For any lawyer who follows or participates in federal rulemaking, the U.S. government’s launch a few years ago of Regulations.gov was a great leap forward. Finally, from a single site, you could find and track proposed rules from nearly 300 federal agencies and even submit formal comments.
But Regulations.gov is difficult to use for experts and average citizens alike, say the founders of a new site, OpenRegs.com. They have created this site “to make the proposed and final regulations published in the Federal Register easy to find and discuss, so that citizens can become better informed and more involved.”
The site offers several features that legal professionals will appreciate. One is the ability to browse regulations by agencies and topics and subscribe to RSS feeds for any agency or topic. Surprisingly, the federal site does not allow tracking by agency.
OpenRegs.com is also distinguished by its layout and the way it organizes and delivers information. The front page presents the most recent regulatory news, showing comment periods about to end, comment periods just opened, the most recently published final regulations, and recently published significant regulations. Each of these news categories has an RSS feed you can subscribe to.
OpenRegs.com has its own iPhone app that offers most of the same features. Use it to find recently issued rulemaking notices or browse by agency.