New regs for Monday: Death Master File, counterfeit military parts, jobs for the mentally disabled

Monday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for people who want to access the government's Death Master File, to prevent the military from buying counterfeit electronic parts, and to help mentally disabled people find jobs.

Here's what is happening:

Death Master File: The Department of Commerce is looking to establish a certification program for insurance companies and others that need to access the federal Death Master File so they can cross-check their records with the government database to prevent fraud.

The Social Security Administration records the Death Master File to keep track of individuals who have died, so the government doesn't continue sending social security checks. But the database is also used by insurance companies, credit agencies and other financial institutions, as well as state and local governments. 

The Death Master File helps prevent fraud by identity thieves who may try to receive money that was going to a person who died. 

However, the Obama administration wants to restrict access to this sensitive information, including the names, social security numbers, birth dates, and the date of death of deceased individuals. 

So it has tasked the Commerce Department's National Technical Information Service with setting up a certification program that will crack down on people who have access to the information for business purposes, but share it with other people who don't have access.

Counterfeit parts: The Department of Defense (DOD) is considering a new rule that would establish more requirements to help the military detect and avoid counterfeit electronic parts from federal contractors. 

The Defense Acquisition Regulations System at the DOD announced it will hold a public meeting on March 27 to discuss moving forward with a final rule. Originally, it proposed the rule last May.

The rules would further implement requirements established under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, specifically in regards to trusted suppliers.

Employment: The Department of Education is considering how to help mentally challenged people with learning disabilities find jobs.

The Education Department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announced Friday it is proposing to make this a priority where it will focus research efforts.

"We take this action to focus research attention on an area of national need," the agency wrote. "We intend for this priority to contribute to improved employment outcomes of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities."

The public has 30 days to comment.

Energy efficiency: The Department of Energy is delaying a rule that would establish new energy conservation standards for residential conventional cooking products at the request of an industry group.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which opened the public comment period on Feb. 12, announced it is extending the comment period to April 14. This comes after the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers asked for the extension. 

Liquidation: The National Credit Union Administration is considering changes to a voluntary liquidation rule that would reduce the administration burdens on federal credit unions by recognizing technological advances.

The rule would permit these credit unions to publish required creditor notices in electronic media and newspapers of general circulation, among other things.