ACUS Adopts Five Recommendations That Improve Government Efficiency, Promote Transparency, and Enhance Public Participation in the Regulatory Process

From: Administrative Conference of the United States

Washington, December 15, 2017 – At its 68th Plenary Session, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) Assembly formally adopted the five following recommendations.


Agency Guidance, which was adopted as Recommendation 2017-5, provides best practices to agencies on the formulation and use of guidance documents.

Regulatory Experimentation, which was adopted as Recommendation 2017-6, offers advice to agencies on learning from different regulatory approaches. It encourages agencies to collect data, conduct analysis at all stages of the rulemaking lifecycle (from pre-rule analysis to retrospective review), and solicit public input at appropriate points in the process.


Millions of People Post Comments on Federal Regulations. Many Are Fake.

From: The Wall Street Journal

A Wall Street Journal investigation uncovered thousands of fraudulent posts on agencies’ dockets, in hot-button areas such as net neutrality and payday lending

By James V. Grimaldi and Paul Overberg

Read Complete Article [paywall]


Regulatory Experimentation Project on the Agenda for the 68th Plenary

From: Administrative Conference of the United States

Submitted by Todd Rubin

Making sound regulatory decisions demands information and analysis. Several ACUS recommendations encourage agencies to gather data when making new rules and when reviewing existing rules. These recommendations reinforce analytic demands imposed on agencies by legislation, executive orders, and judicial decisions.


Why Government Professionals Matter

Editor’s Note: See the RegBlog “Valuing Professional Government” series of essays in which “scholars and government professionals review [the] new book by former Chair of the Administrative Conference of the United States,” here.

From: RegBlog

The key to improving government is to strengthening—and valuing—excellence in the civil service.

During my five and a half years of service as Chair of the Administrative Conference of the United States, I observed closely how bureaucracy functions. What I found during that time is that career officials—the indispensable professionals on which government vitally depends—are being discouraged, ignored, or even displaced. In their stead, federal agencies are relying on a private contractor regime that far outstrips members of the civil service in numbers and, increasingly, in influence. In many respects, we are seeing core officials lose control, at all levels, of the system that administers public policies and delivers government services.


A Busy 68th Plenary! (ACUS Update)

Editor’s Note: Work on Plain Language should take advantage of the extensive federally-sponsored research on the subject in response to President Carter’s Executive Order 12044—Improving Government Regulations. See, for example, Revisiting Plain Language and The “FISAP,” Before and After.

From: Notice & Comment | A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

by Emily Bremer

The Administrative Conference will host its 68th Plenary Session on December 14th and 15th, 2017.  It’s shaping up to be a busy one, with five proposed recommendations going before the Assembly for approval.  From the Federal Register notice, these recommendations address the following subjects:


STEM to STEMM: It Will Take Musicians to Save the Internet

From: CircleID

By Bruce Levinson


Music has been understood since ancient times to be mathematical beauty made audible. The actress and singer-songwriter Minnie Driver explained in a White House blog post that “Without music in my curriculum, I never would have understood math. I am so grateful to the teacher who … encouraged me to explore my love of music as a way to help unscramble my block with mathematics.”


Wielding obscure federal data quality law, group challenges Trump Treasury tax cut claims

Editor’s Note: The data quality petition by Democracy Forward is available here.

From: The Washington Post


Since its enactment in 2000, the little-known and rarely litigated lnformation Quality Act has mandated that information issued to the public or sponsored by federal agencies be “accurate, reliable and unbiased.”


An architect of the law, James J. Tozzi, a former OMB official and founder of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, said the appeals court in Washington — where Democracy Forward is based — in particular has left the door open for a challenge to hold the Treasury Department accountable for tax cut claims.


Governors, state CIOs push for streamlined federal cyber regulations

From: GCN

Editor’s Note: See, Why OIRA Needs to Coordinate Federal Cyber Security Regulation.

By Sara Friedman

As state governments continue to consolidate their IT operations to reduce costs, they are faced with disparate cybersecurity compliance requirements that impede their progress. These mandates — and accompanying audits — for individual agency IT environments’ compliance with federal standards strains  states’  limited staff resources and finances.

On Nov. 6, the National Governors Association and National Association of State Chief Information Officers sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney asking OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to work with two groups to harmonize federal cybersecurity regulations and standardize the federal audit process.


Don’t Assume Career Feds Are Resisting Trump’s Deregulatory Push

From: Government Executive

By Charles S. Clark

Three agency managers tasked with implementing President Trump’s push toward deregulation told Congress on Tuesday that White House executive orders have injected fresh motivation in their workforces. The mandated reviews of past rules to identify burdensome or outdated ones, they added, are driven largely by career subject-matter experts.


“I’m impressed that the career staff have been extremely supportive, and without their expert advice, we would not have been able to move forward,” Owens said. “They have a long tradition and culture of cost-benefit analysis, seeking and following sound science.”


Trump’s ‘energy independence’ order: Where do things stand?

From: E&E News

Ellen M. Gilmer and Pamela King, E&E News reporters


The current administration has moved aggressively in the other direction, most notably with a March 28 “energy independence” executive order. In it, Trump plainly stated his objective: Revisit all federal regulations that fetter the operations of U.S. energy producers — especially those developing fossil fuels.


The rule was one of four Interior Department oil and gas regulations explicitly listed in Trump’s executive order and a March 29 order from Secretary Ryan Zinke implementing the White House directive.

Read Complete Article

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