About this site

OpenRegulations.org was inspired by a research project on how government data is made available online. The result of that research is an article entitled “Hack, Mash & Peer: Crowdsourcing Government Transparency” that is forthcoming from the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. In the article I explain that government data that is available online is often not in the formats most useful to citizens. More importantly, I show how independent third parties “hack” government data to make it more accessible and useful to the public. Example of these private projects include GovTrack.us and WashingtonWatch.com.

Quite understandably, these independent sites tend to focus on congressional and legislative information. My particular interest, however, lies in regulatory data, and I found it to be lacking online. The federal government’s official regulatory clearinghouse, Regulations.gov, is the most complete official source of regulatory information. However, I felt that there were a couple of areas I could make a little bit better, and the result is this site.

This site is not a substitute for visiting Regulations.gov. However, it offers an alternative interface to that site’s cache of proposed rulemaking data. First, OpenRegulations.org offers paired down, simple-to-navigate listings of new agency dockets. Second, Regulations.gov recently added an RSS feed of new regulatory dockets. However, it is just one feed that includes every new federal regulation. This site employs simple aggregation and parsing software to offer RSS feeds for the docket of each regulatory agency on an agency-by-agency basis.

I hope you find this site useful.

Jerry Brito