ACUS Adopts Four Recommendations to Improve Efficiency, Fairness, Transparency, and Public Participation in Government Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact: Harry M. Seidman 
Phone: 202. 480. 2085 
Email: hseidman@acus.gov  
 
ACUS Adopts Four Recommendations to Improve Efficiency, Fairness, Transparency, and Public Participation in Government Programs 
 

Monday, June 21, 2021 - At its 74th Plenary Session, held virtually on June 17, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) adopted four recommendations to improve the efficiency, transparency, and fairness of administrative programs; reduce their costs to taxpayers; and enhance the public’s ability to participate in them.  

Recommendation 2021-1: Managing Mass, Computer Generated, and Falsely Attributed Comments. This recommendation offers best practices for managing mass, computer-generated, and falsely attributed comments in agency rulemakings. Among other things, it offers best practices for agencies to consider with respect to using technology to process such comments, managing their public rulemaking dockets in response to such comments, and ensuring transparency with respect to any such actions they undertake. Additional information is available here.  

Recommendation 2021-2: Periodic Retrospective Review. This recommendation identifies best practices for agencies as they conduct retrospective review of their regulations on a periodic basis. It provides guidance for agencies on identifying the types of regulations that are strong candidates for review, determining the optimal frequency of review, soliciting public feedback to enhance their review efforts, identifying staff to participate in review, and coordinating review efforts with other agencies. Additional information is available here.  

Recommendation 2021-3: Early Input on Regulatory Alternatives. This recommendation addresses when and how agencies should solicit input on alternatives to rules under consideration before issuing notices of proposed rulemaking. Among other things, it provides targeted measures for agencies to obtain input from knowledgeable persons in ways that are cost-effective and equitable and that maximize the likelihood of obtaining diverse, useful responses. Additional information is available here.  

Recommendation 2021-4: Virtual Hearings in Agency Adjudication.  This recommendation addresses the use of virtual hearings, in which one or more participants attend remotely using a personal computer or mobile device, in agency adjudications. Virtual hearings have become increasingly common in agency adjudications, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they can pose unique logistical challenges and raise questions of accessibility, transparency, privacy, and data security. The recommendation identifies best practices for improving existing virtual-hearing programs and establishing new ones when appropriate. Additional information is available here.  

The next Plenary Session will be held in December 2021. Details, including times and recommendations to be considered, will be posted on the ACUS website. Join our mailing list at www.acus.gov/subscribe to be notified instantly. 

 

About ACUS 

The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent federal agency dedicated to improving the administrative process through consensus-driven applied research and providing nonpartisan expert advice and recommendations for federal agency procedures. Its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics, and other experts from the private sector. Except for the Chairman, all Conference Members are unpaid.  

The Conference is committed to promoting effective public participation and efficiency in the rulemaking process by leveraging interactive technologies and encouraging open communication with the public as well as making improvements to the regulatory process by reducing unnecessary litigation and improving the use of science and the effectiveness of applicable laws.  Learn more at www.acus.gov.