Fortunately the Journal for Benefit-Cost Analysis held a forum where a unique group of leading authorities expressed their precedent setting comments on a recommended plan for moving forward on improving the management of the administrative state. The resultant comments establish the foundation for a deliberative discussion on the future managerial mandates for OIRA and the resultant management of the administrative state.
The above quotation is from an article published on the website of the American Political Science Association titled Management of the Administrative State which was authored by the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness. OIRA has become the fulcrum of the modern Presidency.
The aforementioned article encourages political and social scientists to become actively engaged in the management of the administrative state, a space heretofore dominated by the legal and economic professions.
We are mindful that the political science profession, as is the case with most disciplines, is confronted with the dilemma of “rigor vs. relevance” when preparing academic publications as forcefully explained in How Political Science Became Irrelevant –The field turned its back on the Beltway:
The problem, in a nutshell, is that scholars increasingly privilege rigor over relevance.
Kudo’s are due to the political science profession for making such a terse statement which not only has relevance to other professions, most certainly the legal and economic professions, but also to the substance of the documents to be chosen to guide the formulation of the principles to govern the management of the administrative state.
One of the most serious impediments to a modernization of the management of the administrative state is the staffing level for OIRA. The bottom line is that the relevant background information demonstrates that as a result of a number of decisions made by OMB Directors over a period of forty years that OIRA staff have been reduced by 50% from the level it had at its inception; the market is signaling a need to modify OIRA’s product and to expand its constituent and analytical base. Historically every Administration is sensitive to the aggregate staff level of the Executive Office of the President. Recognizing this concern and also noting that the staff level of the national security unit has doubled several times in recent years then a small reduction in their personnel allotment would permit OIRA to regain its lost ground.
However meritorious proposals are to improve the operation of OIRA they will have little impact unless OIRA personnel levels are, at a minimum, restored to the levels it had at its inception some forty years ago.