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May
28

Improving Regulations.gov

From: The Regulatory Review

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Implementing ACUS recommendations would enhance access to rulemaking materials.

Federal agencies issue thousands of regulations each year. In making these rules, agencies follow a notice-and-comment process that allows the public to weigh in on new regulatory proposals. These public comments can boost the quality of regulations by giving regulators access to well-informed views and relevant information they might not otherwise have.

Since 2003, federal agencies have used Regulations.gov as their principal vehicle for soliciting public comments on proposed regulations and storing relevant background information. Despite the advance that this online regulatory portal represents over the paper-based regulatory dockets that agencies previously used to store information about proposed rules, Regulations.gov has yet to live up to its potential as a place where users can easily find supporting materials when they seek to submit comments. If members of the public are to file helpful comments on proposed regulations, they must have better access not only to the text of these proposed rules but to all the studies and other public materials underlying their development.

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