This  Forum, an Interactive Public Docket (IPD),  is a “shadow docket” of the regulatory record maintained by federal agencies  but has additional features: (1) comments can be sent 24/7 during and after the close of the public comment period and (2) it is highly interactive which allows stakeholders not only to submit comments but allows stakeholders to comment on the comments of others. Federal regulators routinely monitor CRE sponsored IPD’s and have the statutory authority to download elements of an IPD into their dockets.  National Public Radio has reported on CRE IPD’s.

An IPD breaks the government monopoly over the content of a docket in the all-important post public comment period.

This Forum is managed by the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE), a regulatory watchdog founded and managed by former regulatory officials of the regulatory review office (OIRA) of the White House Office of Management and Budget. CRE manages a number of websites dedicated to increasing the transparency of the regulatory process, including TheOMB.USa website focused on OMB’s role in centralized regulatory review beginning with the Johnson Administration and updated constantly to reflect the actions of the current Administration.

CRE personnel through years of government service have made notable contributions  to the formation and operation of OIRA.  In order that OIRA remain a viable and effective institution it must have access to timely information as it discharges its role of “regulating the regulators”.

It is for this reason that CRE has developed this Forum which is an Interactive Public Docket (IPD) which allows the public and stakeholders to communicate with regulators and OIRA on a 24/7 basis.   OIRA Watch will also work to have OIRA begin to use more fully its existing regulatory review authorities over the independent agencies.

CRE has and IPD dedicated exclusively to OIRA.

This  Forum is highly interactive; our technology allows stakeholders to comment on any article or post their own article in any of the forums on the right hand side of the homepage; no registration is required. Posts may be anonymous and lengthy documents can accompany any post. Posts are time delayed, meaning they only go live after they are monitored to ensure the absence of profanity and no personal attacks on civil servants.

CRE is interested in receiving substantive comments– not one line statements of approval or disapproval.

What is an IPD?

An IPD is an Interactive Public Docket.. 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 used in the pre-Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) stage goes into the docket; the 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 the docket in a limited time period of say, 60 to 90 days, out of a period of one or more years need to complete a rulemaking.

The IPD changes this dynamic by having an online docket which is available for public input on a 24/7 basis. 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; in the case of marine sound an IPD is a repository of new information as it is generated during the lengthy pre-NPRM stage of the rulemaking process.

CRE 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. CRE recommends that its readers read the views of a leading law professor on the aforementioned views of the NGO which are contained at the end of the post.

The consideration and ultimate acceptance of the material on an IPD by federal regulators and their regulatory overseers depends in large part on the recognized regulatory expertise and federal credentials of the managers of the organization which hosts the IPD.

The impact of an IPD is determined in large part by the recognition it receives from credentialed third parties.


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