®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week
Law Student Voices Disagreement With Professor
A Wake Forest law student, Carrie Ann Sitren, disagrees with her professor who opposes the Data Quality Act. The student states:
"Why would anyone be against quality standards for information used in support of federal regulation?"
The student has posed the key question central to the importance of the DQA. Many opponents of the DQA will agree on the importance of quality information when applied to information contained in agency websites or in stand-alone reports. The opponents are concerned, however, that if the DQA applies to information contained in rules, it would interfere with processes established under the APA, the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946.
The process established in the APA will continue to dominate the conflict resolution process used subsequent to the promulgation of a rule, i.e, litigation.
However the limitations inherent in the APA combined with technological advances are resulting in the development of more robust, transparent and inclusive processes being used to formulate rules, i.e., the pre-promulgation stage. In the nearly sixty years since the APA has passed, technology is making the development of regulations a 24/7 process, not the rigid process set out in the APA in which public participation ends, for all practical purposes, at the end of the public comment period.
In many instances it is years after the public comment ends before a final rule is promulgated. During this period, different stakeholders might wish to comment on the views expressed by other stakeholders; in addition the passage of time could lead to the publication of new research products.
Legal scholars that continue to cling on to the archaic process set out in the APA governing the promulgation of rules will become increasingly removed from the very process they are trying to preserve. Fortunately, law students have innovative ideas and are injecting fresh intellectual vigor into this venerable profession.
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) has developed an Interactive Public Docket (IPD) to couple advanced technologies with the need for a transparent and continuous rulemaking process after the end of the public comment period developed under the APA.
Click for statement by the law student
Click for NPR on the IPD
Click to review an IPD