E-Rulemaking (Recommendations)

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This proposed recommendation on Petitions for Rulemaking will be considered by the Assembly at the 61st Plenary Session on December 4-5, 2014.

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...

Recommendation 2011-1, “Legal Considerations in e-Rulemaking,” provides guidance on issues that have arisen in light of the change from paper to electronic rulemaking procedures. It recommends that agencies (1) consider using content analysis software to reduce the need for agency staff to spend time reading identical or nearly identical comments, (2) provide timely, online...

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...

Federal agencies generally have systems in place to develop new regulations. Once those regulations have been promulgated, the agency’s attention usually shifts to its next unaddressed issue. There is increasing recognition, however, of the need to review regulations already adopted to ensure that they remain current, effective and appropriate....

Direct Final Rulemaking

Direct final rulemaking is a technique for expediting the issuance of noncontroversial rules. It involves agency publication of a rule in the Federal Register with a statement that, unless an adverse comment is received on the rule within a specified time period, the...

Recommendation 2011-8, “Agency Innovations in E-Rulemaking,” addresses how Federal agency rulemaking can be improved by better use of Internet-based technologies. The recommendation proposes ways agencies can make rulemaking information, including open dockets, comment policies, and materials from completed rulemakings, more accessible electronically. The recommendation also...

Agencies often explain their view of the meaning of statutes or rules by issuing interpretive rules of general applicability, and agencies indicate how they will exercise discretion by announcing statements of general policy. The Administrative Procedure Act requires that these interpretive rules and policy statements be published in the Federal Register. But the Act does...

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