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Each year, federal regulatory agencies create thousands of new rules that affect the economy. When these agencies insulate themselves too much from the public, they are more likely to make suboptimal decisions and decrease public acceptance of their resulting rules. A nonpartisan Task Force on Transparency and Public Participation met in 2008 to identify current deficiencies in agency rulemaking procedures and develop recommendations for the next presidential administration to improve the quality of regulations and the legitimacy of regulatory proceedings. This report summarizes the Task Force's deliberations, indicating ways that federal agencies could do a better job of seeking citizen comment earlier in the rulemaking process and of reaching out to all affected groups in an evenhanded manner. The report includes not only targeted recommendations on transparency and public participation, but also strategic-management recommendations which, if adopted, should help ensure that agencies continue to improve their transparency and public participation practices over time.


Administrative law, regulatory agencies, federal regulation, citizen comment, fairness

Publication Title

George Washington Law Review

Publication Citation

77 Geo. Wash L. Rev. 924 (2009); Transparency and Public Participation Task Force, Transparency and Public Participation in the Rulemaking Process: A Nonpartisan Presidential Transition Task Force Report (University of Pennsylvania Law School, July 2008)