ACUS: Retrospective Review of Agency Rules — Request for Proposal
The Administrative Conference is seeking a consultant to undertake a research project that will study the procedures by which agencies engage in retrospective review of existing regulations and develop recommendations for enhancing or building upon the existing regime. Proposals are due by 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 5, 2014.
Periodic review of existing federal regulations is essential to a well-functioning regulatory system. Such reviews, among other things, are an essential tool for ensuring that existing regulations meet regulatory objectives without imposing undue burdens, that they have not been rendered obsolete by changing technology or market conditions, and that they do not require modification to address newly-identified regulatory gaps. Federal agencies conduct such reviews for a range of reasons and purposes. Retrospective reviews may be required by generally applicable or agency- or program-specific statutory provisions. Federal agencies also initiate review of existing regulations to, among other things comply with internal review policies, address changing technology or market conditions, or respond to public petitions.
Overlaid on top of these statutory requirements and agency practices are presidential review directives. Indeed, in recognition of the central importance of regulatory review, every presidential administration over the past three decades has directed federal agencies —through executive orders (EO) or other presidential initiatives—to engage in retrospective review. For instance, President Reagan convened a task force on regulatory relief whose mandate included making changes to existing regulations. Similarly, in EO 12,866, President Clinton required federal agencies to formulate a program to “periodically review” existing regulations.