The rulemaking function of federal regulatory agencies is typically accomplished today through “e-rulemaking”: that is, through “‘the use of digital technologies in the development and implementation of regulations,’ before or during the informal rulemaking process, i.e., notice-and-comment rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).”1 The website www.regulations.gov centralizes much e-...
Agency Innovations in e-Rulemaking
Project Stages:1. Gather ideas - Completed
2. Select ideas - Completed
3. Council approval - Completed
4. Picking a researcher - Completed
5. Committee consideration - Completed
6. Back to the council - Completed
7. Consideration by the full conference - Completed
8. Implementation - Current
Traditionally, the notice-and-comment rulemaking process required by 5 U.S.C. § 553 was conducted on paper: the government issued a paper notice and the public submitted paper comments. Today it seems obvious that notice should be issued, and comments received, electronically, over the Internet. In 2002, the Office of Management and Budget determined that the government should create a single electronic system for receiving public comments on agency rules. The resulting system consists of three parts: the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS), which is the database that contains electronic versions of rulemaking documents; fdms.gov, which is the secure interface via which government agencies access the database; and regulations.gov, which is the open interface via which the public submits comments and accesses publicly-available documents in the database. All executive agencies are required to use FDMS. Some independent agencies use FDMS and some have their own electronic systems. The Conference reviewed innovations and experiments in e-Rulemaking at federal agencies. The report surveys existing e-Rulemaking practices at federal agencies and identifies useful innovations and best practices that might be spread to other agencies.