From: Government Executive

By John Kamensky

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A thought-provoking 2017 California Law Review article by Daniel Farber and Anne Joseph O’Connell documents various types of adversarial relationships that exist between agencies as well as the various mechanisms of conflict resolution.

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Their article reminded me of an interesting interagency regulatory conflict that I observed back in the early 1980s while working at the Government Accountability Office. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Food and Drug Administration independently imposed conflicting regulatory requirements on chocolate manufacturers. OSHA insisted the manufacturers install sound baffling to reduce ear-damaging noise from machinery, while FDA insisted on stainless steel machinery to ensure the chocolates were not contaminated with foreign material. Eventually, the newly-created Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the White House Office of Management and Budget was brought in to referee the conflict.

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