The process for obtaining public comment on an issue or proposed item. It is normal, and sometimes required by law, for federal agencies to invite public involvement in gathering information for making environmental decisions and in commenting on draft documents that synthesize that information (e.g., the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969) or in commenting on proposed decisions (e.g., the Administrative Procedure Act). It appears to be less common for them to invite broad public involvement in formulating the problem about which information will be gathered. Processes may be considered more participatory if they involve the public earlier in the policy process or at more points in the process.
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