32 CFR 701.66 - Publication of proposed regulations for public comment.
(a) Discussion. The requirements of this section are not imposed by statute, but are the implementation of policies and procedures created administratively in 32 CFR part 336. In effect, the pertinent provisions of 32 CFR part 336 establish, within the Department of Defense and its components, procedures that are analogous to the public rulemaking procedures applicable to some functions of other Federal agencies under 5 U.S.C. 553. While the administrative policy of encouraging the maximum practicable public participation in the Department of the Navy rulemaking shall be diligently followed, determinations by the Department of the Navy as to whether a proposed regulatory requirement originated by it comes within the purview of this paragraph and the corresponding provisions of 32 CFR part 336, and as to whether inviting public comment is warranted, shall be conclusive and final.
(b) Classes of documents affected. Each proposed regulation or other document of a class described in § 701.64(a) (or a proposed revision of an adopted document of any of those classes) which would “originate” within the Department of the Navy a requirement of general applicability and future effect for implementing, interpreting, or prescribing law or policy, or practice and procedure requirements constituting authority for prospective actions having substantial and direct impact on the public, or a significant portion of the public, must be evaluated to determine whether inviting public comment prior to issuance is warranted. Documents that merely implement regulations previously issued by higher naval authorities or by the Department of Defense will not be deemed to “originate” requirements within the purview of this section. If a proposed document is within the purview of this section, publication to invite public comment will be warranted unless, upon evaluation, it is affirmatively determined both that a significant and legitimate interest of the Department of the Navy or the public will be served by omitting such publication for public comment, and that the document is subject to one or more of the following exceptions:
(1) It pertains to a military or foreign affairs function of the United States which has been determined under the criteria of an Executive Order or statute to require a security classification in the interests of national defense or foreign policy;
(2) It relates to naval management, naval military or civilian personnel, or public contracts (e.g. Navy Procurement Directives), including nonappropriated fund contracts;
(3) It involves interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice; or
(4) It is determined with regard to the document, for good cause, that inviting the public comment is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.
(c) Procedures -
(1) Normal case. Unless the official having cognizance of a proposed regulatory document determines under the criteria of § 701.66(b) that inviting public comment is not warranted, he or she shall cause it to be published in the Federal Register with an invitation for the public to submit comments in the form of written data, views, or arguments during a specified period of not less than 30 days following the date of publication. An opportunity for oral presentation normally will not be provided, but may be provided at the sole discretion of the official having cognizance of the proposed directive if he or she deems it to be in the best interest of the Department of the Navy or the public to do so. After careful consideration of all relevant matters presented within the period specified for public comment, the proposed document may be issued in final form. After issuance, the adopted document, and a preamble explaining the relationship of the adopted document to the proposed and the nature and effect of public comments, shall be published in the Federal Register for guidance of the public.
(2) Where public comment is not warranted. The official having cognizance of a proposed document within the purview of this paragraph shall, if he or she determines that inviting public comment concerning the document is not warranted under the criteria of § 701.66(b), incorporate that determination, and the basis therefor, in the document when it is issued or submitted to a higher authority for issuance. After issuance, such document shall be published in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public, if required under § 701.64(b).