What is an IPD?
This website is an Interactive Public Docket (Interactive Public Docket) dedicated to presenting game changing processes in the regulatory state. The IPD is the private sector version of a regulatory docket but the purpose of an IPD is to break the government’s monopoly over what is contained in a regulatory docket.
More specifically, the docket for a regulatory proceeding and access to it by the public is very limited. Presently the regulators are the sole determinant of what papers go into the docket before an NPRM is issued; regulators are also the sole determinant of what papers go into the docket subsequent to the close of the public comment period. The public can only affect the content of a docket in a limited time period, more specifically the customary 60 to 90 day public comment period out of one or more years need to complete the rulemaking. In fact regulators make the decision as to whether there is even going to be a docket for a regulatory proceeding.
The IPD changes this dynamic by having an online docket which is available for public input on a 24/7 basis during the pre-rule, NPRM, post NPRM and post final rule stages of a rulemaking. The public can not only add material at any date but it can also comment on comments made by others.
Regulatory agencies are permitted to upload material from an IPD and insert it into the docket.
Why then would federal agencies view IPD’s? Agencies review IPD’s because they are often the best source of new information generated subsequent to the close of the public comment period, particularly those NPRM’s which are science-based and for which members of the public comment on the comments of others.
Rules of engagement for an IPD include:
– Dissenting views from those of the sponsor must be posted.
– No adverse statements against a federal employee are permitted
– Editorial control is exercised over obscene or profane statements
– The IPD must be highly interactive which allows comments to be made in an easy fashion and made anonymously if the author so desires.
In keeping with the aforementioned rules of engagement it should be noted that some NGO’s have a different view of the merits of an IPD. Readers should read the views of a leading law professor on the aforementioned views of the NGO which are contained at the end of the post.
Third Party Recognition of the Sponsor of the IPD Is Critical
Another factor which determines the magnitude of the federal readership of an IPD is the size of the regulatory footprint of its sponsor. CRE has decades of experience working as a regulatory watchdog as noted by the recognition it has received from nationally recognized organizations:
Is There A Gold Standard For An IPD?
A gold standard for an IPD is one which has at least two attributes:
(1) there is an involvement by a significant number of stakeholders
(2) the existence of the IPD lead to a very significant change in federal policy.
Given the above criteria for an IPD we conclude that the IPD established for the herbal product kratom is the gold standard for an IPD. More specifically, for the first time in its history, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) did not issue an order banning a substance it had planed to list as a Schedule I narcotic once it had announced its intention to do so. Nearly a thousand very informative comments were posted on the IPD which explained in detail the downside of banning kratom.