Sunday, October 07, 2007

Inside the UIGEA Regulations, Part 4: Comments and Timing

The UIGEA’s announcement of rules also comes with a mandatory 75-day period when the proposed rules are made available for public comment. This period has already begun, and runs through December 12, 2007. Comments are open to everyone; still, if one is going to send a comment, one must identify oneself, and flames are really, really, really counterproductive. We’ll come back to how to properly make comments in a moment.

After the public comment period, the rules will be adjusted and finalized. One those final rules are published, the agencies and banking systems involved will them be given an additional period of time --- mentioned as six months in the notice --- before banks and such will be asked to be compliant. Allowing for the comment period, the expected revisions and republication of the rules and the six months (or more) for putting any system into place, this suggests that it will be at least late 2008 before any UIGEA-authored system would be in place. That leaves some time for legal challenges.

As for comments, those who do so are generally encouraged to point out fatal flaws in the administration of the UIGEA, such as the trampling of First Amendment rights, the unfunded mandate assigned to the banking industry and massive misstatement of manpower needed to properly administer the effort, and what amounts to a deputizing of that same banking industry to apply and enforce regulations that they have no right to monitor. Leastways, if I were going to write a comment, that’s where I’d start.

As for where to send comments, the notice offers several choices. To send to the Governors of the Federal Reserve Board, this is what to do:

Use docket number R-1298 to tag your comment to the proper set of rules, no matter what. Then choose any of these online options:

  • Go to, and follow the instructions, or;

  • Go to, and follow the insructions for submitting comments, or;

  • Send an e-mail with your comments to: (and don’t forget that docket number), or;

  • Fax your comments to (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102, or;

  • Send a letter with your comments to:
    Jennifer J. Johnson
    Secretary, Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System
    20th Street and Constitutional Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20551

    Remember, public comments are indeed public, and can be viewed by others.

    One can also submit comments to the Treasury. Here’s that process:

  • Visit the Federal E-Rulemaking Portal. That’s also at, but this time, select “Department of the Treasury—All” from the agency drop-down menu, and click submit. In the Docket ID column, use “Treas-DO-2007-0015” and use that whenever creating your own comments or submitting others. If you don’t want to do this online, then:

  • Send a letter to the Treasury, courtesy of:

    Department of the Treasury
    Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy
    Room 1327, Main Treasury Building
    1500 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20220

    Very important: Commentors are required to submit their comments to both agencies. Now go get ‘em.
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