OMB’s Resource Management Offices and Agency Policy Control

Editor’s Note: For additional insights into Professor Pasachoff’s research, please see here.

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), part of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is often called “the most important government office you’ve never heard of,” for its vast but secretive oversight over agencies’ regulations.

Yet within OMB can be found an even lesser known but equally influential set of offices: the Resource Management Offices (RMOs), which together oversee the budget and related policy work of essentially the entire administrative state. These RMOs span five different policy areas: national security; natural resources; health; education, income maintenance, and labor; and “general government.” About 200 employees work in the RMOs, as compared to the approximately 40 staff members who work in OIRA. The administrative law community ought to pay closer attention to the RMOs’ role in the budget process and the way it serves as a mechanism for centralized control of agency policy choices.

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