Dec. 28 – The Federal Highway Administration announced last Wednesday that it has hired two “convenors” to consider the feasibility of negotiated rulemaking as an approach to developing hours-of-service rules.

“Safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority, and negotiated rulemaking holds great promise for reaching consensus on this important safety issue," said FHWA Administrator Kenneth Wykle.
Under the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1996, convenors impartially assist an agency in determining whether it is feasible and appropriate to enter into a negotiated rulemaking process. The two convenors are Alana S. Knaster of Los Angeles and Charles Pou of Washington, D.C.
In a negotiated rulemaking, an agency invites interests likely to be affected by a regulation to work together on a negotiating committee to develop a consensus draft of the proposed rule. If the FHWA approves, the consensus proposed rule is then published by the agency for public comment under traditional regulatory procedures.
Neutral convenors interview affected interests, including drivers, motor carriers, safety groups and enforcement officials. They then submit a report of findings and recommendations to the FHWA as to whether a negotiating committee can be assembled that fairly represents all affected interests and is willing to negotiate in good faith.