Commonly used by federal agencies, guidance documents are intended to educate people regarding the implementation of regulations. Including documents such as memos, FAQ’s, and websites, guidance documents can be directed at the general public, particular regulated communities, and even other federal agencies.

What is the difference between a guidance document and a regulation? How can guidance documents be abused by federal agencies?

Lucas Vebber of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty explores the use of guidance documents by federal agencies.


As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speaker.

Learn more about Lucas Vebber:

Follow Lucas Vebber on Twitter: @ltvebber


Related Links & Differing Views:

Yale Journal on Regulation: “Due Process and Management for Guidance Documents: Good Governance Long Overdue”

Regulatory Transparency Project: “Shining a Light on Regulatory Dark Matter: Regulating Through Guidance”

Journal of Legal Analysis: “The Role of Guidances in Modern Administrative Procedure: The Case for De Novo Review”

Administrative Conference of the United States: “Public Availability of Agency Guidance Documents”

Forbes: “An Inventory of Federal Agency Guidance Documents”