Improving and Disclosing Agency Decisions

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ACUS issues three recommendations to improve agency decision-making and enhance governmental transparency.

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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. To inform its recommendations, ACUS sponsors research about administrative government and then twice each year convenes experts from the public and private sectors for their input and deliberation

At its most recent plenary session, held last December, ACUS adopted three recommendations. These recommendations address the use of agency precedents in administrative decisions, the public accessibility of agency settlement agreements, and the use and public availability of agency enforcement manuals.

The Regulatory Review invited experts who participated in developing these recommendations to share their insights about each recommendation’s importance for improving administrative government. The three ACUS recommendations highlighted in this series aim to improve public access to agency decision-making and to increase fairness in agency enforcement.

This series features contributions from: Elysa M. Dishman, Brigham Young University; Jordan Lee Perkins, Columbia University; Christopher J. Walker, University of Michigan; Melissa F. Wasserman, University of Texas at Austin; and Matthew Lee Wiener, University of Pennsylvania.


Precedent in Agency Adjudication

June 5, 2023 | Christopher J. Walker, University of Michigan, Melissa F. Wasserman, University of Texas at Austin, and Matthew Lee Wiener, University of Pennsylvania

Agencies should adopt rules that disclose key features of their adjudication systems, including whether their decisions are precedential.


Public Availability of Settlement Agreements

June 6, 2023 | Elysa M. Dishman, Brigham Young University

Agencies should consider both the benefits to regulated entities of posting settlements online and the value such posting provides to the public.


Agency Enforcement Manuals

June 7, 2023 | Jordan Lee Perkins, Columbia University

Agencies can enhance fairness, efficiency, and transparency by improving their enforcement manuals.