Wednesday, September 19, 2018

BCFP eRegulations are a Big Help (Really)

This is a distinctly weenie-ish nerdy bit of praise and welcome for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's (formerly Consumer Financial Protection Board - and no, I have no idea why the name change) online re-publication of their regulations. For those desiring to satisfy their inner obsession with regulatory detail, the web address is Interactive Bureau Regulations, or eRegulations.

Federal regulations appear in several government websites in various formats. For ease of navigation and clarity, they are all lacking. The BCFP's eRegulations have none of these infirmities. Large, clear type, logically organized format, lots of links. The links to the comments sections are also very good. You can quickly get to the comments section and toggle back and forth between the two without losing your place. I especially like the table of contents on the left column.

Also, the old and new eRegulations site disclose in an obvious way the currency of the reg.'s, i.e., whether they are current or proposed and when they went into effect. This is always a sore point searching statutes and regulations online. I have yet to see a state website that logically and clearly helps you determine whether you are reading the latest version of a reg. or statute. You spend as much time trying to figure out whether you have the most recent law as you do determining what the law says. And you always have to watch out for the dreaded disclaimer: the website is for informational purposes only and the definitive version of the law is in books in the state's law library.

Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay the eRegulations site as a, shall we say, 'older' researcher, is you feel no necessity to print the regulations because they are easier to read in print. I read the eRegulations and toggle away and open links and close them and jump from reg. to reg., section to section, no problem. And that's saying something.

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