Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Here's What's Keeping Me Busy These Days

A few months ago, I was awarded a contract by a federal government agency, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), to conduct a study and formulate recommendations in an area that I have been researching ever since my dissertation. This is something a bit unusual for me in that, as an academic, I ordinarily publish my research and let the findings stand on their own. With this project, I am extrapolating from the research I and others have done, as well as from the opinions of experts inside and outside the government. The aim of this extrapolation is to come up with statements about how government policies and procedures might be changed for the better.

For those who might be interested, here is the link on the ACUS website to my project. The text from this link is copied below...

Agencies conduct most rulemaking proceedings via the process of “notice and comment.” Under this process, an agency publishes notice of a proposed rule in the Federal Register, gives the public a period of time in which to comment, and then issues a final rule after considering the comments received. See 5 U.S.C. § 553.

The Conference is currently conducting a study of a variety of legal and practical issues that arise in connection with the “comment” phase of notice-and-comment rulemaking and that were raised in the Interim Report on the Administrative Law, Process and Procedure Project for the 21st Century issued in December 2006 by the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law of the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives. The study will examine issues related to timing, availability and confidentiality during the “comment” phase of notice-and-comment rulemaking as well as any agency’s duty to reply to comments made.

The consultant for this study is Steven J. Balla, Associate Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Public Administration, and International Affairs, The George Washington University.

Check back here for updates on the progress of this study including any ACUS Committee work related to this study.

~Steve

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