Improving Participation, Impact, and Fairness in the Administrative State

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ACUS issues new recommendations to enhance administrative governance.

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The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) is an independent federal agency that recommends improvements to administrative and regulatory processes. Each year, ACUS convenes its expert members from both the private and public sectors to make recommendations seeking to improve the effectiveness, openness, and fairness of agency adjudication and rulemaking. Following its 74th Plenary session held earlier this year, ACUS adopted four new recommendations.

These new recommendations provide guidance on how agencies can improve their management of mass and computer-generated comments on proposed rules, enhance the periodic retrospective review of regulations, expand the early involvement of rulemaking experts, and make more reliable use of virtual methods to conduct adjudicatory hearings.

The Regulatory Review invited experts and ACUS staff who participated in developing these recommendations to share insights on how they can improve administrative government. This series of essays underscores the value of using technology to improve administrative processes. It also highlights the importance of both prospective and retrospective review of these uses.

This series includes contributions from: Lori S. Bennear, Duke University; Christopher Carrigan, George Washington University; Jeremy Graboyes, ACUS; Danielle A. Schulkin, ACUS; Stuart Shapiro, Rutgers University; and Jonathan B. Wiener, Duke University.

Improving the Management of Public Comments in a Digital Age

November 8, 2021 | Danielle A. Schulkin, Administrative Conference of the United States 

ACUS provides agencies with guidelines for how to improve their management of mass submissions of rulemaking comments, as well as of computer-generated and falsely attributed comments.

Pursuing Periodic Review of Agency Regulation

November 9, 2021 | Lori S. Bennear and Jonathan B. Wiener, Duke University

An ACUS study investigated existing standards for the periodic retrospective review of rulemaking and led to recommendations for how agencies can employ such reviews more effectively.

Increasing Early, Transparent Consideration of Regulatory Alternatives

November 10, 2021 | Christopher Carrigan, George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, and Stuart Shapiro, Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

Federal agencies can improve both the disclosure and use of early external input on regulatory alternatives when they engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking.

Virtual Hearings in Agency Adjudication

November 11, 2021 | Jeremy Graboyes, Administrative Conference of the United States

To capture agencies’ experiences during the coronavirus pandemic and identify best practices for the future, ACUS launched a study project and issued recommendations on the use of virtual hearings in agency adjudication.