GAO: The Regulatory Flexibility Act and Retrospective Review Policies & Analyses of Six Financial Regulators Need Improvement

From: US GAO | GAO-18-404T

Analyzing Regulatory Burden: Policies and Analyses under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Retrospective Reviews Could Be Improved


Many RFA-Required Analyses Had Weaknesses


  • The evaluations for some rules of economic impact on small entities did not describe or estimate compliance costs. Analyses we reviewed also generally did not evaluate differences in estimated compliance costs for identified alternatives.
  • Five of six regulators did not consistently disclose the data sources or methodologies used for estimating the number of subject small entities or compliance costs.


Centralizing Congressional Oversight

From: SSRN | Journal of Law and Politics, Vol. XXXII, No. 261

Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2018-05

Matthew Brooker

Kirkland & Ellis – Washington, D.C. Office

Michael A. Livermore

University of Virginia School of Law


The shared presidential and congressional responsibility to oversee administrative agencies creates an opportunity for productive public consideration of administrative policy making. It also creates a forum for hostile grandstanding that can, when taken to an extreme, gridlock the federal government. During periods of divided government, when party differences enhance inter-branch tension, there is greater risk that the constitutional system of shared powers will be thwarted by partisan incentives to compete rather than cooperate.Indeed, the later years of the Obama administration serve as a kind of case study in the consequences of dysfunctional party relations for agency oversight.

Genesis and development of the evaluation of regulatory impact

Editor’s Note: Translated from the Bulgarian original.

From: Central & Eastern European Online Library

Economic Thought | Institute for Economic Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Prof. Dr. Rumen Brussarski (Проф. д-р Румен Брусарски)


During the 70s of the twentieth century economists realized that public expenditures and rulemaking have similar effects on resource allocation and equity. Thus, the process of creating regulations entered the orbit of the economic cost-benefit analysis. This article is dedicated to the genesis and development of impact assessment in the United States, the European Union and Bulgaria.

Shining the Light on Regulatory Dark Matter: Due Process and Management for Agency Guidance Documents

From: American Forest and Paper Association

By Paul Noe, Vice President for Public Policy


When I served as Counselor to the Administrator in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during the George W. Bush Administration, we issued a Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices3  that required, among other things, agency procedures for the approval and use of guidance, standard elements in guidance, including avoiding inappropriate mandatory language, and public access and feedback procedures. Unfortunately, oversight by Congress and the Government Accountability Office has shown the agencies too often have failed to comply with the OMB Bulletin.4  Thus, much work remains to be done.

Resurrecting a Relic of the Past: The Harvard Law Review on the Congressional Review Act

From: Regulatory Pacesetters

Publisher’s Note: Former Senator Nickels and former Congressman McIntosh were instrumental in the establishment of CRE a number of years prior the first successful use of the CRA.


The above demonstrates that the implementation of the CRA from its inception was a creature of the Congress with little Executive Branch participation in overturning regulations; recent actions under the CRA might reinforce this view. The CRA is an excellent example of a frequently maligned Congress performing its constitutional duty to oversee the administrative state. When CRA actions are initiated in the Senate the statute provides a mechanism for the Congress to swiftly address the criticism that it delegates too much authority to Executive Branch agencies.