The Federal Docket Management System and the Prospect for Digital Democracy in U S Rulemaking

The Federal Docket Management System and the Prospect for Digital Democracy in U S Rulemaking

Stuart W. Shulman (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-051-6.ch009
OnDemand PDF Download:
$37.50

Abstract

A large interagency group led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has worked diligently to set up a centralized docket system for all U.S. federal rulemaking agencies. The result, the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS), is still a work in progress, reflecting technical, administrative, financial, and political challenges. A close examination of the effort to design, fund, and shape the architecture of the FDMS suggests many important lessons for practitioners and scholars alike. While both the new technology and the 60-year-old administrative process of rulemaking offer tantalizing glimpses of innovation, increased efficiency, and remarkable democratic potential, the actual progress to date is mixed. Neither the information system nor its users have turned the FDMS into a techno-fix for all or even much of what ails the sprawling U.S. regulatory rulemaking system. In the great American tradition of incrementalism, the FDMS represents a small step toward a number of worthy but perennially elusive goals now routinely linked to the prospect for digital democracy.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset