FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Harry M. Seidman
Phone: 202. 480. 2085
ACUS Adopts Three Recommendations to Improve Efficiency, Fairness, Transparency, and Public Participation in Government Programs
Washington, June 16, 2022 - At its 77th Plenary Session on June 16, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) adopted three 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 2022-1: Contractors in Rulemaking. This recommendation identifies best practices for managing contractors that assist agencies in the rulemaking process. It recommends that agencies clearly delineate responsibility between contractors and agency staff, provide proper oversight of contractors, and ensure transparency in connection with the agency's contractual activities. Additional information is available here.
Recommendation 2022-2: Improving Notice of Regulatory Changes. This recommendation offers best practices for agencies to ensure that members of the public receive effective notice of regulatory changes, focusing especially on the needs of parties with limited resources to monitor agency actions. It recommends that agencies consider a variety of possible strategies for improving notice of regulatory changes, including designing agency websites to provide clear notice of regulatory changes, publicizing regulatory changes through social media and email lists, and providing direct notice of regulatory changes to those affected by them. Additional information is available here.
Recommendation 2022-3: Automated Legal Guidance at Federal Agencies. This recommendation identifies best practices for agencies to use when designing and updating automated tools, such as interactive chatbots and virtual assistants, to provide legal guidance to the public. It addresses factors agencies should consider in deciding whether to utilize automated legal guidance tools, how agencies that utilize those tools can ensure that the information they provide is accurate and current, and how agencies can ensure that recipients of such guidance understand its limitations and do not rely on it to their detriment. Additional information is available here.
In addition to adopting three recommendations, the ACUS Assembly discussed two ongoing agency projects.
The first project is a study examining how nationwide injunctions and similar equitable remedies affect the administration of federal programs. Additional project information is available here.
The second project is designed to produce a Statement of Principles that synthesizes the dozens of ACUS recommendations that promote the public availability of administrative materials. Additional project information is available here.
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.