Reflections on E‑rulemaking: Challenges, Limitations and Unrealistic Expectations


  • Ann Marie Johnson
  • Alexandru Roman


Keywords: E-rulemaking: Challenges, Limitations and Unrealistic Expectations


Abstract: In 2002 the cross‑agency e‑government initiative was established, quickly followed by the d‑rulemaking program. Excitement over digital opportunities from information communication technology (ITC) for citizens to participate in the agency rulemaking process has however been met with a mixed response. In this essay we review popular thought surrounding technology and democratic participation, explain e‑rulemaking and explore whether e‑rulemaking has led to greater meaningful participation. Factors such as the timing of the comments, administrative restraints in analyzing the comments and characteristics of the participants themselves are examined. We explain e‑rulemaking and discuss this relatively new area of literature while critically examining the premise that e‑rulemaking will lead to meaningful participation and engagement. In particular, we focus on the period of time from 2003 when the eRulemaking Program Management Office Launched the website. Here we pose the following questions: Will greater access to the comment process in agency rulemaking increase the number of views expressed and improve the quality of the regulatory framework; and what will be the effect on democracy?



1 Nov 2015