NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission will make it easier for the public to join in the rulemaking discussion, as required by the new Wall St. reform law.
The SEC's changes go "well beyond what is legally required," the commission in a statement Tuesday, and they are meant to provide "greater transparency and accountability."
Before President Obama signed the regulatory reform law last week, the SEC was already required to offer a public comment period when it proposed rules or rule amendments.
But under the reform, the public can now comment before the commission makes its proposals. Public hearings will also be available for some issues, the SEC said.
"We recognize that the process ... works best when all stakeholders are engaged and contribute," SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro said in the statement.
Complaints about the regulatory body reached a groundswell following public outcry over a perceived lack of foresight -- from scammers like Bernie Madoff to complicated mortgage-backed products sold by banks such as Goldman Sachs.
The SEC also said it "will provide greater public disclosure" of staff meetings; try to meet interested parties with different views; solicit comment from affected parties that aren't fully represented by developing public record; and put meeting agendas into the public record.
For a list of relevant e-mail addresses, visit the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/regreformcomments.shtml.