TLP: The Government Welcomes Your Comments and Suggestions!
Not finding the federal rule-making process exciting enough? Lucky you. No more dead time in the mind-numbing midsummer heat. You now have a user-friendly way to kill the hours, thanks to a redesign of the Federal Register.
The Washington Post:
The Register is the federal government's weekday compilation of new and proposed policies, regulations and public meeting notices. The first edition published in 1936, and its first Web site launched in 1994. An essential resource in Washington's legal and lobbying circles, the Register is rarely used by most Americans unfamiliar with its legal and bureaucratic jargon.Mild understatement there. The Register is nothing if not something the great unwashed "wouldn't normally go into." The redesign was launched to mark the publication's 75th anniversary at a cost of $275,000 after five months of work. Since that involved three federal agencies and as many private developers, it actually sounds like something approaching government efficiency.
But Monday's relaunch should make the Register even easier to navigate: Its new Web site will divide the thousands of federal rules and regulations into six main categories: money, environment, world, science and technology, business and industry, and health and public welfare. (Editors will add other sections with public feedback.) Register employees will highlight items on the home page that relate to the day's headlines or topics of Washington debate. Each notice will appear on an individual page with a plainly written summary, links to agencies seeking formal public comment, and the ability to share items on Facebook and Twitter.
"It's like USA.gov meets USA Today," Register managing editor Michael White said during a recent preview for reporters.
"We think it will open up the site in a way that the general public wouldn't normally go into it," he said.
Now, get to it, good citizens. The comment period has been extended for the Proposed Establishment of the Pine Mountain-Mayacmas Viticultural Area.