The U.S. Department of Transportation’s incredibly useful Regulatory Information Website, regs.dot.gov, not only contains clear and useful information about the rulemaking process generally, as well as an authoritative compendium of all the various “rulemaking requirements” that apply to the Department (and executive agencies generally), it contains valuable discussion of the following questions:
*What is the agency’s authority to issue legislative rules?
*How does an agency identify the need for a rule?
*How does an agency determine the best solution to a problem?
*What are the legal requirements for the informal rulemaking process?
*May an agency supplement the APA requirements?
*What is the role of DOT, the President, and other executive branch agencies in the rulemaking process?
*What is the role of Congress in the rulemaking process?
*What is the role of the Courts in the rulemaking process?
*What actions that could affect regulated entities do agencies take after they issue legislative rules?
*How does an agency determine whether its rules are working effectively?
*How do I get information on, or notices about, rulemakings on which agencies are working?
*How do I submit comments to DOT on proposed rules?
*How do I prepare effective comments?
The site also provides highly transparent information on the current rulemaking agenda of the Department, including explicit information on the economic values used in its analyses (statistical value of life and injuries and the value of time). It provides a monthly status report on all of the Department’s significant rulemakings, broken down by operating administration (“mode”), including currently pending rulemakings and those completed in the past month. The site also indexes in very accessible forms for 21 types of “effects” of DOT rulemakings, including impact statements and other analyses required by statute or executive order. It has one of the best compendia of agency guidance documents, again accessible by mode, complete with information on now the public can provide feedback or submit complaints about the guidance.
The site also has well-organized information on the Department’s efforts to review existing regulations, as mandated by President Obama’s executive order, and contains helpful sources on the use of plain language in regulation. It has separate pages with very helpful information for small entities, state and local governments, and tribal nations. It describes the Department’s regulatory responsibilities and provides the names and contact information for help in those areas of responsibility. Finally, the site also provides information about and links to DOT’s innovative collaboration with Cornell University’s “Regulation Room,” which provides the public with another way of commenting on and dialoguing about selected DOT rules.