Publication Date: August 20, 2015

Posted Date: August 28, 2015

Subject: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee; Public Hearings

FR Type: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee; Public Hearings in PDF Format, 201KB, 2 Pages


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 161 (Thursday, August 20, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 50588-50589]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-20669]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter VI

[Docket ID ED-2015-OPE-0103]


Negotiated Rulemaking Committee; Public Hearings

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Intent to establish negotiated rulemaking committee.

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SUMMARY: We announce our intention to establish a negotiated rulemaking 
committee to prepare proposed regulations for the Federal Student Aid 
programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 
as amended (HEA). The committee will include representatives of 
organizations or groups with interests that are significantly affected 
by the subject matter of the proposed regulations. We also announce two 
public hearings at which interested parties may comment on the topics 
suggested by the Department and may suggest additional topics that 
should be considered for action by the negotiating committee. In 
addition, we announce that the Department will accept written comments 
on the topics suggested by the Department and suggestions for 
additional issues that should be considered for action by the 
negotiating committee.

DATES: The dates, times, and locations of the public hearings are 
listed under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. We 
must receive written comments suggesting issues that should be 
considered for action by the negotiating committee on or before 
September 16, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not 
accept comments by fax or by email. To ensure that we do not receive 
duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, 
please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to 
submit your comments electronically. Information on using 
Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, 
submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site 
under ``How to use Regulations.gov'' in the Help section.
     Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery. If you 
mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address 
them to Wendy Macias, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., 
Room 8013, Washington, DC 20006.

    Privacy Note:  The Department's policy is to make all comments 
received from members of the public (including those comments 
submitted by postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery) 
available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters 
should be careful to include in their comments only information that 
they wish to make publicly available.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the public 
hearings, go to www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2016/index.html or contact: Wendy Macias, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 
K Street NW., Room 8013, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 502-
7526 or by email: Wendy.Macias@ed.gov.
    For information about negotiated rulemaking in general, see The 
Negotiated Rulemaking Process for Title IV Regulations, Frequently 
Asked Questions at www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/hea08/neg-reg-faq.html or contact: Wendy Macias, U.S. Department of 
Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 8013, Washington, DC 20006. 
Telephone: (202) 502-7526 or by email: Wendy.Macias@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) toll free at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Section 492 of the HEA requires that, before publishing any 
proposed regulations to implement programs authorized under title IV of 
the HEA, the Secretary obtain public involvement in the development of 
the proposed regulations. After obtaining advice and recommendations 
from the public, the Secretary conducts negotiated rulemaking to 
develop the proposed regulations. We announce our intent to develop 
proposed title IV regulations by following the negotiated rulemaking 
procedures in section 492 of the HEA.
    We intend to select participants for the negotiated rulemaking 
committee from nominees of the organizations and groups that represent 
the interests significantly affected by the proposed regulations. To 
the extent possible, we will select from the nominees individual 
negotiators who reflect the diversity among program participants, in 
accordance with section 492(b)(1) of the HEA.

Regulatory Issues

    We intend to convene a committee to develop proposed regulations 
for determining which acts or omissions of an institution of higher 
education (``institution'') a borrower may assert as a defense to 
repayment of a loan made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan 
(Federal Direct Loan) Program (``borrower defenses'') and the 
consequences of such borrower defenses for borrowers, institutions, and 
the Secretary. Specifically, we intend to address: (1) The procedures 
to be used for a borrower to establish a defense to repayment; (2) the 
criteria that the Department will use to identify acts or omissions of 
an institution that constitute defenses to repayment of Federal Direct 
Loans to the Secretary; (3) the standards and procedures that the 
Department will use to determine the liability of the institution 
participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program for amounts based on 
borrower defenses; and (4) the effect of borrower defenses on 
institutional capability assessments.

[[Page 50589]]

    After a complete review of the public comments presented at the 
public hearings and in the written submissions, we will publish a 
document (or documents) in the Federal Register announcing the specific 
topics for which we intend to establish a negotiated rulemaking 
committee and a request for nominations for individual negotiators for 
the committee who represent the communities of interest that would be 
significantly affected by the proposed regulations. This document will 
also be posted on the Department's Web site at: www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2016/index.html.

Public Hearings

    We will hold two public hearings for interested parties to discuss 
the rulemaking agenda. The public hearings will be held:
     September 10, 2015, at the U.S. Department of Education, 
1990 K Street NW., Eighth Floor Conference Center, Washington, DC 
20006.
     September 16, 2015, at the Courtyard San Francisco 
Downtown, 299 2nd Street, Rincon Hill Room, San Francisco, CA 94105.
    The public hearings will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., local 
time. Further information on the public hearing sites is available at 
www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2016/index.html.
    Individuals who would like to present comments at the public 
hearings must register by sending an email to negreghearing@ed.gov. The 
email should include the name of the presenter along with the public 
hearing at which the individual would like to speak, and a general 
timeframe during which the individual would like to speak (for example, 
a presenter could indicate morning or afternoon, or before 11:00 a.m. 
or after 3:00 p.m.). We will attempt to accommodate each speaker's 
preference, but, if we are unable to do so, we will make the 
determination on a first-come first-served basis (based on the time and 
date the email was received). It is likely that each participant will 
be limited to five minutes. The Department will notify registrants of 
the location and time slot reserved for them. An individual may make 
only one presentation at the public hearings. If we receive more 
registrations than we are able to accommodate, the Department reserves 
the right to reject the registration of an entity or individual that is 
affiliated with an entity or individual that is already scheduled to 
present comments, and to select among registrants to ensure that a 
broad range of entities and individuals is allowed to present. We will 
accept walk-in registrations for any remaining time slots on a first-
come first-served basis, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the 
public hearing at the Department's on-site registration table. 
Registration is not required to observe the public hearings.
    The Department will post transcriptions of the hearings to 
www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2016/index.html. Although 
the Department will not be filming the hearings, as this is a public 
meeting, speakers should be aware that they may be filmed or recorded 
by members of the public.
    Speakers may submit written comments at the public hearings. In 
addition, the Department will accept written comments via the Federal 
eRulemaking portal, and by postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand 
delivery, through September 16, 2015. (See the ADDRESSES section of 
this document for submission information.)

Schedule for Negotiations

    We anticipate that any committee established after the public 
hearings will begin negotiations in January 2016, with the committee 
meeting for up to three sessions of approximately three days each at 
roughly monthly intervals. The committee will meet in the Washington, 
DC area. The dates and locations of these meetings will be published in 
a subsequent document in the Federal Register, and will be posted on 
the Department's Web site at: www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2016/index.html.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting Wendy Macias, U.S. Department 
of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 8013, Washington, DC 20006. 
Telephone: (202) 502-7526 or by email: Wendy.Macias@ed.gov.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Delegation of Authority:  The Secretary of Education has 
delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, 
to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for 
Postsecondary Education.

    Program Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1098a.

    Dated: August 18, 2015.
Jamienne S. Studley,
Deputy Under Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-20669 Filed 8-19-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

Attachments/Enclosures:

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee; Public Hearings in PDF Format, 201KB, 2 Pages

   

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