Tuesday, May 25, 2010

U.S. Department of Education Seeks Public Comments on Forms

The U.S. Department of Education announced a request for public comment on an emergency approval of forms relating to the Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program.  Under this program, civil legal assistance attorneys who meet certain qualifications can have part of their federal student loans repaid by the Department of Education based on qualifying full-time employment.  

The Federal Register notice announcing the request for comments is badly written.  Parts of it will make you want to cringe.  If not that, it will at least remind you why the federal government has so much trouble collecting public comments on important public issues.  Click here to see the Federal Register notice.  Grab a cup of coffee first though.

Now buried within that notice is an explanation on how to see copies of the proposed "information collection request" (which I think is the Education Department's way of saying the word "form"). 

It essentially says to do the four steps below (after you read the Federal Register Notice).  You might enjoy this just as an exercise in seeing how the government does this these days.

  • Click here or go to http://edicsweb.ed.gov
  • Scroll down until you see this: (04309) 1845-NEW-v.1 Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program.  Look for that number 4309 (that's the easiest way to find it) 
  • Click on "Download Attachments"
  • Browse that list of documents to your heart's content. I would suggest You might skip down and start at "Att_CLAA Empl Cert.Final Emerg Cl Draft.05-07-2010.doc"

Send in your comments on the forms, even if it is nothing more than "hey, great form!"

Hat tip to the ABA Government Affairs Office (which apparently has a higher tolerance for reading Federal Register notices than most other mortals.

And a special (not-so-private) note to the Department of Education:  Hey, you're the Department of Education!  Dust off those Plain Language Regulation Requirements and learn how to write! 



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