Editor’s Note: Bisphenol A has been a chemcial studied by a number of agencies. In virtually every instance numerous questions have been raised concerning the underlying studies which question its safety.
Regulations.gov is a central feature of the regulatory state—it houses the important information which leads to the formulation of the most significant rules of our time.
Regulations.gov began on a questionable hypothesis—namely the need to search the data bases of all agencies simultaneously to gather pertinent information on a rulemaking in lieu of making the searches around a specific agency.
In the intervening years under tight budget constraints and a multi-agency management structure regulations,gov has made noticeable improvements.
Mr. Courtland Milloy in the Wednesday May 1, 2013 edition of the Washington Post states in an article describing the murder of a DC teenager in Ward 8:
“One is three black children live in poverty”.
“One of the boys who hung out with him [the deceased] told me that they had been looking for work, that they needed money. And not just to by sneakers. Having been kicked out of school, they no longer got enough food, the friend said”.
‘They wanted money to buy something to eat.”
Is there any more graphic statement of the deficiencies in our economic system?
A Transformative Event
A landmark book titled Lobbying and Policymaking has just been published by the Congressional Quarterly based upon a decade of research sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
The focus of the book is on actions taken by private interests to affect the activities of regulatory agencies. The authors state that the presence of policy entrepreneurs has lead to significant changes in the operation of federal agencies.
The author’s state: “ Policy entrepreneurs use their knowledge of people and institutions to get their issue on the agenda and to ensure that their preferred policy alternative has the best chance of success” (p. 55)
Federal News Radio
President Barack Obama announced he will nominate Federal Trade Commission official Howard Shelanski to serve as the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).
The top spot at OIRA, which is charged with reviewing federal regulations and overseeing the government’s privacy and information policies, has been vacant since Cass Sunstein stepped down last August.
Boris Bersheyn, the general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget, has been serving as acting OIRA administrator since Sunstein’s departure.
Editor’s Note: The scholars of CPR argue for a new OIRA Administrator who does not see his or her role as ” restraining overly zealous regulatory agencies”. Without a doubt there are some regulators who are overly zealous; on the other hand there are a far greater number of regulators who recognize that they could be subject to a “silo mentality” resulting from the fact that they are merely one cog in the massive federal regulatory state which makes it impossible for them to balance the conflicting statutory roles of different agencies–thus the need for an intensive OIRA review of regulations.
Under the Sequestration Order, the agencies will be obliged to apply a mandatory percentage reduction to each line item in their budgets to cut approximately $45 billion each from Defense programs and civilian programs by September 30.
Letter from Jim Tozzi
The aforementioned criticism is contained in the post reproduced below.
OIRA does have a strong economic mission; however economics is just one of the capabilities required of a successful desk officer. Other capabilities include a knowledge of the administrative process, public administration and science policy.
I was involved in establishing the central regulatory review function in OMB for five Presidential Administrations. Pursuant to the response of the OIRA critics I have attached my resume. I believe it not only satisfies the requirements demanded by the OIRA critics but more importantly it is representative, at a minimum, of the expertise of the current generation of OIRA Desk Officers.
Letter from Jim Tozzi
Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
There is an interesting article in the the Harvard Law Review written by Rachel Barkow titled the THE ASCENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATE AND THE DEMISE OF MERCY. [121 Harv. L. Rev. 1332 (2008)]
In the introduction to the article, Professor Barkow states: