GAO Releases Report on Status of E-Government Act


Posted by Pat Fiorenza

Earlier this month, GAO released a report highlighting progress on the E-Government Act. The report provides on some insights about the history of the E-Government Act, and some useful information for agencies going forward. The E-Government Act was signed into law in 2002, with the intentions of making information more accessible for citizens on the web. While reading the report, much of it sounded like the Obama Memorandum in 2009, for government to be more transparent, participatory and collaborative.  The GAO report states, The basic goals of the act are to use e-government to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of government service.” In many respects, the underlying philosophies of the E-Government Act and President Obama’s Memorandum are quite similar.

Whither the Regulatory Agenda(s)?


by Marc Freedman

Those of us consigned to the unique purgatory of watching the regulatory process look forward twice a year to learning what any administration has in store for us in the coming months.  The administration is required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as well as their own Executive Orders, to publish in the Federal Register in April and October (or at least Spring and Fall) the Regulatory Agenda.  The agenda lays out the plans and expectations of all the federal agencies with respect to regulations on which they are working.  It is one of the more beneficial uses of the Federal Register, and in these times of heightened concern for transparency in government, one of the best ways to find out what’s happening.

ITIF Report Details 50 Policies to Improve U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness

Editor’s Note:  Please see Recommendation #10.


by Michele Nash-Hoff

Last week, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a  report titled, “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Competitiveness Woes Behind: A National Traded Sector Competitiveness Strategy,” by Stephen Ezell and Robert Atkinson in which they stated, “A comprehensive strategy aimed at strengthening U.S. establishments competing in global markets is needed for the United States to boost short-term recovery and long-term prosperity…”

OMB Watch Supports DATA Act

Editor’s Note:   OMB opposes the Data Act noting that it “fails to embrace transparency as it currently exists in OMB’s standard way of how it issues guidance,” see OIRA Watch  for more about OMB’s views.  CRE appreciates OMB Watch’s support, discussed below, for Data Quality standards but notes that Data Quality standards and a correction mechanism are already contained in the The Data Quality Act.

From: OMB Watch

Regulatory Auditing at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Editor’s Note:  The following is the Abstract of a paper posted on New York University’s Law School website.  The complete draft is attached here.

by Alex Acs and Charles Cameron

A Poster Child for Regulation by Litigation Run Amok: The BLM Oil Shale Program

Do you want to have a major impact on US energy policy?  Simply have an NGO,  acting in the “public interest”,  sue the USG government  and obtain a settlement which is not subject to the procedural safeguards of the Administrative Procedure Act  nor OMB review under Executive Order 12886.

CRE finds it  incomprehensible that oil shale offers the United States the potential to extract over 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves, yet BLM has drastically shifted its policy position to one  which will prohibit the development of this vital resource.  This is especially troubling in that the 2008 PEIS BLM specifically outlined two additional steps of environmental analysis that would need to be completed before any oil could be commercially extracted.  CRE recommends the following:

An Interesting Take on OIRA

Those that have been involved with the development and growth of OIRA  recognize that it is sort of a nerdy, inside the beltway phenomenon.

This is no longer the case. Mr Israel Tucker who writes on, among other things, “Occupy, Banks, Politics, OIRA, NATO, Agenda 21, The Fed, & September 11” has written a page on OIRA.

Please see

Keeping the Independent Agencies Independent

Editor’s Note:  As CRE explained in “A Blueprint for OMB Review of Independent Agency Regulations” available here, OMB already has the authority to review indepedent agency regulations without any new statutory authority or Executive Order.  As CRE explained in a letter transmitting the Blueprint, available here, OMB should use their existing authority to review independent agency regulations.

From: Center for Progressive Regulation Blog

by Emily Hammond Meazell

U.S. SENATE: Collins regulatory bill sparks debate

Editor’s Note:  OMB has the authority to review independent agency regulations.  CRE issued a report entitled “A Blueprint for OMB Review of Independent Agency Regulations” which recommends that OMB review important proposed rules issued by independent agencies. This report addresses deficiencies identified by OMB with respect to the failure of independent agencies to subject their rules to economic and scientific analysis. CRE has filed its proposed plan with OMB, pursuant to Pub. L. No. 106-554, § 624. As explained in the CRE report, OMB can implement the recommendations without the need for a new Executive Order or additional statutory authority. See CRE’s letter transmitting the report is attached here.  The CRE report, “A Blueprint for OMB Review of Independent Agency Regulations” is attached here

The Stunning Triumph of Cost-Benefit Analysis

From: Bloomberg View

By Cass R. Sunstein

It is not exactly news that we live in an era of polarized politics. But Republicans and Democrats have come to agree on one issue: the essential need for cost-benefit analysis in the regulatory process.

In fact, cost-benefit analysis has become part of the informal constitution of the U.S. regulatory state. This is an extraordinary development.

To understand the point, a little history is in order.

When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, he was greatly concerned about excessive regulation. He was also aware that the federal bureaucracy was large, decentralized and sprawling. He was the boss, but he had limited tools by which to oversee federal rulemaking.