Mar
14

FEDERAL REGULATIONS: Opportunities to Improve the Effectiveness and Transparency of Regulatory and Guidance Practices

Editor’s Note: See also, FEDERAL RULEMAKING: OMB Should Work with Agencies to Improve Congressional Review Act Compliance during and at the End of Presidents’ Terms.

From: US General Accountability Office

Statement of Kris Nguyen, Acting Director Strategic Issues

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What GAO Recommends

In the April 2015 report on regulatory guidance, GAO made eleven recommendations to USDA, Education, HHS, and DOL to ensure adherence to OMB requirements and applicable elements of internal controls. Three of these recommendations to HHS remain open: 1) to develop written procedures for the approval of significant guidance, 2) strengthen application of internal controls over guidance processes, and 3) improve its website.

Mar
13

FEDERAL RULEMAKING: OMB Should Work with Agencies to Improve Congressional Review Act Compliance during and at the End of Presidents’ Terms

From: US General Accountability Office

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Economically Significant Regulations Determined to be Noncompliant with the Congressional Review Act

Mar
09

Fixing NAFTA’s institutional deficit

For more information about the US-Canada RCC, see here and here (page 3).

From: The E15 Initiative

by Simon Lester, Inu Manak

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provides a path for institutional innovation. This post argues that the institutions that were created by NAFTA have either not functioned well, or been insufficiently used, and that the opportunity to improve the institutions that exist and to create new avenues for continental cooperation should not be missed.

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Mar
08

Understanding and Addressing Controversies About Agency Guidance

From: The Regulatory Review

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The new ACUS recommendation—which covers policy statements and may also be helpful for interpretive rules—sets forth a series of measures to foster flexibility in the face of these challenges. Some of the measures are low-cost and should be adopted universally, like making sure that policy statements include a disclaimer of binding status on the public, and ensuring that, if some agency employees are bound to follow a policy statement, other higher-level employees are authorized to depart from it.

Mar
07

Using Plain Language to Draft Regulations

From: The Regulatory Review

At its recent meeting, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) approved a recommendation entitled Plain Language in Regulatory Drafting. The recommendation offers a number of procedural suggestions to help agencies write their regulations and other public-facing documents in a way that relevant stakeholders can easily understand.

The overarching goal of these suggestions is not merely to simplify complex requirements, or eliminate unnecessarily technical jargon. More than this, plain language can advance core administrative law values, such as public participation in policymaking and the effective implementation of statutory goals.