The National Archives, in collaboration with the Government Printing Office, publishes the Federal Register, a daily compilation of notices of public meetings, legislative hearings, grant and funding opportunities, and announcements of public interest. In addition, it publishes proposed regulations and provides information about how to comment on these proposals—a very manual process. On its 75th anniversary on July 26th 2010, we launched Federal Register 2.0, affectionately known as FR2, exploiting social media tools to better connect the American public with their government. Highly graphic, clean and crisp, it is arranged in topical section to meet user demand and interest: money, environment, world, science and technology, business and industry, and health and public welfare.
The most important feature is the ability to immediately comment on proposed regulations. A prominent green “Submit a Comment” button next to the proposal launches a pop up comments page.
Traffic on the site is up more than 36% over last year with 500k visits per month and more than 1m pages viewed each month. In the first three months of 2013, nearly 35k comments were submitted to Federal agencies about proposed regulations. There is no simpler means of participating in the rulemaking process in all of the Federal Government!
FR2 provides hyperlinks to Statutes, Public Laws, and the Code of Federal Regulations that provide quick access legislation to understand the relationship between the law and regulation.
In collaboration with Regulations.gov, FR2 displays all the information related to document dockets in an easy to read sidebar. The sidebar contains information about comment period and the text of all comments submitted to date.
FR2’s “Learn Space” provides the reader with useful tutorials on how to best search the system, suggested searches for popular document types, and a list of documents that have been demonstrated to be of high interest as determined through social media tools. And “My Federal Register” allows you to save documents of interest in a personal file.
Give it a test drive at https://www.federalregister.gov and improve your civic engagement!