The IBM Center for the Business of Government as sponsored an extremely informative paper on ways to improve the rulemaking process through greater public participation.
We encourage all of our visitors to read this document, a copy of which is attached below.
We also encourage our readers to note that present day efforts to improve public participation focuses on a typical 60 day public comment period with virtually no attention to the pre and post commet periods; Interactive Public Dockets address this imbalance. More on Interactive Public Dockets here.
The Director of the IBM Center, Dan Chenok, states:
While geared specifically to achieving better public participation in rulemaking, the concepts, findings, and recommendations contained in the report are applicable to all government agencies interested in enhancing public participation in a variety of processes. The report offers advice on how government organizations can increase both the quantity and quality of public participation from specific groups of citizens, including missing stakeholders, unaffiliated experts, and the general public.
CRE advised Mr. Chenok that:
As we read your publication we note that the US Government appears to be concentrating its social media efforts on a “top-down” approach– government officials delineate their views on the merits of select actions and share their findings with the NGO and private sectors.
An alternative approach is a “bottoms-up” approach where the USG would canvass the NGO and private sector communities to identify their use of the social media and share the results with others.
The website eRulemaking.US has material representative of the “bottoms-up” approach. Please see http://www.fedfocus.org/science/Rulemaking.html.