Wanted: Director of the Federal Register (Top Secret)

11.14.14 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The National Archives is seeking a new Director of the Federal Register program, a position that requires a Top Secret security clearance.

The Federal Register is sometimes described as the “daily newspaper” of the executive branch. Each weekday, it “provides citizens access to proposed and final regulations, rules, and other administrative actions of the Federal government,” according to an announcement in USA Jobs.

In addition to overseeing the Federal Register itself, the Director of the Federal Register program is responsible for administering the Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Government Manual, the Public Papers of the Presidents, and other foundational U.S. government documents.

So why does the Director need a Top Secret clearance? One reason is that he or she would play a role in continuity of government under conditions of national emergency, and would be responsible in particular for production of the so-called Emergency Federal Register.

“Over the past several years, Federal agencies have developed contingency plans to maintain operations in the case of a broad range of emergency circumstances,” according to a recent proposed rule that was published (naturally) in the Federal Register on October 28. “The FRA [Federal Register Act] authorizes the President to activate the Emergency Federal Register (EFR) system in place of the daily Federal Register in certain limited circumstances…. The purpose of the EFR is to support the preservation of the rule of law and a constitutional form of government,” the proposed rule explained.

Up to now, as far as anyone can tell, the Emergency Federal Register “has never actually replaced the ‘real thing’,” said Harold C. Relyea, a specialist in U.S. government information policy.

The search for a new Director of the Federal Register is open through November 21.