Legal Frameworks and Institutional Contexts for Public Consultation Regarding Administrative Action: The United States
23 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2009 Last revised: 16 Dec 2009
Date Written: October 9, 2009
Written for a forthcoming book on e-governance and e-democracy, this essay summarizes the current state of play in electronic rulemaking in the United States. It thus focuses on a context in which the use of electronic consultation by “executive branch” actors engaged in policy-making has been developing for over a decade, and has reached a point of considerable, although not final maturity. Initially developed haphazardly, agency-by-agency, it is now (albeit with friction in the gears) moving towards a centralized regime. The practice is rarely consultative in the full sense the book as a whole will address; while the public is given opportunities for input, and the input processes are transparent in varying degrees, online exchanges in the nature of a conversation or round-table are not yet imagined in conventional rulemaking - although first steps in that direction have been taken under the aegis of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Keywords: rulemaking, regulation, e-government, e-democracy, freedom of information
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