The eRulemaking Initiative
In October 2002, the eRulemaking Program was established as a cross-agency E-Gov initiative under Section 206 of the 2002 E-Government Act (H.R. 2458/S. 803) and is based within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The eRulemaking Management Office (PMO) leads the eRulemaking Program and is responsible for the development and implementation of the public facing website, Regulations.gov.
The vision of the eRulemaking Program is to enable the public ease of access to participate in a high quality, efficient, and open rulemaking process. The primary goals of the Program are:
Increase public access to federal regulatory materials
Increase public participation and their understanding of the federal rulemaking process
Improve federal agencies efficiency and effectiveness in rulemaking development
Regulations.gov was launched in January 2003 in order to provide public users access to federal regulatory content. On Regulations.gov the public can:
Search all publicly available regulatory materials, e.g., posted public comments, supporting analyses, FR notices, and rules
Submit a comment on a regulation or on another comment
Submit an applications or adjudication document
Download agencies regulatory materials as an excel file
Sign up for email alerts about a specific regulations
Access regulations that are trending, newly posted or closing soon - directly from the home page
Access the Regulations.gov API Terms of Service through api.data.gov where users can sign up for an API key
Since 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has served as the managing partner of the eRulemaking Program. EPA established a Program Management Office (PMO) to oversee the system development, maintenance, and collaboration of agency partners. The PMO is governed by dozens of Federal organizations participating in a tiered governance structure. In addition to the leadership provided by the PMO, many of the participating Federal departments and agencies are involved in the program's governance. There is an Executive Committee comprised of Chief Information Officers (CIO), Regulatory Policy Officers, and/or Deputy Secretaries from 39 Federal Departments and Agency partners. The program’s Advisory Board is made up of senior representatives from partner agencies. Additionally, the various workgroups extend the program’s technical and business process expertise in a range of areas, e.g., usability, budget, and legal issues.
eRulemaking Program Governance Structure
In the past, if members of the public were interested in commenting on a regulation, they would need to know the sponsoring agency, when it would be published, review it in a reading room, and then adhere to the comment process specific to each agency. Regulations.gov removed the logistical barriers that made it difficult for a citizen to participate in the complex regulatory process. Through Regulations.gov, the public can participate in and impact Federal rules and regulations.