Regulations.gov - Home
The Regulatory Timeline
Rulemaking is the policy-making process for Executive and Independent agencies of the Federal government. Agencies use this process to develop and issue Rules (Rules are also referred to as “regulations”).
The process is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. Chapter 5) and can lead to a new Rule, an amendment to an existing Rule, or the repeal of an existing Rule. Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13579 also establish principles and guidance for the rulemaking process.
The interactive diagram below provides a general overview of the rulemaking process. To learn more about the rulemaking process and view related frequently asked questions, visit Reginfo.gov .
- Pre Rule
- Proposed Rule
- Final Rule
- Long Term Action
Origins of a rule
An agency cannot issue a Rule unless granted authority to do so by law.
Before the rulemaking process, an agency evaluates possible alternative solutions to a rulemaking and determines whether the benefits of the Rule justify its costs.
Agencies use economic analyses (sometimes referred to as benefit-cost analyses, regulatory impact analyses, or regulatory evaluations), when applicable to determine the best alternative solutions.
In many instances, agencies publish an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public comments to determine if they should initiate a rulemaking. Such actions occur prior to the Proposed Rule stage, and are published in the Federal Register (FR) and made publicly available in print and on-line at http://www.federalregister.gov .