The Regulatory Blame Game

From: RegBlog

Cary Coglianese

Have  you noticed the pattern? A private company cuts corners on risk control; a terrible disaster occurs; and then politicians and the public blame . . . the U.S. regulatory system.

The  latest example: a Massachusetts drug compounding pharmacy that contaminated vials of steroids and caused hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis, including dozens of deaths. Even while the Food and Drug Administration was still responding to the serious public health threat, the FDA Commissioner had to answer angry questions from members of Congress. Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) told Commissioner Margaret Hamburg that the meningitis outbreak “was a complete and utter failure on the part of your agency.”

OMB Does Its Job

Editor’s Note:  OMB’s review of the EPA report demonstrates the triumph of quality control over fleeting sensationalism.  Under federal law, agencies are prohibited from releasing information until the quality of the information has been substantiated through a pre-dissemination review process, a process that OMB has statutory reponsibility for administering.  Moreover, review of regulations and related information by OMB and its Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is a long-established practice now in its 8th consecutive administration.  The result is a win for the American people in the form of higher quality and more reliable information and regulatory analysis even if it may be a loss for headlines-first-accuracy-later reporting. 

OMB approves functional affirmative action plan (FAAP) program


By Susan Schoenfeld, JD, Senior Legal Editor

The Office of Federal Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently announced that its proposal to revise the agency’s functional affirmative action program for federal government contractors was approved by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

OFCCP’s functional affirmative action program is designed to provide multi-establishment contractors that have large business or functional units with the option of creating AAPs that better fit their business needs.

GAO: “By not more closely following OMB’s guidance, other financial regulators continue to miss an opportunity to improve their analyses.”

Editor’s Note:  The GAO report “Dodd-Frank Act: Agencies’ Efforts to Analyze and Coordinate Their Rules” is attached here.’

From: GAO

According to the regulators, most interagency coordination is informal and conducted at the staff level. GAO’s review of selected rules shows that differences between related rules may remain even when coordination occurs. According to regulators, such differences may result from differences in their jurisdictions or the markets. Finally, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) has not yet implemented GAO’s previous recommendation to work with regulators to establish formal interagency coordination policies.


White House Releases Report On Border And Regulatory Cooperation With Canada

From: Albany Tribune

The White House released Friday two reports that summarize the progress made under two initiatives launched with Canada, that highlight how the two governments have worked together over the past year in a concerted way to advance perimeter security and economic competitiveness.

President Obama and Prime Minister Harper of Canada met on December 7, 2011 at the White House and announced two initiatives to ensure that the vital economic partnership that joins the United States and Canada continues to be the cornerstone of our economic competitiveness and security — the Beyond the Border (BTB) Action Plan and the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Action Plan.

Obama Regulators Enjoying Second Term Flexibility

From: Fox News

By Chris Stirewalt

“We’ve been disappointed that [President] Obama has been a tepid regulator.”

Randy Rabinowitz, director of regulatory policy at liberal group OMB Watch, talking to the Associated Press about a slew of new regulations from the Obama administration.

Republicans are finding some rays of sunshine this morning in new polls that show they may be starting to turn the tide of public perceptions on the fight over the “fiscal cliff.”

There’s a regulatory cliff too

From: American Thinker

Rick Moran

Via  Pat Hynes lobbying and PR shop, an  excellent round up of articles on what they are calling the “regulatory cliff”  that has almost completely been ignored by the media and even most  conservatives.

A  few examples:

Though  the fiscal cliff dominates headlines, Team Obama’s rapid expansion of  regulations cannot be ignored. “The growing cost of regulations  has been hidden from the headlines behind the fiscal cliff, but they should  not be ignored.” [Sam Batkins, “Lame duck regulatory deluge could top $100  billion,” American Action Forum, 11/27/2012.]

OMB announces sourcing savings

From: The Strategic Sourceror

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently announced that agency spending fell dramatically in the past year, due to the implementation of more strategic sourcing practices. Business magazine Government Executive reported that spending dropped $20 billion with new procurement techniques in place.

This comes only shortly after an October report from the Government Accountability Office revealed that various agencies not practicing strategic sourcing were missing out on billions in potential savings.

Big savings due to new practices

Regressive Effects of Regulation

Editor’s Note:  The complete Working Paper, “Regressive Effects of Regulation” is attached here.  Below is the Abstract and a portion of the Introduction.

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

By Diana Thomas