National Affairs Emphasis on OIRA’s Management of the Regulatory State

National Affairs is a nationally recognized journal specializing in public policy issues. National Affairs, in conjunction with the Hoover Institution, held  a seminar on its seminal publication titled Policy Reforms for an Accountable Administrative State which was authored by leading experts in the field, Adam White, Oren Cass and Kevin Kosar.

The publication is a must read document for members of the  incoming Administration. CRE applauds the authors for their focusing on OIRA, the cockpit of the regulatory state. A number of informed studies have identified needed procedural and substantive improvements in the regulatory state but few recognize that no such improvements will occur unless there is a manager in place capable of implementing them.

The National Affairs publication address the management issue head on when it concludes:

The President must manage the administrative state much more energetically and effectively. He must take actual responsibility for his agencies’ regulations. To that end, the President and Congress must strengthen the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to reflect its actual role as the headquarters of the administrative state. The White House should manage the agencies’ planning process more effectively, by holding each agency to a “regulatory budget” and by carrying out its own regulatory oversight role much more systematically and transparently. Finally, the White House must improve the information and methodologies upon which the administrative state relies, by setting consistent standards across all agencies, and by actively supporting better and more diverse economic research.

The fact that the aforementioned recommendation is one of only three summary recommendations  demonstrates the insight and priority that the authors accord to the proper management of the regulatory state. In addition, unlike many scholars of the administrative state, the author’s recognize that the one mechanism that compels the establishment of priorities is the execution of a budget.

CRE has expressed similar concerns concerning the need for OIRA to increase its product line from reviewing individual  regulations to an array of pro-active programs aimed at managing the administrative state.


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