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Collaboration and Partnerships

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

eRulemaking Program’s Migration of Departments and Agencies to Regulations.gov
EPA Office of Environmental Information

Geographic location or area of activity:  Nationwide

Description of activity:   The eRulemaking Program, led by EPA, successfully migrated more than 150 Agencies, Bureaus and Commissions to the Federal Docket Management System, publicly accessible at Regulations.gov.  These agencies collectively promulgate almost 90% of the 8,000 federal regulations published each year.  This effort enabled the government to avoid more than $100 million in costs over a five year period.  While this accomplishment could be judged solely based on its cost savings or its expansion of public access, it also should be recognized for its success in the arena of multi-agency collaboration.  Getting two, or a few agencies to collaborate in any effort is difficult.  The eRulemaking Program succeeded in getting more than 30 Departments and Independent Agencies to work together.

Public access to regulatory documents and participation in the Federal rulemaking process has dramatically increased since the launch of Regulations.gov and the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS).  Public users now can view, download and comment on rulemakings and non-rulemaking documents. They can see their comments put into “the record”.  They can find most supporting documents for a proposed rule on-line, rather than traveling to Washington, D.C. (or otherwise contacting D.C.-based agencies) to review those materials.  Over the last two years, FDMS has received 127 million hits, had 49 million pages downloaded, and received 120,000 comments. This represents a 1663% increase in hits compared to the first generation Regulations.gov’s 11 million hits, a 823% increase in pages downloaded (8.6 million pages), and a 1169% increase in public comments (13,000 public comments).  Currently, the public can access more than one million documents from the system (including 500,000 public submissions and 166,000 supporting analyses).  More than 3,600 users of the secure federal portion of FDMS have been trained and are using the system.  Agency users are uploading more than 10,000 documents each month for public access.

eRulemaking is, by most accounts, one of the most highly lauded E-Government initiatives, receiving many major technology and information access awards, including the 2003 Grace Hopper Technology Leadership Award, 2003 Innovation in Rulemaking Award, 2004 Public Access to Government Information Award, two-time finalist for Harvard’s Innovation in American Government Award (2005, 2006), 2007 Excellence.gov award, 2007 Intergovernmental Solutions Award, and 2007 GCN Project award.   A major industry consulting firm, the Gartner Group, noted that eRulemaking “…takes e-government in a new direction.” Further, Gartner wrote that it is “a major step toward e-democracy, beyond the e-service strategy favored in previous e-government initiatives around the world.”

Interagency partners:  Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, Veterans Affairs; Agency for International Development, Environmental Protection Agency, Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, Federal Trade Commission, General Services Administration, Government Printing Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, National Science Foundation, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration.

Activity URL: www.regulations.gov

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