In the mid-1990s the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) began developing a set of web-based resources intended to increase information on Department rules and regulations and compliance with them among regulated entities. Over time the Internet initiative has become a key component of the Department's broad efforts to promote compliance assistance as a means of increasing regulations' effectiveness while limiting their cost to government and to regulated firms. In 2001 the Department contracted with The Urban Institute to conduct a preliminary study of regulated firms' awareness of the web-based tools and perceptions of their effectiveness. To that end, Urban Institute researchers held structured discussions with regulated firms and selected private third parties that provide compliance assistance (such as safety experts and industry associations). The Urban Institute also reviewed compliance assistance initiatives on web sites maintained by other federal agencies and conducted a literature review on regulatory reform, compliance assistance and e-government. The project's focus was regulatory regimes administered by the Department's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).