Inconsistent, Duplicative Regulations Undercut Productivity of U.S. Research Enterprise

From: The National Academies

Inconsistent, Duplicative Regulations Undercut Productivity of U.S. Research Enterprise; Actions Needed to Streamline and Harmonize Regulations, Reinvigorate Government-University Partnership

WASHINGTON — Continuing expansion of federal research regulations and requirements is diminishing the effectiveness of the U.S. scientific enterprise and lowering the return on the federal investment in research by directing investigators’ time away from research and toward administrative matters, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report identifies specific actions Congress, the White House, federal agencies, and research institutions should take to reduce the regulatory burden.

The Insightful Views of a Student on Benefit/Cost Analysis

As we embark on the creation of the OIRA Teaching Module we have encouraged the participation of a wide range of disciplines including, economics, law, public administration, political science and public polity.

Mr. Joe Vladeck, a student at Georgetown Law, prepared the attached paper on benefit/cost analysis.

Mr Vladeck opines,

As long as taking time will lower uncertainty, either passively or actively through an investment in information gathering, and some costs are irreversible, such as the potential costs of a sunk investment, a benefit can be assigned to the option to delay a decision. That benefit should be considered a cost of taking immediate action versus the alternative of delaying that action pending more information. However, the burdens of delay—including any harm to public health, safety, and the environment—need to be analyzed carefully.

Questions and Reference Documents for Student Submissions


1. Should the cumulative cost of regulations imposed by federal regulators be capped? Why or why not? What mechanism, if any, should be used to set such a cap on compliance costs?

2. Should OIRA’s regulatory review role be expanded to include independent agencies? Discuss the political, legal, and/or economic implications of such an expansion.

3. DOJ has informed the court that OIRA is the ultimate decision-maker on Requests for Correction filed pursuant to the Data Quality Act. What are the implications of this decision? Should the DOJ change its position that decisions made with respect to the Data Quality Act are not judicially reviewable?