Retrospective Review Workshop

From: Administrative Conference of the United States

May 13, 2015 – 2:00 pm EDT


This workshop will build upon Recommendation 2014-5, considering approaches for promoting robust retrospective review at federal agencies.  The workshop will consist of three panels:

Panel I–Retrospective Review in Federal Agencies [2:00 pm  – 3:00 pm]: The first panel will examine existing retrospective review efforts at U.S. agencies, explore mechanisms for promoting a “culture of retrospective” review and encouraging regulatory experimentation, and consider how agencies can leverage the expertise of stakeholder groups.

Estimating the True Cost of FCC Regulation


Justin Vélez-Hagan

Ever since the FCC began kicking around the idea of new Internet regulations (a.k.a. “net neutrality” regulation), economists, attorneys, and politicos have been arguing what, if any, cost will be incurred by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as well as the general public.  Although the exactitude and underlying assumptions of some estimates have been disputed, few have considered the real, total economic cost of the new policy.


Lawmakers’ website to collect complaints about federal regs

Editor’s Note: The #CutRedTape Initiative website is available here.

From: The Hill

By Lydia Wheeler

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) announced an initiative Friday to address the speed, frequency and relevancy of federal regulations.

In launching the #CutRedTape Initiative, the lawmakers have created a website,, where people can go online and voice their concerns and complaints about federal regulations that are creating a problem for their business or family.

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Accelerating Progress and Institutionalizing Retrospective Review

From: Office of Management and Budget | OMBlog

Posted by Howard Shelanski

In 2011, President Obama called on federal agencies to undertake an unprecedented government-wide regulatory review to identify rules on the books with outdated requirements or unjustified costs.  Retrospective review continues to be a key priority for the Obama Administration.  Since the release of Executive Order 13563 in 2011, federal agencies have been continually identifying outdated and duplicative regulations and have taken action to modify or eliminate them where possible. And the Administration has made significant progress. For example, the Department of Transportation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have already finalized significant retrospective review initiatives. To date, the retrospective review process is expected to achieve $20 billion in savings over five years, and is on track to eliminate over 100 million paperwork burden reduction hours.

Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 and the Bumpers Amendment

The Regulatory Accountability Act is one of the most comprehensive regulatory reform bills under consideration by the Congress.

It should be noted that more than three decades ago Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas, a senator with a near 100% rating by liberal groups, introduced the Bumpers Amendment, a proposal to improve the regulatory process by eliminating the deference accorded to agency decisions.

It is very possible that the Bumpers Amendment would have passed had it not been subject to immense opposition by the Carter White House. An Index of OMB internal papers identifies a White Memorandum on Bumpers (Item 3) which CRE is trying to locate.

Evaluating Regulations after the Fact

Editor’s Note: Routine cost-benefit analysis of planned regulatory actions began during the Nixon Administration using techniques pioneered by the Corps of Engineers during the Johnson Administration. For information on the pre-Reagan history of centralized regulatory review, please see, OIRA’s Formative Years: The Historical Record of Centralized Regulatory Review Preceding OIRA’s Founding, [63 Admin. L. Rev. (Special Edition) 2011] here.

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Burnishing His Legacy, President Obama Is Focused on Making Rule Review Permanent

From: BNA/Daily Report for Executives

By Cheryl Bolen

President Barack Obama, with an eye toward his legacy, is personally engaged in a new initiative to move federal agencies into the next phase of reviewing their regulations—the results are expected in late summer—and potentially will make the changes permanent.

First announced in 2011, retrospective review had some early successes, but has slowed as cash-strapped agencies have struggled to both review existing rules and promulgate new ones, including the required public comment, cost estimates and impact analyses.

Incorporating Private Standards into Public Regulations

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Every year, federal administrative agencies in the United States create thousands of new regulations, producing new rules governing public health, homeland security, consumer protection, and civil rights, among other vital issues. Central to the process of creating these administrative rules is a requirement for public notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, debate has recently emerged over agencies’ practice of “incorporation by reference” – that is, a reliance on privately-created standards in crafting public rules – which some have argued conflicts with values of transparency and public participation.


The First Watchdog in Chief, John R. McCarl

From: US General Accountability Office | WatchBlog

McCarl retired at the end of his 15-year term on June 30, 1936. On the occasion, the Saturday Evening Post praised McCarl for being a “no-man” on excessive public spending. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also praised him for this trait: “Among the welter of Washington’s yes-men, he was a forthright, solitary and heartening no-man.”


Comments For ACUS Urge Process For Continuous Reg Review

Editor’s Note: See Jim Tozzi’s retrospective review comments to ACUS, here.

From: Inside OSHA

The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) should issue recommendations encouraging the government to set out a process for continuous retrospective review of rules, according to comments submitted by Jim Tozzi, former regulatory czar in . . .

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