Federal Rulemaking: Selected Agencies Should Clearly Communicate Public Comment Posting Practices Associated with Identity Information, Statement of Seto J. Bagdoyan, Director of Audits, Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, Testimony Before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate [open pdf - 596KB]
From the Highlights: "Federal agencies publish on average 3,700 proposed rules yearly and are generally required to provide interested persons (commenters) an opportunity to comment on these rules. In recent years, some high-profile rulemakings have received extremely large numbers of comments, raising questions about how agencies manage the identity information associated with comments. While the APA [Administrative Procedure Act] does not require the disclosure of identifying information from a commenter, agencies may choose to collect this information. This testimony summarizes GAO's [Government Accountability Office] June 2019 report on public comment posting practices (GAO-19-483). In that report, GAO examined (1) the identity information collected by comment websites; (2) the guidance agencies have related to the identity of commenters; (3) how selected agencies treat identity information; and (4) the extent to which selected agencies clearly communicate their practices associated with identity information."
Government Accountability Office: https://www.gao.gov/