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Navigating government regulation

While legislation has high public visibility, its twin sister, regulation, receives far less attention.

Maleka Momand March 4, 2019

When is the last time you looked up a regulation in your city or state? We’re willing to bet this is something you haven’t done too recently, if at all. While legislation has high public visibility, its twin sister, regulation, receives far less attention. This is because regulatory codes are vastly different at the federal, state, and local level and tracking down government regulations and information is no small feat.

In 2016, there were a staggering 104.6 million words of federal regulation on the books, which would take an average person roughly over three years of full-time work to read! Needless to say, it’s increasingly difficult for businesses and citizens to navigate regulation and understand how it applies to them at such a massive scale. And, ironically, government agencies that promulgate and enforce regulations also face similar challenges of comprehending and managing the large corpus of rules.

To demonstrate how difficult it can be to find and understand a specific regulation, we attempted to perform a simple search for state health benefit exchange requirements on a government-hosted website.

Clearly, simply finding the regulation was a time-consuming process. When you consider the subsequent research and comprehension of this single regulation, it can quickly become overwhelming and expensive.

If we can’t understand our regulatory environment, how can we be expected to effectively comply with it? There is a pressing need for modern tools and solutions to the challenge of growing regulatory complexity. This is the problem we are working to solve at Esper.

We simplify regulatory research and comprehension through industry-leading data analysis, search capabilities, and workflow tools. Now readers can search and find their areas of interest in seconds:

Esper’s platform provides users with far more than just search capabilities, though. Our technology promises to increase project efficiency and quality with tools that use information about your regulatory code and automatically detect similar rules in other jurisdictions, repealed legal references, out of date rules, impermissible words, phrases, and structures per drafting requirements. For individuals or organizations trying to understand, compare, and engage in regulation across states, Esper is the ideal resource.

For example, consider a state regulator searching for laws that might require review due to a sunset provision, repealed statutory authorities, or other policy considerations. In the status quo, finding those regulations is entirely manual and takes hours, days, or weeks to conduct these reviews depending on the size of the organization.

Esper allows users to find those rules in less than a second with the press of a button. Our technology tackles the core challenges of regulatory research and reduces the time and labor barriers that make understanding, improving, and complying with regulation so difficult at scale.

Esper is building a platform to support dynamic policymaking and review. Regulators, academics, industry leaders, and citizens alike deserve tools that make their regulatory codes accessible. Leaders everywhere understand the need for data-driven progress, and Esper aims to equip them with tools for accuracy and speed in public policy.

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across the U.S.

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