Created in 2003 as part of the eRulemaking program, Regulations.gov is an online clearinghouse for information about proposed and current government regulations. The product of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), RegInfo.gov supplies information on OIRA’s regulatory efforts. Agencies and departments from across the federal government submit major regulatory proposals for OIRA review in accordance with Executive Order 12866. More information on this process as well as RegInfo.gov’s mission can be found on the site’s FAQ.
Users can search for regulations and read/submit comments on proposed reforms. Site visitors can also create customizable email alerts (and RSS feeds) for specific regulations and browse popular discussions and regulatory issues. Regulatory documents are available for download. Because of the sheer volume of information involved, the site can be difficult to navigate. Regulations.gov does, however, feature excellent documentation on using the site.
The Regulatory Agenda gives scholars an exceedingly useful listing, by regulatory body, of proposed regulatory changes for a given time period. These agendas can be browsed online or downloaded as PDFs. The agendas, however, are only posted going back to Fall 2007.
A major feature of RegInfo.gov is the publication of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, the overall list of all federal regulatory plans. These are currently archived as far back as 1995, and will soon date back to 1983. Reginfo.gov also hosts a user’s guide for the Unified Agenda. Reginfo.gov also features information on OIRA’s regulatory review process and provides a historical archive of information collected in these reviews. Unlike regulations.gov, which is more focused on enabling the public to discuss and engage with regulatory proposals, reginfo.gov is designed to provide information about OIRA’s activities.
Regulations.gov is relatively new (as of 2010) and because the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is constantly adding features, its look will likely change frequently. Scholars interested in contributing to the broader goals of Regulations.gov as well as providing feedback on proposed changes to the site itself, should check the Exchange at Regulations.gov
GPO Access. The web presence of the Government Printing Office, GPO access provides digital versions of GPO publications. Of particular interest to scholars of regulation are the following sub-sites:
The Federal Register is the federal government’s daily record of “rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.” Federal Registers dating from 1994 are searchable by keyword, date, and section. Sections and entire editions are available in HTML or PDF. Users can also sign up for daily emails of the Register’s table of contents. For more information on how to use the Register, see the National Archives’ Federal Register Tutorial.
Code of Federal Regulations
The collection of “the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.” Regulations are organized into 50 regulatory categories. The CFR is searchable back to 1996. A useful search tips page is included.
Government publication listing the rules that will be considered (or issued) by each agency during the coming year. Keyword searchable back to 1994.
Compilation of Presidential Documents
Record of releases from the White House Press Secretary. These documents often include information of relevance to scholars of regulation such as executive orders or presidential statements.
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
Online searchable directory of public papers (remarks, speeches, etc.) from 1991 forward. These comments often touch on regulatory questions.
United States Statutes at Large
The collection of laws and resolutions enacted during each Congressional session. A recent addition, the Status at Large are only available as issued and only includes recent Congressional Sessions.
U.S. Government Manual
A guide with detailed information on all parts of the Federal Government. Described as “the official handbook of the Federal Government.” Available from 1995 forward.
Privacy Act Issuances
A listing of information on how various federal agencies compile data on individuals and rules for requesting information about individual records. Available from 1995 to 2005 as well as for 2007 and 2009. Useful for regulatory scholars interested in information availability.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Laws and Regulations
A listing of useful links for information about key USDA regulations. Includes links to relevant parts of the Code of Federal Regulations and Regulations.Gov
Department of Commerce Office of Legislation and Regulations
A listing of the key regulatory information for the Department of Commerce. Also includes links to information for relevant sub-agencies.
Department of Defense (DoD) Issuances
A listing of the Department of Defense’s issuances. Includes information about directives, instructions, publications, administrative instructions, and directive-type memorandums. The site also includes a list of “most requested issuances” and recent updates.
Department of Homeland Security Laws & Regulations
A directory of laws and regulations relevant to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Also includes links to DHS reports, presidential directives, and official policies.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Regulations
A listing of the key regulations pertaining to the DOJ. Includes information about sub-agencies like ATF and the DEA.
Department of Labor Regulations
Links to the Code of Federal Regulations sections relevant to the Department of Labor.
Department of State Regulations
A listing of State Department regulations. Includes links to the Foreign Affairs Manual.
Department of Transportation (DOT) Dockets & Regulations
Links to sources for information about DOT regulations.
Department of the Treasury Orders and Directives
A searchable database of Treasury directives.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Laws & Regulations
A directory of regulatory info for the EPA. Also includes links to the Code of Federal Regulations and other Federal Government sites with EPA info. The listing includes an overview of how EPA regulations are created.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules and Regulations
A set of links to relevant sections of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) Regulations
An overview of the FEC’s governing regulations.
Federal Reserve System Regulations
An alphabetical listing of all Federal Reserve regulations.
General Services Administration Regulatory Reference Overview
A listing of the Administration’s regulations.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Rules & Regulations
Links to the sections of the Code of Federal regulations relevant to the NLRB.
Office of Personnel Management Federal Register Documents
An up to date listing of Federal Register items relevant to the Office of Personnel Management.
Social Security Program Rules
An overview of the law, regulations, rulings, and employee operating instructions of the Social Security Administration.
Provides resources for visualizing, browsing, and downloading data-sets generated by the Executive Branch. Includes data relevant to scholars of regulation, like the FDA recall dataset. Users can also view data.gov participation listed by agency. Data.gov links to and encourages the development of third party applications for manipulating government data-sets. For examples, see the Data.gov “apps showcase.” Researchers interest in state and international questions should consult the links provided on Data.gov’s community page. First time visitors to Data.gov should consult the about page and the FAQ.
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
Dockets & Regulations
A series of links to information on Department of Transportation regulations.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA)
Laws and Regulations
A guide to DOA regulations, organized by topic.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)
OIRA’s homepage includes recent news, links to important documents and an overview of the office’s regulatory activities (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg_regmatters). OIRA maintains RegInfo.gov.
United States Courts
Rules and Policy
A guide to the rulemaking process and a resource for information on the court system’s rules.
The Library of Congress’ site for legislative information. The site covers committee reports, the Congressional Record, current Congressional activity, and a variety of other legislative issues. Also features links to state legislature sites.