Federal regulations in the United States encompass all aspects citizen’s lives. However, finding regulations has never been very easy for members of the public or regulated businesses because relevant materials can be spread across numerous sections of the United States Code (USC) and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
A partnership between the Government Printing Office (GPO), the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School (LII), and the Cornell Law Library has resulted in a new tool, free to the public, which is intended to make it easier for the public to find relevant regulations.
The new electronic edition of the CFR – the LII CFR – allows users to search the CFR by keyword. The LII’s search system operates much like any search engine encountered on the web and thus should be usable for anyone familiar with these engines. Further, semantics technology allows for some flexibility in searching for terms, (e.g., “taxes” via “tax”) to allow for a wider breadth of search.
The search results not only include the relevant sections of the CFR, but also provide corresponding likes to the USC, relevant entries in the Federal Register, and even pending rulemaking dockets.
The version of the CFR searchable at the Cornell site is updated as regularly as the online governmental systems, which can be months faster than the official printed copies available from the GPO.