Accessing Agency Procedure

From: The Regulatory Review

The Administrative Conference of the United States recommends greater transparency about agency procedure.


Last year, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) took steps to begin simplifying the adjudicatory process. In particular, ACUS issued a recommendation about steps agencies can take to ensure that the procedural requirements governing adjudications are accessible, with a special focus on agency websites. In the Internet age, agencies can and should take steps to make key procedural materials more readily available to the public.

As background, agencies have discretion about how their websites are organized. Unfortunately, only some websites provide detailed access to procedural requirements, and only some websites distinguish between procedural materials that are binding and those that are not. Likewise, only some agency websites are organized so that important procedural materials are easy to find. Against this backdrop, ACUS began studying agency websites with the goal of creating best practices. The result was a series of recommendations formally approved in December of 2018.

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