The Contribution of Political Scientists to the Evolution of Centralized Regulatory Review

An examination of the literature on the evolution of centralized regulatory review will reveal that the legal community dominates the debate. Surprisingly considerably less attention is given to the aforementioned subject matter by members of the political science community notwithstanding the fact that  influencing rulemaking is a far more permanent mechanism for affecting the political system than is the publication of learned journal articles.

Fortunately, the sparsity of articles written by political scientists is changing. A case in point is the  articles prepared by Professor Andrew Rudalevige of Bowdoin College and so presented at an event sponsored by the Hoover Institution.

The Continued Massacre of Students in Public Schools: Where is Parental Accountability?

For a number of years CRE (Center for Regulatory Effectiveness) has been asked its views on the regulation of firearms. This is a reasonable request because CRE’s expertise, developed over a half-century, is in analyzing proposals for additional regulation and examining the attendant range of alternatives.

We have avoided taking a public position on this topic because our primary interest is the process for conducting centralized regulatory review of regulations in the White House Office of Management and Budget independent of the substance of a particular regulation.

Institutional Implications of the CRE’s Opposition to the EPA Science Rule.

CRE appreciates the many comments we have received on our position on the EPA Science Rule.

Our friends on “left”, who in large part agree with the CRE position, were dumbfounded and a number of our friends on the “right” were either perplexed  or if not disappointed.

We use this recognition of our work to encourage our readers to visit our Regulatory Pacesetters website at

We are not a commercial website, we have no daily or weekly quotas; we only post when see an issue  of emerging importance which we believe should be explored in detail by members of the academy.

CRE Position on EPA Science Plan Takes Its Toll

The  following statement was just made in the Scientific American:

Nor does the preamble to the rule describe precisely how the proposal builds on previous efforts to promote transparency such as the Information Quality Act and EPA’s Information Quality Guidelines.

Compare the above with this earlier statement by CRE:

CRE is not supportive of the EPA science initiative at this time because it creates a new regulatory regime without first exploiting to the fullest the existing regulatory regime which consists of the Data Access Act and the Data Quality Act.

God bless millennials but I would rather remain a perennial.

Recently in a several discussions with students of administrative law the question was asked as to who were some of the dominant figures in controlling the administrative state.

The speaker, whose organizational contributions were discussed, replied that the giant in the field was Walter Gellhorn.

Sadly not one person  knew of Walter Gellhorn.

The Data Access Act, the Data Quality Act and the Paperwork Reduction Act: Three Cornerstones of Evidence-Based Rulemaking

                                    Is Evidence-Based Policymaking Here to Stay?


Evidence-based policymaking envisions “a future in which rigorous evidence is created efficiently, as a part of routine government operations, and used to construct effective public policy.” Evidence-Based Rulemaking is a subset of the same but with an emphasis on federal rulemaking. In fact an ongoing debate, as noted below, is limited exclusively to rulemaking.

OIRA is Expanding Its Product Line

Centralized regulatory review has been around for nearly a half century; OIRA has been in existence nearly four decades. During that period of time OIRA’s product line has remained virtually the same, without change. It is unusual for any organization to continue to either exist, or not witness a decline in its relevance, without an expansion of its product line.

Fortunately OIRA is taking steps to expand its product line to include:

— a regulatory budget

— the review of IRS rules, and possibly

— the review of the regulations of independent agencies.

Pacesetting Statements on Centralized Regulatory Review

As centralized regulatory review is about to begin its second half century of operation, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness conducted a review of the existing literature to determine those statements which best describe its contribution to the governance of the administrative state.


Born out of a Reagan-era desire to minimize regulatory costs, and not fundamentally reconsidered since its inception, the centralized review of agency rulemakings has arguably become the most important institutional feature of the regulatory state.

Centralized Oversight of the Regulatory State: Nicholas Bagley, Richard Revesz–Columbia Law Review, Vol. 106, p. 1260, 2006


CRE on the EPA Science Initiative

CRE is not supportive of the EPA science initiative at this time because it creates a new regulatory regime without first exploiting to the fullest the existing regulatory regime which consists of the Data Access Act and the Data Quality Act.

With respect to the existing regulatory regime please note:

(1) OMB neutered the Data Access Act when it opined that the DAA only applied to reports which carry the effect and force of law.

(2) DOJ neutered the Data Quality Act when it declared that the denial of Requests for Correction were not judicially reviewable.

The US Data Access Act is No Match to its Counterpart in the UK.

Editor’s Note: Data Access legislation merely allows taxpayers to have access to government funded studies. Any organization, be it in the private sector or a NGO, that wishes to bypass the requirements in the statute can do so by simply not accepting government funding.

The first Key Principle in NERC’s Data Policy, which includes Data Access, is that “The environmental data produced by the activities funded by NERC are considered a public good and they will be made openly available for others to use.” NERC then has numerous related  and often highly detailed guidance measures for every step of the process.