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December 21, 2007



Very interesting set of ideas for improving the E-Reg Agenda.

Here are a few more:

1) Let people use the E-Agenda to sign up for updates on individual rules. Information could be pushed to the interested parties when the rule is proposed, and perhaps at other points in the process. If it is too costly to do this for all rules, do it for those of greater public interest.

2) Use the NAICS code data included in some agendas to point to the geographic locations of those who will be regulated. While this wouldn't be a perfect indicator of the geographic areas affected by a potential rulemaking, it would provide a good start and be better than what is currently available.

3) Is it possible to include higher quality information in the database? For example, when corrections to the Agenda are published, they currently are not included in reginfo.gov. Include them. Is it possible to update the database more frequently than every six months for key events such as publication in the Federal Register, new judicial deadlines, and perhaps even updated schedules? DOT is already posting monthly updates for all of their significant rules that provide more information than is in Agenda entries at http://regs.dot.gov/Rulemakings/index.htm
It would be good if this type of higher quality information could be available at the E-Agenda website.

4) Data quality would be marginally improved if information on fast developing actions that are submitted for EO 12866 review were added to the Agenda database. The names of these actions (but not the rest of the Agenda information) which start up after the deadline for the Agenda, are included in another part of the reginfo website, but they are not mentioned in the E-Agenda.

5) Another way to provide timelier information would be to move back toward the pre-unified agenda days when an agency's Agenda information was released as soon as it was reviewed by OMB, or released in batches rather than held until the final agency's agenda was submitted and reviewed. For example, if the DOD Fall Agenda was submitted on August 27 and was reviewed by September 10, why embargo it until December 10 and restrict the public to the old information that was in the spring Agenda? If that calls too much attention to the final agenda(s) to be released, what about releasing them in groups?

In other words, which would provide greater value: information that is significantly timelier (on average one to two months fresher in the context of a six month update cycle), or information that is released for all agencies on the same date? Are there ways to present information that is released on different dates so it would not be confusing?

6) I think your idea about including environmental and other impact statements is a good one. Other required assessments which are not labeled impact statements such as those under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act and the Children's Health Executive Order could also be summarized/made available.

7) Would it make sense to include the best features of reginfo.gov and regulations.gov on one website? If the resources devoted to posting Agenda information on the two sites were instead devoted to posting it on just one, e-Agenda enhancements such as those commenters have suggested could be available sooner.

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