There a numerous press reports comparing the several day outage of regulations.gov to the outage of the healthcare website.
The outage of the healthcare site is a transient problem and even when it is down for an extended period of time the biggest problem is that insurance policies are not issued in a timely manner.
Not the case with regulations.gov. Judicially enforceable deadlines are not disclosed, government sponsored meetings are not announced and a host of other time sensitive matters are jeopardized.
Even more troubling are reports that when the regulations.gov website crashed there was a question as to whether some of the data was lost.
Regulations.gov was subject to a huge design flaw at the onset when a decision was made that the underlying data sets could not be agency-centric but instead had to share a common searchable data base. That decision resulted in shifting the responsibility from agency personnel to regulations.gov personnel for maintaining the repository of federal rulemaking information.
The end result is that regulations.gov does not have a parent; it is run by a multi-headed interagency council and has no fixed appropriations base. All of these attributes leads us to conclude it is a disaster waiting to happen.
The CRE recommend solution to transfer regulations.gov to the Office of the Federal Register is described here.
Center for Regulatory Effectiveness