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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

Introducing The Interactive Public Docket (IPD): A Continuous Dialogue With Federal Regulators
Technological advances allow the public to be in constant communication with regulators after the close of the public comment period on proposed rules. E-dockets, which catalog the public comments, not only set the stage for discussions after the close of the comment period but will also encourage such discussions.

An IPD is an enhanced e-docket; it contains comments on a rule augmented by a legislative, legal and regulatory history of the rule, a continually updated library of scientific studies dealing with the substance of the rule, a link to the websites of the major players in the rulemaking process, and an interactive capacity with allows any party to affix comments to comments presently in the record.

CRE's pioneered the IPD in 1999. Click here to see the January 2000 discussion of CRE's Interactive Public Docket in Risk World.

The materials and analyses provided on the IPD will provide regulators and stakeholders with important resources that can be used during the development of their comments on various proceedings. Therefore, in addition to providing access to and analyses of comments during the post-comment period, the IPD is expected to improve the quality of the comments submitted to federal agencies.

In essence, technological advances are moving the rulemaking process to a 24/7 routine. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) will still dominate post-promulgation rulemaking, i.e., litigation, but its influence on pre-promulgation activities, especially its emphasis on limiting ex parte contacts, will wane. The technological demise of the APA will also be accelerated by the decrease in federal resources available for rulemaking activities, and the use of agency websites as an alternative to the Federal register.

As the IPD matures, additional features will be added. Send your comments on the IPD to comments@theIPD.US.

  • Click for TheIPD.US
  • Click for NPR on TheIPD.US