2 FMCS :: What We Do :: Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management :: Public Policy & Negotiated Rule Making
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 What We Do / Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management / Public Policy & Negotiated Rule Making
  Multi-Stakeholder Processes

Convening and Facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes
In the early 1980s, FMCS facilitated the first regulatory negotiations held by the Federal Aviation Administration. FMCS’ involvement in regulatory negotiations, as both a convener and facilitator, increased throughout the 1980s, with the agency facilitating negotiations involving the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Labor, and other federal agencies, and was further. After the passage of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, FMCS’s involvement in multi-party negotiations continued to grow. The results have been very positive. By formulating rules and policies in a public negotiating process, potential or actual antagonists become partners in helping the agency solve a regulatory problem. Thus, the likelihood of subsequent challenges to a new regulation is greatly reduced.

How Negotiated Rulemaking Works
Authorized by the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996, FMCS offers government regulatory and enforcement agencies a better way to formulate new rules and regulations. In the traditional rulemaking process, agency personnel draft a new regulation with little or no outside input, publish the draft regulation in the Federal Register for the required public comment period, and then wait for the inevitable criticism, and even legal challenges, from those affected by the new regulation.

In contrast, FMCS convenes and facilitates Regulatory Negotiations, a process in which those who will be affected by a regulation sit down with the government agency to write a proposed rule or regulation by consensus. Experience has shown that by bringing potential or even actual antagonists into participation in a public process, they become invested in helping the agency solve its problem. The result is usually better regulation and because those who will be regulated have taken part in the process, the likelihood of subsequent challenges are greatly reduced.

The Service assists federal and some state agencies by convening and facilitating/mediating regulatory negotiations as well as less formal, public policy dialogues under the authority of the 1996 Administrative Dispute Resolution Act.  Government agencies have chosen the use of negotiated rulemaking and other highly interactive negotiating models as a constructive way to diminish litigation and enhance relationships with their constituencies. To assist them, FMCS has provided skills building training in the areas of communication, mediation, problem-solving and meeting planning over three decades of experience in successful rulemakings.