Federal agencies are responsible for carrying out universal policies which are specified by the Congress. They are therefore responsible for communicating with the public about regulations; whether these are proposed regulations or currently running ones. The agencies are also responsible for delivering the opinion of the public about the governments regulations to the federal government. That is why the federal agencies are responsible for providing platforms for the public to comment on any proposed regulations.
Keywords: Federal Agencies, Proposed Regulations, Obama Government.
An agency refers to a department or an establishment of the government, which operates independently carrying out administration or exercising authority. Agencies exist in two forms namely federal agencies and state agencies. The current paper aims at investigating how federal agencies operate and in which way the public is involved in regulations made by federal agencies.
Federal agencies are bodies mandated with carrying out universal policies that are specified by the Congress. Some of the federal agencies include such bodies as the Security Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (Luneburg, Susman, & Gordon, 2009). Specifically, federal agencies are intended not only for making rules. These agencies are also responsible for recommending legislations to be passed by the Congress and assisting in drafting of the bills. Some of the federal agencies are responsible for adjudicating and settling cases. Other agencies are responsible for taking actions of civil penalty. When programs are established and the set of laws get published, the agencies are expected to ensure that they are properly implemented.
When federal agencies propose new regulations, the public gets a chance to review them and keep track. They then give comments about the regulations when a proposed version of the regulations is published on a federal register. They can make their comments using an online platform through the website regulations.gov. This website provides information about various regulations proposed by different federal agencies and allows the public to leave their comments. It provides an easy way of accessing proposed laws by only typing the name of the proposed regulation or the ID that the proposed regulation was published with. When it comes to commenting on proposed regulations, various options are available including the option of submitting an email.
Another alternative of accessing proposed regulations is through the federal register. This is a website launched by printing office of the US government responsible for providing access to all the regulations that have been published since the year 1994 on the federal register and other publications made by the federal government. Using the date on which the proposed regulations have been made, the public is able to access the information about the proposed regulations and comment on the regulations. Conspicuously, the federal government is not mean with information. That is why there is a platform known as Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker (Klein & Elliott, 2012). The platform releases monthly updates of rules that are given greater priority. The rules may be in the process of being developed or those that have already been fully developed.
The platform is used to post various profiles for prospective reviews to be made on the regulations that currently exist. Through this platform, the public is also informed on a number of rules to be made in a few months or years before the proposed regulations are even published. Meetings for the public are also announced using this platform. The public is also able to access information about the regulations from the government from the regulatory agenda which are released twice a year. However, action initiation lists are released by the federal government monthly. Nevertheless, the fastest way to get information from the federal government on proposed regulations is through signing up for RSS feeds and email alerts on the federal governments website regulations.gov. Notably, the government considers this to be its official system for getting comments from the public to use them in their law making process.
The reason for choosing to use electronic platforms is due to the ease with which required information can be found. This is valuable for both the public and the federal government. The government can easily tell what the public wants or thinks of any proposed regulations since the public leaves comments by referencing the proposed regulations. As for the public, they are able to read on what the government has to offer as well as what their fellow members think of what the government intends to offer as public regulations. Particularly, the federal government posts all the comments it has received from the public without altering them. For those representatives of the public who are not comfortable with the federal government website, there is a channel for submitting mails. Mails should be addressed to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001 (Klein & Elliott, 2012).
The government also provides an option for the public to leave their comments to the federal government through hand delivery. The public is expected to take their comments to Docket Operations offices which are located at West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue in Washington DC. Upon getting there one should proceed to Room W12-140 which is located at the ground floor. The official working hours for submitting hand delivered comments is between 9 in the morning and 5 in the evening. The official working days are from Monday to Friday. The only exception is when there is a federal holiday that falls in between the given days of the week. The federal government also provides a fax number for those who use fax services. The number is 202-493-2251 and the comments are to be addressed to the Docket Operations (Klein & Elliott, 2012).
When submitting comments in the form of hard copies, the government advises the public to type their comments and print them (Luneburg et al., 2009). This is due to the differences in handwritings of people wishing to comment on regulations which may make it difficult for reviewers to understand what the person has written. However, this is not considered an official requirement so that if a person is not able to easily access a printer then the government does not close them out from submitting their comments. The federal agencies come up with a number of questions for the public to comment on with reference to new proposed regulations. The agencies advise the public to answer almost all the questions if not all. Specifically, the agencies are also keen at advising the public to group the comments they submit under various subheadings and titles. This is supposed to help other members of the public to review comments that have already been provided on a certain proposed regulation.
When commenting on proposed regulations, it is advisable to do it with clarity. It is also important to show the basis of ones argument when it comes to proposed regulations. If one has data that can be used as evidence, then it is important to include it as evidence. Afterwards, the individual commenting should go ahead and give recommendations that they think would help to improve the proposed regulations by the federal government. In order to be more helpful, it is important to show clearly how the proposed recommendations will have a more positive impact compared to the proposed regulations by the federal government.
