regs.dot.gov increases public engagement in the regulatory process

The Regs.dot.gov website has a number of valuable features. It provides the public with significant information about the rulemaking process and ways for the public to effectively participate in the process; this includes a simple description of the rulemaking process and a description of the various statutes, executivie orders and other documents imposing requirements on the rulemaking process,with links to all of the documents.

It provides monthly updates to a status report on all of DOT’s significant rulemakings. It provides instantly updated information on rulemakings by their effects (e.g., small entities, federalism, or NAFTA countries), with links to docket files.

It also provides direct links to other, related sites. Finally, it provides information on specific matters, such as information about and links to data on compliance activities, a special section or retrospective reviews of existing rules, and another section for small entities.

Results

Agencies can measure results by monitoring usage (e.g., number of visitors to the website, considering feedback (e.g., on the “effects” report and it usage for increased transparency and notice in international negotiations), and discussing with staff (e.g., comments on the decrease in requests for information that is now on the website).

 

 

Neil Eisner
Department of Transportation

Many could easily adapt information on regs.dot.gov to their particular agency (e.g., the description of the rulemaking process).  

The sortware used to track all of our  rulemaking and generate some of the reports on our website, is available for free from DOT and should  be easily adaptable to other agencies (EPA and FCC are engaging in this approach); some small agencies may, however, not have the resources necessary to keep the database current.


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