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Oct
21

Why the government needs a regulator of regulators

From: Federal Times

By SALLY KATZEN

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has been called “the most powerful federal agency that most people have never heard of.”

But lately, OIRA, which serves as the focal point for regulatory policymaking in the White House, has come under attack by critics from the left and the right.

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Authorized by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 and embraced by every president since, OIRA has overseen the federal regulatory process under administrations from both parties.

Its role as the “regulator of regulators” really is indispensable. The office’s review of draft proposals and final regulations ensures that important regulatory activities are coordinated across the executive branch and that agencies account for the costs and benefits associated with these regulations. This makes sense: The federal government should not make new rules for the private sector without considering their intended and unintended consequences.

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