One way to succeed in giving recommendations is through using examples which refer to the real-life situations. This method of argumentation makes it easy for the person reading the comments to understand clearly ones concerns. Among others, one should consider the requirements according to which the proposed regulation will operate. Some regulations belong to the higher jurisdictions. However, if a person does not clearly understand what the proposed regulations offer, then the federal government should be open to answering their queries. It is important to note that, there is always a deadline given for commenting on proposed regulations. It is therefore important for any individual who is interested in commenting on proposed regulations to stick by the deadline specified for the given comments to be considered.
Judging from the last year of Obamas administration, the President hopes to implement an executive law on the gun control. This is made in a bid to improve the background checks made on those who buy guns as well as to track weapons that have been lost. This procedure has been influenced by the Presidents plan to reduce if not stop the shootings witnessed in the recent past. Other regulations that the Obama administration hopes to implement are transpacific partnerships. In addition, in order to bring reforms to the American system of criminal justice, the government should implement the authority to use military forces to fight against ISIL and come up with the ways of handling the abuse of heroin in the country. Furthermore, he aims to address the issues of poverty and come up with a policy to facilitate the treatment of cancer (McCaughey, 2010).
However, there are a few other regulations that the Obama government hopes to implement such as policies that would lead to equal pay, campaigns that would lead to reforms in finance and a push for closing Guantanamo Bay prison (Curry, 2008). Particularly, the President is getting pressure from a number of advocates to dedicate some of his efforts towards torrent money, as it has flooded the system of politics. This is due to the ruling made at the Supreme Court in landmark which allowed corporations as well as unions to pay out unlimited amounts of money for political purposes. The only restriction is that the corporations and unions should not organize campaigns or be part of political parties.
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Among the most popular federal regulations that have already been implemented is the Americans with Disabilities Act. This act was aimed at giving civil rights to individuals with disabilities while at the same time offering them protection and the guarantee of getting equal opportunities to obtain accommodations meant for the public. Additionally, it is meant to help them acquire equal opportunities for employment, transportation services, telecommunications, state services and services from the local government. In order to learn about the services provided by the act there is a hot line number of the Department Of Justice in the United States. The hotline number is 1-800-514-0301 (Scott-Smith, 2012).
The second regulation is related to the environment. This includes protection of the human health and the environment (Cobb, 2015). However, environmental regulations are divided into a number of areas. Some regulations deal with the wildlife dictating measures for conserving the endangered animals and plants. The regulations also consider habitats of wild animals. The second area is food safety in which the Food and Drug Administration is required to ensure safety of all the products that are consumed by human beings. The third area concerns the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is required to deal with problems that may arise in work environments. This includes handling of chemicals and the fumes emitted.
The above measures are the biggest motivators for the President of the United States, Barrack Obama. His greatest goal is to create a strong legacy to leave behind despite the fact that the Congress is hostile to his prioritized plans. Just a few days ago, the White House made a public release of its schedule for a formal rulemaking. Most of the plans that were released by White House are still scrutinized before being implemented. The deadlines set for all the regulations reach the year 2016. The President strives for implementing the executive regulations as quickly as possible since he knows that if his term ends when he has not implemented them, then his successor might scrap out the proposals and implement his own, hence, making Obamas legacy come to an end.
An example of the rush is evidently seen in financial regulators trying to establish rules for the reform that were necessitated in 2010 by Dodd Frank laws. These were rules for reforms of Wall Street as a way of responding to the economic crisis that took place in 2008. Among the reforms to be implemented is the rule known as pay for performance. This rule is meant to make it mandatory for the companies to make comparisons of payments provided to the top management of this or that company with the general performance of the company itself. Another rule that is expected to be established is a policy that requires companies which trade publicly to reveal their equivocation laws (Copeland & Lee, 2010). Notably, a release is to be made by Food and Drug Administration which will require all the importers to make verifications of their foreign suppliers to meet the standards of safety set by the US government.
In my opinion, the proposed regulations by the Obama administration are beneficial for the larger society. I would support them. The most crucial and important regulation is the regulation dealing with gun control. If guns are regulated, crime rates would be greatly reduced. When a gun is provided to a person whose background is known, it becomes easy for the government to hold the person accountable if any wrong doing was to happen with the use of that gun. The regulations on the environment are also important in terms of observing and regulating weather changes and environmental pollution caused by industrial emissions.
The paper sought to address the mandates of federal agencies and how they are related to the public. The essay has also addressed the issue of how the public can comment on regulations that have been proposed by the federal government. This can be done through the federal governments website or through a number of platforms including fax services and mail. When considering the Obama administration, a number of proposed regulations have been discussed in the paper including the regulation of guns by the government. This is considered the most prioritized regulation.