Web 2.0 opens up rulemaking process

Federal agencies can turn to blogs, Facebook and Twitter to help increase collaboration with the public on upcoming regulations, deadlines and procedures, found a Cornell University Study.

Federal Computer Week reports that the study focused on a pilot project by Cornell researchers to create what they called the Regulation Room. The site allowed the public to comment on two Department of Transportation proposed rules – one about airline passenger rights and the other about texting while driving.

The research found there was “some cause for optimism” for the potential of Web 2.0-supported rule-making. But the Cornell team also found the public’s ignorance about rulemaking and the overload of information were challenges to creating a truly open and transparent rulemaking process.

An effective Rulemaking 2.0 platform will require a combination of technology, content and human assistance to users, researchers wrote. They added, “It must also spur [users] to revise their expectation about how they engage information on the web and also, perhaps, about what is required for civic participation.”

Register now: Join Tonya Ugoretz, director of Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center for a free online chat on Tuesday, October 25 at 1 p.m.

The movement toward greater transparency in rulemaking was sparked by President Obama’s open government memo, calling on agencies to create an unprecedented level of openness in government.