October 22, 2015

Modernizing Federal Information Policy

Editor’s Note: Cross-posted from Regulatory Cybersecurity/FISMA Focus. The Federal Register notice of OMB’s Request for Comments on Circular A-130 is available here.

From: The White House

by Anne Rung, Tony Scott, Howard Shelanski

Summary: Today, OMB is proposing for the first time in fifteen years revisions to Circular A-130, Managing Information as a Strategic Resource.

Today, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is proposing for the first time in fifteen years revisions to the Federal Government’s governing document establishing policies for the management of Federal information resources: Circular A-130, Managing Information as a Strategic Resource. More specifically, Circular A-130 provides general policy for the planning, budgeting, governance, acquisition, and management of Federal information resources. It also includes appendices outlining agency responsibilities for managing information, supporting use of electronic transactions, and protecting Federal information resources.

October 19, 2015

Increasing Agency Use of Declaratory Orders

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Regulation sometimes leaves businesses with as many questions as answers. Does a project fall within a given agency’s regulatory scheme? If it does, then what exactly does that regulation require businesses to do – and at what cost? These uncertainties may well even discourage investment and stifle the economy.

To alleviate these concerns, a committee of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) is considering recommendations that agencies increase their use of declaratory orders whenever a regulated party wants to know whether its business practices fall under an agency’s regulatory ambit.

October 16, 2015

A Program to Develop a Nationwide Constituency for OIRA

A Nationwide Constituency for OIRA Will Allow It to Discharge Its Statutory Obligation To Free All Citizens From Onerous Regulations  On a Continual Basis Without Intermittent Disruptions From a Vocal Few


1.  OIRA, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs located in the White House Office of Management and Budget, is in need of  a National constituency if it is going to fend off proposals to limit its scope of operation. OIRA’s staff has been reduced fifty percent since the date of its establishment in 1980. OIRA is frequently presented as a villain in both press and academic articles because it is performing a very difficult task—saying no to regulatory proposals, however well intended, which fail to meet tests of economic efficiency and effectiveness. A national constituency will provide a counter balance to OIRA’s detractors.

October 14, 2015

Electronic Injury Record Keeping Close?

From: GinPress |The official semi-private blog of the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association

by Dusty

According to an article from Jackson and Lewis’ OSHA Law Blog, OSHA submitted a draft final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injury and Illnesses to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. OIRA is part of the office of Management and Budget and all federal rules roll through that office at some point before becoming final.

October 8, 2015

Public Discussion Forum: Placing a Cap on Costs Imposed by Regulators

The Ask

Here is a forum where students and the public  may express their views on placing a cap on the expenditures that can be imposed on the public by federal regulators, please see http://www.thecre.com/forum2/?p=1052

The Background

When we think of regulatory governance we think of two issues:

(1) A process which requires a benefit/cost  analysis, in the most cosmic context, of proposed regulations and an independent review of the analysis (in sum an  OIRA), and

(2)  placing a cap on the expenditures the regulators can impose on the public.

With respect to (1) above it took 20 years to design and implement.

October 7, 2015

Ag groups oppose OSHA anhydrous facility changes

From: Farm Futures

Groups say new regulations for anhydrous facilities put unnecessary burden on businesses during busy season

A memorandum from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding anhydrous ammonia retail facilities has some agriculture groups concerned that a new definition of such facilities could ultimately impact anhydrous supply and availability to farmers.


“This new interpretation will cost agricultural retail facilities tens of millions of dollars to implement. Taken together, the costs imposed by the changes will easily exceed the $100,000,000 threshold used by the OMB when determining whether a regulatory action is “major,” thereby requiring review,” the letter says.

October 6, 2015

OMB reviewing new final rule on ACO waivers

From: Lexology

Tammy Ward Woffenden | Locke Lord LLP

Joint waivers issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) relating the application of the physician self-referral law, the Federal anti-kickback statute, and certain civil monetary penalties (CMP) law provisions for specified arrangements involving Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) are due to expire November 2, 2015. . . . On September 9, 2015, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received a Final Rule regarding MSSP Final Waivers (CMS-1439-; RIN 0938-AR30F) for regulatory review. According to the OMB’s website, review of the final rule is still pending.

October 5, 2015

Obama administration releases infrastructure permitting Guidance

From: Lexology

Marc T. CampopianoAndrea M. Hogan and Joshua W. Marnitz  | Latham & Watkins LLP

On September 22, 2015, the White House, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), issued guidance to the heads of certain federal departments and agencies[1] (the Agencies) establishing metrics for the permitting and environmental review of infrastructure projects in the United States (the Guidance). The Guidance is intended to expand the use and reframe the purpose of the publicly accessible online Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard (the Dashboard). To that end, the Guidance establishes a set of metrics to track permit and review timelines for certain infrastructure projects, and sets a schedule for collecting and posting that data to the Dashboard. It then outlines an approach for capturing and reporting the environmental and community impacts resulting from the federal permitting and review process.

October 2, 2015

The FDA’s Sweet Proposal on Food Labels

Editor’s Note: The FDA’s labeling decisions are subject to the Data Quality Act; agencies are not permitted to rely on WHO or other reports that do not comply with OMB’s information quality standards. For more information, see 1) CRE’s challenge to HHS use of a WHO dietary report and 2) the letter from the Secretary’s office informing the WHO that its study failed to meet US quality standards.

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation


October 1, 2015

Bankers: “We urge the Bureau to re-submit its information collection request with the draft survey instrument.”

Editor’s Note: The following are excerpts from joint PRA comments by major banking and financial services organizations to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The complete comments are available here.

We, the undersigned trade associations representing the financial services industry, write to express our concern with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s (Bureau) request for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to conduct a national web-based survey of 8,000 individuals as part of the Bureau’s study of overdraft protection services. We appreciate the Bureau’s consideration of consumers’ experience with and understanding of overdraft services. However, we are concerned that the Bureau did not include in its submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a draft survey instrument on which the public could comment, despite OMB guidance requiring publication of the survey simultaneous with the Bureau’s request for comment. We urge the Bureau to re-submit its information collection request with the draft survey instrument.