The General Services Administration (GSA) held the first of two planned townhall meetings on electronic rulemaking (eRulemaking) on Jan. 30 to gather comments on the agency’s approach to modernizing eRulemaking management in order to, among other aims, mitigate fake comments and manage mass-comment campaigns.

“We want to make sure that we’re gathering all the available information we can — and I emphasize available — from the partner agencies that we interact with to get the statistics so that we can independently validate what those numbers are and identify what the risks are and respond in a prioritized way to those risks,” said Tobias Schroeder, Director of the eRulemaking program, regarding the problem or fake comments.

GSA’s rulemaking process takes a three-pronged approach that includes:

  • Better data integration among Federal regulatory information systems;
  • Innovative approaches to public access; and
  • Increased efficiency across the Federal rulemaking landscape.

Patrick Hedren, a vice president with the National Association of Manufacturers, spoke at the Jan. 30 townhall meeting and emphasized the importance of not amending the comment tool in a way that impacts legitimate comments.

The next public GSA meeting for the eRulemaking program will be held on March 25, and the agency is accepting written comments on modernizing the program through April 30.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.