Information technology can greatly facilitate the public's ability to comment on proposed rules that affect them. The E-Government Act of 2002 made the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) responsible for overseeing electronic government initiatives. We examined the extent to which agency-specific Web sites and the new governmentwide Regulations.gov Web site permit the public to electronically (1) identify proposed rules that are open for comment, (2) comment on proposed rules, and (3) access regulatory supporting materials (e.g., economic analyses) and the comments of others.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Management and Budget||The Director of the Office of Management and Budget should issue guidance to the rulemaking agencies on ways to improve the electronic commenting process for proposed rules. Specifically, the guidance should instruct the agencies to (1) provide a link to Regulations.gov on their Web sites to allow users to identify proposed rules open for comment, and (2) note in the preambles of their proposed rules the availability of Regulations.gov as an electronic commenting option.|
|Office of Management and Budget||The Director of OMB should make changes to Regulations.gov to improve its capabilities. Specifically, Regulations.gov should allow users to identify all proposed rules open for comment within a cabinet department, and should list rules using the titles as they appear in the Federal Register.|