As a result of the deficiencies in Regulations.gov agencies are bypassing it at a greater rate each year. Agencies are resorting, at an increasing rate, to new venues to compile and disseminate regulatory information.What is lost is a comprehensive library of the actions taking place in the administrative state. In lieu of being in one accessible location they are scattered throughout the web and often vanish. The aforementioned bypassing is occurring because of the constantly changing demands for regulatory agencies to be more responsive to their constituencies coupled with the ever changing IT technologies.
Simply stated even a talented group of federal managers cannot function when they do not have an annual budget, have no permanent residence in the bureaucracy and are not part of the mainstream of regulatory policy.
Regulations.gov is a central feature of the regulatory state—it houses the important information which leads to the formulation of the most significant rules of our time.
Regulations.gov began on a questionable hypothesis—namely the need to search the data bases of all agencies simultaneously to gather pertinent information on a rulemaking in lieu of making the searches around a specific agency.
In the intervening years under tight budget constraints and a multi-agency management structure regulations,gov has made noticeable improvements.
However it is time to reassess whether the ad hoc system currently in place should continue for the foreseeable future. CRE believes that regulations.gov should be adopted by the Office of the Federal Register so that one and only one agency is responsible for its operation. In addition, Federal Register 3.0 should be an integration of the Federal Register with regulations.gov.
When is the last time one could not access the Federal Register? Failure to do so on a 24/7 basis would result in undue hardships to the public and the regulated community.
Regulations.gov has no such dependability; for example it has not been functioning today. (Sunday, May 19–2016)
CRE has recommended a detailed study of transferring regulations.gov to the Office of the Federal Register .