Protected Materials in Public Rulemaking Dockets

The project examines how agencies protect trade secrets, confidential business information, personal information, and financial regulatory information within their rulemaking dockets while still achieving an appropriate level of disclosure. Recommendation 2013-4, Administrative Record in Informal Rulemaking, urged agencies to seek “maximum disclosure” in the public rulemaking docket but did not address precisely how agencies should safeguard protected materials that underlie proposed rules. This project builds on Recommendation 2013-4 by studying practices agencies use to balance transparency and confidentiality in rulemaking, such as disclosing aggregate data without compromising the underlying information’s confidentiality and redacting protected information.


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