New regs for Thursday: SEC staffers get work restrictions

The federal government will be closed on Wednesday to celebrate the New Year, but regulations will be coming out once everyone returns on Thursday.

Here's a look at the new rules for federal officials, pilots and prisons: 

Government workers:

Some senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will have new restrictions after they leave government office, thanks to a new rule from the Office of Government Ethics. 

For more than two decades, some top officials at the agency had been exempt from restrictions preventing them from lobbying their former agency. The ethics office had waived the restrictions because the limitations were expected to “create an undue hardship on the department or agency in obtaining qualified personnel to fill such position or positions…”

Now, however, the SEC is "no longer experiencing undue hardship in obtaining qualified personnel to fill the covered positions," the ethics office said. 

The new rules were originally published in October, but were withdrawn so that the SEC could “effectively educate affected employees” before they took effect.

Transportation:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is issuing new rules for approving devices that pilots use for training.

Most devices will need new approvals from the FAA, but the agency is granting some exceptions to manufacturers that received an authorizing letter after Aug. 23.

Law enforcement:

The Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons is trying to streamline its rules for transferring prisoners to foreign countries.

The agency’s draft regulations would eliminate old language that it said amounts to staff guidance. 

Healthcare:

The Department of Health and Human Services wants to require some health plans to submit information to the government confirming they meet certain standards. 

Food:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is finalizing a regulation requiring states conduct testing before using new data systems for their food stamp programs.

Fishing:

Fishing regulators want to implement new rules for fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and south Atlantic. 

Energy:

The Department of Energy is publishing a regulation that adjusts some of its penalties due to inflation. 

Exports:

The Commerce Department is implementing regulations on exporting military training equipment, missiles and other munitions

“The revisions in this final rule are also part of Commerce’s retrospective regulatory review plan” in line with President Obama’s 2011 executive order, it said. 

Records:

The Department of Homeland Security is exempting some of its records from requirements of the Privacy Act. 

-- This story was updated on Jan. 2. A previous version incorrectly characterized the Office of Government Ethics regulation.

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