Recommendations (2010 - Present)

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Recommendation 2014-1, "Resolving FOIA Disputes Through Targeted ADR Strategies," addresses more effective use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approaches to help resolve disputes arising under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The OPEN Government Act of 2007 created the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), a part of the National Archives and Records Administration, to assist in the resolution of FOIA...

Recommendation 2014-2, "Government in the Sunshine Act," highlights best practices designed to enhance transparency of decisionmaking at multi-member boards and commissions subject to the Government in the Sunshine Act.  The recommendation urges covered agencies to provide a description of the primary mechanisms for conducting business, describe substantive business disposed of outside of open meetings subject to the Act (with...

Recommendation 2014-3, "Guidance in the Rulemaking Process," identifies best practices for agencies when providing guidance in preambles to final rules.  It suggests ways that agencies can improve the drafting and presentation of these preambles, including making it easier to identify any guidance content.  The recommendation also urges agencies to ensure that users of their websites can easily locate the required small entity...

Recommendation 2014-4, "'Ex Parte' Communications in Informal Rulemaking," provides guidance and best practices to agencies for managing "ex parte" communications between agency personnel and nongovernmental interested persons regarding the substance of informal rulemaking proceedings conducted under 5 U.S.C. § 553.

  • Recommendation number: 2014-5
  • Adopted on: December 4, 2014
  • Committees: Regulation
  • Tags: Regulation

Recommendation 2014-5, Retrospective Review of Agency Rules, examines agencies’ procedures for reanalyzing and amending existing regulations and offers recommendations designed to promote a culture of retrospective review at agencies.  Among other things, it urges agencies to plan for retrospective review when drafting new regulations; highlights considerations germane to selecting regulations for reevaluation; identifies factors...

This recommendation identifies agency procedures and best practices for accepting, processing, and responding to petitions for rulemaking. It seeks to ensure that the public's right to petition is a meaningful one, while still respecting the need for agencies to retain decisional autonomy. Building upon ACUS's previous work on the subject, it provides additional guidance that may make the petitioning process more useful for agencies...

This recommendation offers practical guidance regarding how best to conduct video hearings, and addresses the following subjects: Equipment and environment, training, financial considerations, procedural practices, fairness and satisfaction, and collaboration among agencies. It also provides for the development of a video hearings handbook by ACUS's Office of the Chairman.

Recommendation 2013-1, “Improving Consistency in Social Security Disability Adjudications,” identifies ways to improve the adjudication of Social Security disability benefits claims before administrative law judges and the Appeals Council, suggests changes to the evaluation of opinion evidence from medical professionals, and encourages the agency to enhance data capture and reporting.

Recommendation 2013-2,“Benefit-Cost Analysis at Independent Regulatory Agencies,” highlights a series of best practices directed at independent regulatory agencies in the preparation of benefit-cost analyses that accompany proposed and final rules.

  • Recommendation number: 2013-3
  • Adopted on: June 14, 2013
  • Committees: Regulation
  • Tags: Science

Recommendation 2013-3, “Science in the Administrative Process,” promotes transparency in agencies' scientific decision-making, including: articulation of questions to be informed by science information; attribution for agency personnel who contributed to scientific analyses; public access to underlying data and literature; and conflict of interest disclosures for privately funded research used by the agencies in...

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