.

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