GAO on Regulatory Review: Processes Could Be Enhanced

Editor’s Note: The complete GAO Testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce, “FEDERAL RULEMAKING: Regulatory Review Processes Could Be Enhanced” (GAO-14-423T) is attached here. Below is an excerpt from the General Accountability Office’s insightful understanding of the history and significance of centralized regulatory review.

A brief explanation of OIRA’s review process provides helpful context for understanding why these findings and recommendations remain relevant today. Centralized presidential reviews of agency’s regulations have a long history and can be traced back to a program established by President Nixon in 1971. President Reagan’s Executive Order 12291 in 1981 expanded the scope of presidential reviews of rulemakings and delegated responsibility for this review function to OIRA. President Clinton’s issuance of Executive Order 12866 in 1993 established the current process and requirements regarding reviews of covered agencies’ draft proposed and final rules. More recently, in 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, which supplemented and reaffirmed the principles, structures, and definitions governing contemporary regulatory review established in the 1993 executive order. The basic procedures and requirements for the regulatory review process today follow the provisions of that 1993 executive order. This practice of centralized regulatory reviews is now well established as part of the rulemaking process, although it continues to attract some controversy and criticism.

GAO, FEDERAL RULEMAKING: Regulatory Review Processes Could Be Enhanced [Note omitted.]


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