Rulemaking Comments

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Committee: 
Rulemaking Comments in stage 8. Implementation

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
Stage:  
8. Implementation

Contacts

Implementation Contact
202.480.2083
rbull@acus.gov
Committee Chair
Partner
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Consultant
Steven J. Balla
Associate Professor,
George Washington University
Media
202.480.2091
mkindelan@acus.gov

Agencies conduct most rulemaking proceedings via the process of “notice and comment.”  Under this process, an agency publishes notice of a proposed rule in the Federal Register, gives the public a period of time in which to comment, and then issues a final rule after considering the comments received.  See 5 U.S.C. § 553. The Recommendation addresses various legal and practical issues that arise in connection with the “comment” phase of notice-and-comment rulemaking and that were raised in the Interim Report on the Administrative Law, Process and Procedure Project for the 21st Century issued in December 2006 by the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law of the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives.  The Recommendation provides best practices on a number of aspects of the comment process, including, amongst other things, minimum comment periods, reply comments, late comments, and anonymous comments.

Final Recommendation

Recommendation 2011-2, “Rulemaking Comments,” recognizes innovations in the commenting process that could promote public participation and improve rulemaking outcomes. The recommendation encourages agencies (1) to provide public guidance on how to submit effective comments, (2) to leave comment periods open for sufficient periods, generally at least 60 days for significant regulatory actions and 30 days for other...

Implementation

In the past several years, the Administrative Conference has adopted a number of recommendations that address various subjects related to e-Rulemaking.  These recommendations share a common focus and goal and represent incremental contributions to an evolving body of work.  The Conference is accordingly pursuing joint implementation of these recommendations, including the following:

Recommendation 2011-1, Legal Considerations in e-Rulemaking.  This recommendation provides guidance on various legal issues agencies face in e-Rulemaking, including how to efficiently and effectively deal with large numbers of identical comments and how to transfer paper comments to electronic dockets.

Recommendation 2011-2, Rulemaking Comments.  This recommendation identifies best practices in the comment process, including with respect to minimum comment periods, reply comments, late comments, and anonymous comments.

Recommendation 2011-8, Agency Innovations in e-Rulemaking.  This recommendation suggests ways in which agencies can improve their websites to facilitate public accessibility and engagement in the rulemaking process, so as to achieve the promise of e-Rulemaking.

Recommendation 2013-5, Social Media in Rulemaking.  This recommendation provide guidance to agencies on whether, when, and how to use social media to lawfully and effectively support rulemaking activities.

Agencies that are planning or pursuing innovative strategies to leverage technology to improve public engagement in the rulemaking process are encouraged to consider these recommendations.  They are also invited to contact staff counsels Emily S. Bremer or Reeve T. Bull with any questions, concnerns, or updates related to these activities.  Suggestions for new studies that may lead to recommendations further contributing to this body of work are also welcome.

Project Documents

Name Committee Type Datesort descending
Rulemaking Comments Report and Supplemental Research Regulation Report March 15, 2011 Download
Approved Minutes from the March 24 Committee Meeting Regulation Meeting Minutes March 24, 2011 Download
Committee Meeting Webcast - Part 1 Regulation Webcast March 24, 2011 Watch Video
Committee Meeting Webcast - Part 2 Regulation Webcast March 24, 2011 Watch Video
Reeve Bull's Research Memorandum for April 25 Committee Meeting Regulation Public Comment April 18, 2011 Download
Professor Balla's Research Report for April 25 Committee Meeting Regulation Report April 19, 2011 Download
Proposed Amendment for April 25 Committee Meeting Regulation Recommendation April 21, 2011 Download
Draft Recommendation Considered at April 25 Committee Meeting Regulation Recommendation April 21, 2011 Download
Approved Minutes from the April 25 Committee Meeting Regulation Meeting Minutes April 25, 2011 Download
Comments on the Draft Recommendation submitted by Jeff Lubbers Regulation Public Comment April 25, 2011 Download
Comments on the Draft Recommendation submitted by Neil Eisner Regulation Public Comment April 25, 2011 Download
Comments on the Draft Recommendation submitted by Peter Strauss Regulation Public Comment April 25, 2011 Download
Committee Meeting Webcast Regulation Webcast April 25, 2011 Watch Video
Consolidated Public Comments Regulation Public Comment April 25, 2011 Download
Joseph Whalen Comment Regulation Public Comment April 25, 2011 Download
Joseph Whalen Comment - Attachment Regulation Public Comment April 25, 2011 Download
Proposed Recommendation Rulemaking Comments Regulation Recommendation May 18, 2011 Download
Rulemaking Comments Rulemaking Recommendation June 16, 2011 Download
Amendments to Proposed Recommendation Rulemaking Comments Recommendation June 17, 2011 Download
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