New Report on E-Rulemaking

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Sunlight is very happy to endorse a new report, Acheiving the Potential, The Future of Federal E-Rulemaking. (pdf)

The report is the result of months of work and negotiations from agency employees, academics, former administrators, and experts in rulemaking.

Their task wasn’t simple, since e-rulemaking combines some of the toughest technological challenges facing the federal government.  A combination of uncertain funding, poor cross-agency coordination, unclear authority structures, perverse involvement incentives, and spotty data and procedural standardization all stand in the way of a truly successful government-wide e-rulemaking portal.

The scope of the e-rulemaking challenge only makes this report’s production more remarkable.

Chaired by former OIRA head Sally Katzen, and ably prepared by Cynthia Farina, Cornell Law Professor, the initiative boasts an impressive list of working group participants from private industry, non-profits, and government.  I understand that this working group, unlike many advisory committees, saw intense negotiations and collaboration, since e-rulemaking’s footprint makes for an immense shared stake across different sectors.

The whole report is worth a read, and serves as a great introduction to the current state of regulatory authority, federal IT management successes and shortfalls, and a roadmap to a modernized e-rulemaking system.  The effort itself is also worth close consideration, as it serves as a compelling example of a public-private and cross agency initiative built on practical concerns and established expertise.

We’re happy to add our endorsement to their effort, and hope implementation of their recommendations is as successful as their formation.

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