Chafee Announces Release of the Regulatory Look Back Report

Editor’s Note: The importance of retrospective regulatory review is being recognized by State governments as well as by OIRA.


Anthony Faccenda, GoLocalProv News Contributor

As part of this Regulatory Reform Initiative, Gov. Lincoln Chafee has announced the release of the Period One Regulatory Look Back Report, which was issued by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Regulatory Reform (ORR).

“This report is a step forward for regulatory reform and is the first time our state has taken on the tremendous task to look internally for improvements to the regulatory process,” Chafee said. “It is an encouraging start, and we will continue to move toward our goal of a simpler regulatory process and an improved business climate for our state.”

Regulatory lookback gaining traction, says new OIRA head

From: Fierce Government

By Zach Rausnitz

The new head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs offered tentative praise for agencies’ efforts to review existing regulations during a House hearing July 24.

“I am satisfied that they are taking it seriously, but I want to be careful with the word ‘satisfied.’ I’m very  encouraged by the signs that I have seen,” Howard Shelanski told  the House Small Business Committee. Shelanski was confirmed as the new OIRA administrator on June 27, replacing Cass Sunstein.

Under an executive  order (.pdf) that President Obama issued in January 2011, agencies must  review regulations to find those that are duplicative, outdated or too costly.

Watch him pull a USDA-mandated rabbit disaster plan out of his hat

Editor’s Note: The press can be an influential regulatory review watchdog.

From: The Washington Post

By David A. Fahrenthold

In OZARK, Mo. — This summer, Marty the Magician got a letter from the U.S. government. It began with six ominous words: “Dear Members of Our Regulated Community . . .”Washington had questions about his rabbit. Again.

Marty Hahne, 54, does magic shows for kids in southern Missouri. For his big finale, he pulls a rabbit out of a hat. Or out of a picnic basket. Or out of a tiny library, if he’s doing his routine about reading being magical.

The National Rasin Reserve

From: The Washington Post

David A. Fahrenthold

One grower’s grapes of wrath

KERMAN, Calif. — In the world of dried fruit, America has no greater outlaw than Marvin Horne, 68.

Horne, a raisin farmer, has been breaking the law for 11 solid years. He now owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. And 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins, roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years.

So Did Nudging Work?

From: Slate

And would you know if you’ve been nudged?

By Graham Lawton

Cass Sunstein, nudge inventor and former White House official, explains how his nudges have helped Americans save for retirement and eat better. He co-wrote the best-selling 2008 book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness with Richard Thaler. His latest book Simpler: The Future of Government is about using behavioral science to transform government.

When you published Nudge in 2008, did you expect it to have so much influence? No. We were trying to write the best book we could. I was surprised and gratified that it got such attention.

Improving Regulatory Inpact Analysis Through Process Reform

Editor’s Note:  The complete testimony is available as a pdf here.

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

Testimony before the Joint Economic Committee

Jerry Ellig

Good morning Chairman Brady, Vice Chairman Klobuchar, and members of the committee. Thank you for inviting me to testify today.

I am an economist and research fellow at the Mercatus Center, a 501(c)(3) research, educational, and outreach organization affiliated with George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. I’ve previously served as a senior economist for this committee and as deputy director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission. My principal research for the last 25 years has focused on the regulatory process, government performance, and the effects of government regulation. For these reasons, I’m delighted to testify on today’s topic.

Eliminating Unnecessary and Costly Red Tape Through Smarter Regulations

From: Brookings

By: Michael Greenstone

[Brookings] Editor’s Note: On June 26, 2013, Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone testified before the Joint Economic Committee about strategies to improve the government’s regulatory system. Below are his prepared remarks:

Thank you Chairman Brady, Vice Chair Klobuchar, and members of the Joint Economic Committee for inviting me to speak today.

My name is Michael Greenstone, and I am the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Director of the Hamilton Project, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  My research focuses on estimating the costs and benefits of environmental quality, with a particular emphasis on the impacts of government regulations.

GAO Recommends Reduced Reporting by Cable Industry

Editor’s Note: A newly released  GAO report recommended that FCC-mandated reporting by cable companies be reduced.  The following is the an excerpt.  The complete report, “VIDEO MARKETPLACE: Competition Is Evolving, and Government Reporting Should Be Reevaluated” is available here.

In our review of the video competition reports, we saw little change in the reported findings from year to year; therefore, less frequent reporting could allow for continued measurement of industry performance while reducing the burden on FCC and industry participants.


“it is career bureaucrats who know, better than anyone else, what works and what doesn’t”

Editor’s Note:  The following is the final and most important recommendation from the testimony of Elaine Kamarck, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  The complete statement, Lessons for the Future of Government Reform, is available here.

Moving Forward with Regulatory Lookback

Editor’s Note:  The insightful and valuable article below on retrospective regulatory review analysis makes a statement which requires clarification.  Specifically, the regulatory review function in the 1970s was far from “ad hoc and largely unmanaged.” To the contrary, as the history of pre-OIRA regulatory review explained, the Quality of Life Review (QLR) regulatory review process under President Nixon,