DOT entereed into an agreement with the Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI) to explore the benefits of the use of blogging and other web 2.0 technology to increase public participation — and the effectiveness of that participation — in the rulemaking process.
Both sides were able to leverage limited resources: Cornell brought legal, programming, language, communication, facilitation, and graphic design expertise to the joint intiative. It also brought students who could help with the monitoring of the blog, etc. DOT brought its broad array of rulemaking actions, willingness to spend sufficient time with CeRI researchers to ensure the effectiveness of CeRI efforts. The objective was to use a variety of tools in different rulemakings to explore what works well, what does not, and determine the best practices necessary to effectively work with the tools that do work. After working on a series of rulemakings, CeRI will issue report evaluating various tools and techniques. DOT has involved other agencies in the initial work on the project and they may be asked to identify rulemakings for use by CeRI.