[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 6 (Monday, January 10, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1080-1081]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-28421]



41 CFR Part 102-173

[FMR Case 2021-02; Docket No. GSA-FMR-2021-0022; Sequence 01]
RIN 3090-AK52

Federal Management Regulation (FMR); Internet GOV Domain

AGENCY: Office of Information Integrity and Access, Office of 
Government-wide Policy (OGP), General Services Administration (GSA).

ACTION: Interim rule.


SUMMARY: This interim rule implements certain provisions of the DOTGOV 
Act of 2020 applicable to GSA, which was enacted as part of the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. It removes provisions to the 
existing jurisdiction of the DOTGOV domain that had been delegated to 
the General Services Administration in 1997 by the Federal Networking 
Council with guidance in the form of internet Engineering Task Force 
(IETF) Informational RFC 2146, which was further expanded to include 
State, local, or territorial government entities in 2003 by the 
Intergovernmental Cooperation Act (IGCA). This interim rule implements 
provisions of the DOTGOV Act of 2020 that transfer ownership, 
management and operation of the DotGov Domain Program from the General 
Services Administration (GSA) to the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

    Effective date: January 10, 2022.
    Applicability Date: As of January 10, 2022, this interim rule 
applies to all newly issued, already in operation, and/or renewed .gov 
    Comment Date: Interested parties should submit written comments to 
the Regulatory Secretariat Division at the address shown below on or 
before March 11, 2022 to be considered in the formation of the final 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For clarification of content, contact 
Ms. Marina Fox, Office of Government-wide Policy, Office of 
Information, Integrity, and Access, at 202-253-6448, or by email at 
[email protected]. For information pertaining to the status or 
publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 
202-501-4755 or [email protected]. Please cite FMR Case 2021-02.

    Inspection of Public Comments: Comments received before the close 
of the comment period are available for viewing by the public, 
including any personally identifiable or confidential business 
information that is included in a comment. We post comments received 
before the close of the comment period on the following website as soon 
as possible after they have been received: https://regulations.gov. 
Follow the search instructions on that website to view public comments.

I. Background

    For more than 20 years, GSA supported government organizations and 
worked to make .gov a trusted space.gov domain exists so that the 
online services of bona fide U.S.-based government organizations are 
easy to identify on the internet. Increasing and normalizing .gov use 
helps the public know where to find official government information. 
.gov is critical infrastructure: It's central to the availability and 
integrity of thousands of online services relied upon by millions of 
users. Since the .gov domain underpins communication with and within 
these institutions, cybersecurity significance of all aspects of .gov's 
administration has been increasing rapidly. To provide additional 
cybersecurity support and expand .gov usage among public entities, the 
DOTGOV Act of 2020 (or the DOTGOV Act of 2019) was introduced in the 
U.S. Senate on October 30, 2019, directing GSA to transfer the DotGov 
program to CISA.
    On December 27, 2020, the DOTGOV Act of 2020 was signed into law 
and enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. 
L. 116-260). The Act transfers the DotGov (.gov) internet domain 
program, as operated by the General Services Administration under title 
41, Code of Federal Regulations, to DHS CISA. The Act also orders that 
on the date CISA begins operational administration of the DotGov 
internet domain program, the GSA Administrator shall rescind the 
requirements in part 102-173 of title 41, Code of Federal Regulations 
applicable to any Federal, State, local, or territorial government 
entity, or other publicly controlled entity, including any Tribal 
government recognized by the Federal Government or a State government 
that is registering or operating a .gov internet domain. Finally, the 
Act orders that in place of the requirements in part 102-173 of title 
41, Code of Federal Regulations, CISA, in consultation with the 
Director of Management and Budget (OMB), establishes and publishes a 
new set of requirements for the registration and operation of .gov 
    On April 26, 2021, GSA transferred ownership, management and 
operation of DotGov Domain Program to the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS), CISA, and CISA published new .gov domain issuance 
guidance for government entities in place of the existing INTERNET GOV 
DOMAIN requirements in FMR. To comply with the DOTGOV Online Trust in 
Government Act of 2020 (Title IX, Division U, H.R. 133, Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2021), GSA is amending the Federal Management 
Regulation to remove all requirements in part 102-173 ``INTERNET GOV 

DotGov Program History

    The DotGov program was created in 1997, and GSA OGP became the 
designated authority for the top level Domain ``DOT GOV'' registry and 
registrar and the subdomain registrar for FED.US by a delegation of the 
National Science Foundation through consensus of the Federal Networking 
Council and Department of Commerce on October 1, 1997. To provide 
additional support, GSA entered into an agreement with the Department 
of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs to facilitate the 
registration of Native Sovereign Nations (NSNs) in the dot-gov domain. 
In 2003, GSA began using the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act (IGCA) 
as the authority to provide services to U.S. state and local 
governments, and began issuing

[[Page 1081]]

.gov domains to state and local government entities.
    Under GSA's DotGov program management and operations, domain 
registrations were approved based on established criteria, detailed in 
Federal Networking Council request for comments (RFC) 2146, May 1997 
and in the Code of Federal Regulations--41 CFR Part 102-173. GSA's 
management of the DotGov program also included DotGov DNS Security 
(DNSSEC), which gives DNS queries origin authenticity and data 
integrity. This was accomplished by the inclusion of public keys and 
the use of digital signatures to DNS information. DNSSEC was deployed 
on the top level Gov domain root zone in January 2008 in accordance 
with OMB Memorandum M-08-23.

II. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 
all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 
13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 
subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning 
and Review, dated September 30, 1993.

III. Congressional Review Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Subtitle E of 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(codified at 5 U.S.C. 801-808), also known as the Congressional Review 
Act or CRA, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the 
agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes 
a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the 
Comptroller General of the United States. GSA will submit a report 
containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, 
the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the 
United States. A major rule under the CRA cannot take effect until 60 
days after it is published in the Federal Register. OIRA has determined 
that this is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This interim rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because it applies 
to agency management or personnel. Therefore, an Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis has not been performed.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the changes to 
the FMR do not impose recordkeeping or information collection 
requirements, or the collection of information from offerors, 
contractors, or members of the public that require the approval of the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

VI. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

    As discussed above, Congress mandated through the DOT Gov Online 
Trust in Government Act that GSA rescind the regulations contained in 
part 102-173 of title 41, Code of Federal Regulations. As Congress has 
directed a specific regulator outcome through statute, this constitutes 
good cause to issue this as an interim rule with comment period.

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Part 102-173

    Government property management; Internet Gov Domain.

Robin Carnahan,

PART 102-173--[REMOVED]

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, and under the authority of 
the DOTGOV Online Trust in Government Act of 2020 (Title IX, Division 
U, H.R. 133, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021), GSA removes 41 CFR 
part 102-173.

[FR Doc. 2021-28421 Filed 1-7-22; 8:45 am]