Transparency and Public Participation in the Rulemaking Process: Recommendations for the New Administration
Transparency and Public Participation Task Force Report, University of Pennsylvania Law School, July 2008
49 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2008 Last revised: 13 Jan 2010
Each year, federal regulatory agencies create thousands of new rules that affect the economy. When these agencies insulate themselves too much from the public, they are more likely to make suboptimal decisions and decrease public acceptance of their resulting rules. A nonpartisan Task Force on Transparency and Public Participation met in 2008 to identify current deficiencies in agency rule making procedures and develop recommendations for the next presidential administration to improve the quality of regulations and the legitimacy of regulatory proceedings. This report summarizes the Task Force's deliberations, indicating ways that federal agencies could do a better job of seeking citizen comment earlier in the rule making process and of reaching out to all affected groups in an evenhanded manner. The report includes not only targeted recommendations on transparency and public participation, but also strategic-management recommendations which, if adopted, should help ensure that agencies continue to improve their transparency and public participation practices over time.
Posted paper, uploaded January 2010, is the published version of the working paper originally posted November 2008.
Keywords: Administrative law, regulatory agencies, federal regulation, citizen comment, fairness
JEL Classification: D73, K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation