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A regulation is a "general statement," issued by an executive agency, that has the force and effect of law. Congress often grants agencies the authority to, and sometimes requires that agencies, issue regulations. Regulations are the means by which Federal agencies implement and enforce the laws and legislation passed by Congress. Federal regulations are created through a process known as "rulemaking." Regulations effect our everyday life!
Regulations are published in the Federal Register as they are passed. So, some regulations found in older issues of the Federal Register are not currently enforced. The regulations currently in effect at any given time are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published annually.
The Reg Map is a chart that gives an overview of the "informal rulemaking" process. It was created by ICF Consulting with the cooperation of the U.S. General Services Administration's Regulatory Information Service Center. It's a helpful guide for understanding the regulatory process!