Since the passage of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), administrative agencies have been permitted-and sometimes required-to engage in "notice-and-comment rulemaking" when promulgating regulations. In its present form, "notice and comment" requires agencies to give public notice of proposed regulations, allow citizens to comment on such proposals, and respond to the concerns offered in such comments (even if agencies do not ultimately act on these concerns).
In recent years, the notice-and-comment process has gone digital. Via the Regulations.gov interface, citizens can view the text of proposed rules, comment on each proposed regulation, view the online comments of others, and, in theory, have their concerns read and addressed by agencies.
Daniel E. Rauch,
Yale J. on Reg.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjreg/vol33/iss1/7