Guidance documents from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and the Department of Labor are now available in online databases.
The changes were prompted by a White House executive order in October requiring federal agencies to set up a searchable, indexed database, or links, to all respective guidance documents, to ensure that the public is only subject to rules and regulations that have been properly enacted.
The PBGC guidance document database website notes that the documents available, such as opinion letters and program clarifications, "do not have the force and effect of law, unless expressly authorized by statute or incorporated into a contract, and are not meant to bind the public in any way." Any guidance not posted will only be referenced to establish historical facts, the agency website said.
The Department of Labor's guidance document database may have further changes. The Labor Department is still reviewing guidance issued by its respective agencies to see if it aligns with the law and administration policy "and otherwise serves an appropriate and useful purpose," the agency's website said.
"Guidance which is outdated, superseded, invalid, unhelpful, confusing, redundant, outside an agency's appropriate role, or contrary to law or policy is being rescinded or modified," the website said. "Any documents still under review will be added to the website when those decisions have been finalized."