Current Projects

Committee:

The Conference is studying procedures and best practices for managing ex parte contacts in the informal rulemaking process.  The study will first examine the propriety of ex parte communications during various stages of the rulemaking process and clarify the agencies’ legal obligations to preserve public participation rights and facilitate judicial review.  Second,  it will identify the challenges and issues, actual or potential, that may...

Committee:

The Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552b, generally requires multi-member federal agencies (e.g., FCC, SEC) to hold their meetings in public and to give advance public notice of their meetings.  The goal of the Sunshine Act is to promote public access to information about the decision-making processes of the federal government and to improve those processes by exposing them to public view.

Background Information: One of the Conference’s most important prior achievements was its role in encouraging federal agencies to make use of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”). The Conference played a key role in the enactment of the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act.* The Conference also issued publications and conducted seminars and training sessions to promote ADR.

Committee:

The Conference is studying the use of petitions for rulemaking, their potential to improve responsiveness to citizen concerns, and best practices for facilitating submission and guiding agency responses.

Background Information:  The year 2012 saw the highest number of requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C.

Committee:

Periodic review of existing federal regulations is essential to a well-functioning regulatory system.  Such reviews, among other things, are an essential tool for ensuring that existing regulations meet regulatory objectives without imposing undue burdens, that they have not been rendered obsolete by changing technology or market conditions, and that they do not require modification to address newly-identified regulatory gaps.