This recommendation, which reaffirms and builds upon Recommendation 77-3, identifies procedures and best practices for managing written and oral communications that may occur between an agency and interested persons, often referred to as “ex parte” communications, regarding the substance of an anticipated or ongoing informal rulemaking proceeding, which are not placed in the docket at the time they occur.
This project examined how agencies use internet-based technologies, particularly their websites, to support rulemaking activities and improve access to e-rulemaking portals. It sought to identify useful innovations and best practices that could be spread to other agencies.
This study focused on the many legal issues that arise in e-Rulemaking, including how agencies may use software to determine that submitted comments are identical or nearly identical, and whether agencies can (and should) destroy paper copies of comments scanned to electronic form. The resulting recommendation identifies approaches that agencies can lawfully use to reduce costs and improve efficiency in e-Rulemaking.
Background: In the last three months of a presidential administration, rulemaking activity increases considerably when compared to the same period in a non-transition year.* Although part of this increase likely results from ordinary procrastination and external delays, scholars have suggested that administrations also use the “midnight” period more strategically. First, administrations are said to have...