Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rulemaking Process Improvements

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Mr. Jeff Lantz, U.S. Coast Guard Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards.

The U.S. Coast Guard is the nation’s maritime guardian. One of our goals is to develop policies, develop regulations, and execute a technical compliance program to guide and enhance the Coast Guard’s marine safety, security, and stewardship missions.

A substantial increase in regulatory workload brought about by 9/11 and ensuing legislation placed the Coast Guard in a reactive rulemaking mode rather than a proactive leadership role. We were not staffed to address that increased regulatory workload as quickly as we would have liked.

In response to these increased demands, the Coast Guard embarked on an effort to improve the rulemaking process. We have already begun to implement some of these improvements, which provides us an opportunity to reduce our project backlog, improve our processes and measurements, and increase our efficiency.

For example, we will establish better communications and clearer expectations of the full range of staff members involved in each project, and ensure all requirements are fully understood before we embark on a particular regulation project. We have also clarified team roles and responsibilities and delegation of authority for each project, eliminating unnecessary overlapping regulation writing.

We are leveraging technology by adopting an intranet-based visual reporting system that will help us focus on important deadlines and establish priorities among the wide range of regulations under development.

In upcoming posts we will feature a cross-section of articles that cover the range of aspects associated with the rulemaking process. I hope that readers will have a better appreciation for our rulemaking process and the steps we take to address all stakeholders’ concerns.

For more information:
Full article is available at

Subscribe online at