Focus on OIRA

One Half Century of Centralized Regulatory Review.

 

Bruce Levinson, Editor
December 13  Millions of People Post Comments on Federal Regulations. Many Are Fake.

December 12  FDA Network Takes a New Approach to Produce Safety

December 11  Of “Workarounds” and Bureaucrats

December 8  GAO: Federal Reserve at Risk of Regulatory Capture

December 7  The DHS Form that Wouldn’t Die

December 6  The Three Game-changing Documents of the Administrative State

December 5  Regulatory Experimentation Project on the Agenda for the 68th Plenary

December 4  Why Government Professionals Matter

December  1  Optimal Ossification

An Alternative To The Regulatory Accountability Act?

In a meeting sponsored by the Federalist Society on May 17, 2017 Professor David Vladek of Georgetown University law school made two observations:

(1)  That there is no need for the REINS Act given the Congressional Review Act, and

(2)  That the Reagan Executive Order 12291, which instituted government-wide centralized regulatory review is, along with the APA,  one of the two most influential documents of the regulatory state. (N. B. Centralized Regulatory Review began in the Nixon Administration, was given statutory support by Carter[Paperwork Reduction Act] and went government-wide[Reagan])

The Rejuvenation of Regulations.gov

CRE has been a long term advocate of rejuvenating Regulations.gov. It has made a number of recommendations to the Administrative Conference of the US which is now in the process of addressing the matter.

CRE is pleased that a firm with Silicon Valley roots has made similar suggestions, see the recent report of Argive which concluded:

.. Regulations.gov’s development and, consequently, the interface stands out as antiquated in 2017.

Instead of serving as an efficient communication tool, Regulations.gov exists as a formality to legislative requirements of the rulemaking process.

CRE is continuing its work on this important program; interested parties should contact Jim Tozzi.

OIRA Hall of Fame Library: Reviews By Political Scientists, Historians and Sociologists

Scores of articles have been written on OIRA by legal academicians and far fewer, unfortunately, by other disciplines. The following articles are the pacesetters of the latter category based on their emphasis on the evolution of OIRA.

Please see this post.

Two Different Views on the Preferred Background for an OIRA Administrator

Publisher’s Note: Lawyers and economists: Trained but not educated. The aforementioned inference is drawn from the public comments which follow and  reflect the  wide range of possible positions held by members of Congress who oversee the confirmation of the Administrator of OIRA–the White House Office  of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) which is the cockpit of the regulatory state.  Although it would be difficult–but not impossible–for a person to make contributions to OIRA without some background in both economics and administrative law,  we believe the social entrepreneurial skills of any nominee out rank all other considerations. We make this statement because it is difficult to identify any of the  game changing events that lead to the establishment of OIRA which are dependent primarily on economic or legal skills.  Furthermore we are not convinced that the skills necessary to establish the most important institutional feature of the regulatory state differ from those necessary to operate it on a sustainable basis. Societal problems change with the passage of time and the skills necessary to maintain OIRA’s leadership role change accordingly.

Trump Regulation: A Library of Trump Regulatory Initiatives

CRE has maintained a library of the regulatory initiatives of every Administration for which centralized regulatory review was either under development or in actual operation. The initiatives are posted on the website TheOMB.US maintained by the Center for  Regulatory Effectiveness.

The posts on the Trump Regulation webpage will chronicle the official documents disseminated by the Trump Administration which focus on structural and process changes to the administrative state; Focus on OIRA will contain the accompanying commentary on the documents.

Commentary
OIRA News

 

09/07/2017  OIRA Memorandum to Regulatory Reform Officers, FY 2018 Regulatory Cost Allowances

The Views of a Political Scientist on the Institutionalization of OIRA

A must read presentation by Professor Rudalevige of the Department of Government at Bowdoin College to the Midwest Political Science Association is an analysis of the factors and passions that lead to the creation of OIRA.

The presentation is not only based upon a review of the published literature but is also based upon an in-depth review of archival information collected from the National Archives, Presidential Libraries and private collections.

The thrust of the presentation is best stated in this statement:

Neomi Rao to be the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

From: The White House

Ms. Rao is a professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where she founded and directs the Center for the Study of the Administrative State.  Her research and teaching focuses on constitutional and administrative law.  Currently a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, Ms. Rao has previously served in all three branches of the federal government.  She served as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush; counsel for nominations and constitutional law to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary; and law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.  She practiced public international law and arbitration at Clifford Chance LLP in London.  Ms. Rao received her JD with high honors from the University of Chicago and her BA from Yale University.

Reorganizing the Executive Branch: We Need Your Input!

Editor’s Note: OMB’s Federal Register notice requesting comments, by June 12, 2017, on reorganizing the Executive Branch is attached here.

From: The White House

On March 13th, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order that will make the Federal government more efficient, effective, and accountable to you, the American people. This Executive Order directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to present the President with a plan that recommends ways to reorganize the executive branch and eliminate unnecessary agencies.

President Trump wants to hear your ideas and suggestions on how the government can be better organized to work for the American people.

Waters of the US: Regulatory Overreach is Detrimental To The Credibility Of All Environmental Programs

Constitutional scholar Paul Larkin concludes:

The EPA–USACE rule has proved to be quite controversial, principally because it effectively treated as one of the “waters of the United States” virtually any body of water, however remote the connection to navigable waters.

Given the current state of the regulatory environment do EPA and the Corps of Engineers really want to indict and convict US citizens for de minimis actions which by definition have no or little environmental consequences? It is best that both organizations stand back and look at the forest, not the trees.