By Ken Cole On January 24, 2017 · 44 Comments · In Department of Interior, Politics
A memo leaked today orders all of the bureaus of the Department of Interior, which includes the Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others, to clear nearly every decision or correspondence with the Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs (OES). Other departments such as the EPA have instituted similar gag orders. This sweeping gag order stops the bureaus from corresponding with entities ranging from tribal leaders, governors, and even Congress.
The contents of the memo are below and the memo is here
To: Chiefs of Staff, Bureaus and Offices
From: Julie Lillie, Director, Office of Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs
Subject: Federal Register Documents and Correspondence Clearance Procedures
As we begin a new administration, it is important that the incoming policy team has an opportunity to review documents. Effective immediately, and in addition to your internal clearance processes, all Federal Register documents, including all notices, and all correspondence to or from the Secretary must be forwarded to the Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs (OES) for review 5 days prior to any deadline for Departmental clearance, regardless of signature level. For Federal Register notices this includes, but is not limited to:
• any proposed or final regulation or policy action,
• notices of all meetings, including tribal consultation meetings,
• all notices related to NEPA documents
• information collection notices,
• FWS notices of low effect applications for permits,
• BLM notices of plat surveys, and
• BOEM quarterly notices of environmental documents prepared for the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf.
In addition to the above, all incoming congressional and gubernatorial correspondence as well as correspondence from Indian or Alaska tribal leaders and leaders from national level environment/recreational and industry organizations must be forwarded to OES prior to responding, regardless of addressee or signature level. No correspondence should be cleared to go to Congress or to any Governor until it has been reviewed by the Acting Chief of Staff and/or Senior White House Advisor. The OES will be responsible for tasking these letters for response . The incoming leadership team will decide whether to continue or modify these instructions.
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