Completed projects

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.

This project explores agencies’ use of administrative judges (AJs), who preside over hearings outside of those governed by the Administrative Procedure Act. It studies the use of AJs across numerous agencies and offers recommendations on selection, supervision, evaluation, and removal practices. A proposed recommendation from the Committee on Adjudication was on the agenda of the June 2018 Plenary Session.

Recommendation 2013-4 – Administrative Record in Informal Rulemaking offers best practices for agencies in the compilation, preservation, and certification of records in informal rulemaking, and it supports the judicial presumption of regularity for agency administrative records except in certain limited circumstances.  

Recommendation 2020-3, Agency Appellate Systems  offers agencies best practices to improve administrative review of hearing-level adjudicative decisions with respect to case selection, decision-making process and procedures, management oversight, and public disclosure and transparency.

This Office of the Chair project, conducted by Professor Cary Coglianese of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, explored contexts in which agencies might use machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out regulatory functions. It examined the comparative strengths and weaknesses of both human decision making and AI, seeking to identify areas in which agencies should explore using AI. It a

Recommendation 2019-5 – Agency Economists addresses the placement of economists within rule-writing agencies (e.g., centralized versus dispersed throughout the agency) and describes methods for promoting high-quality economic analysis within each of the potential organizational structures.

Recommendation 2019-1 – Agency Guidance Through Interpretive Rules identifies ways agencies can offer the public the opportunity to propose alternative approaches to those presented in an interpretive rule and to encourage, when appropriate, public participation in the adoption or modification of interpretive rules.

Recommendation 2017-5 – Agency Guidance Through Policy Statements, formerly titled Agency Guidance, provides best practices to agencies on the formulation and use of policy statements. It lists steps that agencies can take to remain flexible in their use of policy statements and to encourage, when appropriate, public participation in the adoption or modification of policy statements.