Document Type


Publication Date



Government websites provide an important location for public access and participation in the governmental process. However, despite a growing body of research on agency websites, researchers have so far ignored agency websites as a method of public contact over rulemaking. In this article, I report results from two systematic surveys conducted on regulatory agencies’ websites which reveal how much more agencies could do to improve public access to rulemaking. Agencies commonly succumb to pressures to organize their websites around their “top tasks”—but, regrettably, they too often define these key tasks in terms of the volume of user demand for information and functionality. Although such an emphasis on user demand makes sense in other settings and for other purposes, rulemaking is entirely different.


administrative law, agency rulemaking, public accessibility

Publication Title

Environmental Law Reporter

Publication Citation

44 ELR 10660 (2014).