Today, the LII’s Sara Frug gave a lively talk about the LII’s soon-to-be released Code of Federal Regulations project. Her paper can be found here and can best be understood as a catalog of difficulties encountered along the way, a set of reflections about how and why they happened, and some conclusions about what all that says about what should happen.
The paper hints at a very human drama involving hubris and at least 4 of the 7 deadly sins, but it reaches an even more interesting conclusion. In reality, Frug says, we may talk about “the government” as a kind of monolith that has responsibilities for curating and publishing data, but much of the time “the government” is really a federation of more-or-less intransigent or disorganized entities funneled through a publishing operation that may not have much power to compel standards or quality control. To the extent that LIIs are advisers to government, they have a duty to press for best practices as far upstream in the data flow as possible.