On The Origin Of Species Of Federal Rules, Regulations And Guidance Documents

Editor’s Note: For additional information about the rulemaking process, please see the OIRA Teaching Modules.

From: Forbes

Numerous laws and executive orders have governed the federal rulemaking process since the 1940s. Along with specifying oversight and disclosure for the regulatory enterprise, they have spawned complex rule classifications and nomenclature

A chart nearby lists the many designations in play, along with newer characterizations that the  115th Congress’s leading regulatory reform vehicle would bring to the menu, in the event it were to pass. Let’s walk through the Red Tape Roll Call.

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Book Review: The Cost-Benefit Revolution, by Cass Sunstein

Editor’s Note: Read: The Evolution of Benefit Cost Analysis into Federal Rulemaking and The Iconic Executive Order 12291 which augment the material presented in the post below.

From: Financial Times

A valuable study of a quiet victory for technocrats

Review by


The book makes three valuable contributions: it relates the history of cost-benefit analysis in US policymaking ; it tackles the economist Friedrich Hayek’s argument that technocrats simply don’t know enough to weigh costs and benefits; and it makes a case that cost-benefit analysis could reduce political tribalism.

Using Blockchain to Improve Regulatory Analysis and Reform

Editor’s Note: Cross-posted from the Regulatory Cybersecurity/FISMA Focus forum.

From: The Regulatory Review

Blockchain could provide essential data on the effectiveness of regulations.

Blockchain technology could be used to change the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) from static documentation of regulations into a dynamic source of reliable information on regulatory impact. With a simple search, anyone could determine how long permit approvals take, which firms or industries are most affected, which regulations require the most paperwork, and any data available on the benefits of regulation.

When US presidents push for regulatory reform, liberal agency rules may be first in the firing line.

Editor’s Note: OIRA’s review of regulations rests on a formidable foundation, read The Iconic Executive Order 12291: The Precedent for the Preservation of Critical Executive Orders.

From: LSE USCentre

One of the concrete achievements of the Trump administration in the last 18 months has been the rapid removal of a great deal of existing regulation. But what kinds of regulations tend to be recommended for modification or removal? Simon F. Haeder and Susan Webb Yackee have studied the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs or OIRA in government rulemaking and find that OIRA frequently recommends changes to rules proposed by agencies which tend to lean to the left politically, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. As Trump moves to expand OIRA’s powers, they warn that this may have significant implications for policy outcomes felt across the United States for the years to come.

How has Trump’s deregulatory order worked in practice?

From: Brookings

[Brookings] Editor’s Note: This report is part of the Series on Regulatory Process and Perspective and was produced by the Brookings Center on Regulation and Markets.

Connor Raso

The Trump administration’s executive order requiring agencies to eliminate two rules for every new rule (“one in, two out”) has received a great deal of attention but little analysis of how it has worked in practice. Has the order chilled regulation that imposes new costs altogether? Or have agencies added new rules that impose costs while diligently eliminating old ones?  Or have agencies managed to skirt the order and issue rules that impose new costs without providing deregulatory offsets?  In short, how has the order actually affected rulemaking?

Improving Regulatory Transparency Through Retrospective Analysis

Editor’s Note: See also Retrospective Regulatory Review in the States: Arkansas.

From: The Regulatory Review

Given its recent advance notice, EPA should implement retrospective analysis of its regulations in several ways.

How well do environmental regulations perform? Are environmental standards “job-killing regulations” that merit elimination? Does environmental policy strike a balance of reducing pollution without undermining economic growth?

Thoughtful policy debates about the future of environmental regulation require rigorous, transparent evidence addressing these questions. Evaluating the performance of regulations—through retrospective analysis of their impacts, benefits, and costs—can play a critical role in informing these debates. Indeed, these analyses can illustrate whether fully-implemented regulations are making the whole of society better off.

Retrospective Regulatory Review in the States: Arkansas

From: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Scrap more than 800 rules, state agencies advise
Many regulations obsolete

State agencies want to repeal 830 of their rules, about a quarter of those in existence.

The agencies started with 3,380 rules that are under review by virtue of a 2017 state law that triggered the accounting.

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