Authors: Cary Coglianese
Center for Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government
Advances in digital technologies promise new ways of informing citizens and involving them in government decision making. One of the arenas of public decision making where such technologies appear to hold such promise has been the administrative rulemaking process. Each year, unelected officials from government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or the Environmental Protection Agency create thousands of regulations that affect nearly every aspect of social and economic life. Through the rulemaking process, government agencies collectively produce more binding laws each year than does the Congress, but the rulemaking process is by comparison remarkably hidden from the view of the general public. Those who study administrative rulemaking have therefore taken considerable interest in "e-rulemaking," that is, in using new information technologies to increase the transparency of the rulemaking process and to transform the public's role in this important sphere of government decision making.
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