What is the rulemaking process?

After Congressional bills become laws, federal agencies are responsible for putting those laws into actions through regulations. This process may include the following steps:

1. An agency initiates a rulemaking activity, and adds an entry to its Regulatory Agenda
2. A rule or other document is published to
3. The public is given the opportunity to comment on this rule for a specified timeframe
4. Final Rules can be accessed on

Rules are published every business day by the National Archives and Records Administration in the U.S. government’s Federal Register. You can view the website here:

What is the purpose of the rulemaking process?

The rulemaking process is generally designed to ensure that:

• the public is informed of proposed rules before they take effect;
• the public can comment on the proposed rules and provide additional data to the agency;
• the public can access the rulemaking record and analyze data and analysis behind a proposed rule;
• the agency analyzes and responds to the public’s comments;
• the agency creates a permanent record of its analysis and the process;
• the agency’s actions can be reviewed by a judge or others to ensure the correct procedure was followed.

Where can I find additional information regarding the rulemaking process?

Further information regarding the regulatory process can be found on GSA’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs website:

A graphical illustration of the rulemaking process can be viewed here: