UK Regulatory Policy Committee opinions: Departmental performance January to June 2014

Editor’s Note: The material below, from the UK’s Regulatory Policy Committee, explains the duty of regulatory agencies to perform cost-benefit and risk analyses  of regulatory proprosals. The material also provides the RPC’s most recent metrics-based report on agency performance. 

From: Regulatory Policy Committee

Data on the quality of departmental impact assessments submitted to the Regulatory Policy Comittee


Regulatory proposals are accompanied by an impact assessment (IA), which assesses and estimates the likely costs and benefits, as well as presenting the associated risks, of a regulatory proposal that has an impact on business, civil society organisations, the public sector or individuals.

Discussion: Alternative Regulatory Actions for Climate Change

Editor’s Note: An OIRA Watch reader sent us the following essay discussing the Administration’s climate accord plans. We think the essay is worthy of publication and its policy proposal is worthy of public discussion. OIRA Watch invites our readers of all perspectives to substantively discuss the climate change essay on our CCS DQA Interactive Public Docket.

Alternative Regulatory Actions for Climate Change

The Obama Administration is invoking its executive authorities to the fullest. More specifically they are negotiating a non-legally binding agreement among nations to establish greenhouse gas emission levels by country.

The Legacy of the Council on Wage and Price Stability

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

Thomas D. Hopkins, Benjamin Miller, Laura Stanley

Regulation in the United States became far more complex over the past several decades as new regulatory agencies with ambitious agendas were created. In response, Congress and recent presidents have implemented new regulatory oversight measures, with varying success. Regulatory agencies are often required to produce benefit-cost analyses for proposed changes to the regulatory landscape, but the quality of these analyses is usually disappointing. Even when the analyses are accurate, agencies sometimes forget the “first principle” of regulation: it ought to identify and correct a failure in the market being regulated. In the absence of a market failure, there is no need to regulate.

Obama hits the gas on regs

From: The Hill

By Tim Devaney

Groups that closely follow regulations are expecting the Obama administration to continue issuing controversial rules through the midterm elections, despite the political risk it could pose for Democrats.

With time running out on President Obama’s second term, federal agencies are hitting the gas on a number of regulatory initiatives that are central to the White House’s “go-it-alone” agenda.

The pace of rulemaking is a stark contrast from the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, when the flow of rules came screeching to a near halt.

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The OIRA Model for Institutionalizing CBA of Financial Regulation

From: Social Science Research Network

Ryan Bubb, New York University School of Law/NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 14-21

National Academy of Sciences on OMB Cost-Benefit Analayis (1990)

Editor’s Note: Since criticism of OMB’s regulatory review duties continues to be in fashion among even the most distinguished administrative law scholars, it is worth reviewing reviewing the 1990 report by the National Research Council on OMB’s cost-benefit analysis.

From: The Politics Of Benefit-Cost Analysis (Chapter 3: Valuing Health Risks, Costs, and Benefits for Environmental Decision Making: Report of a Conference)

R. Shep Melnick

Regulatory measurement can lead to actionable knowledge

From: The Hill

By Patrick A. McLaughlin, contributor

Scientific progress requires measurement, especially when working with a complex system such as the economy or the human body. For example, our understanding of the relationship between cholesterol and human health continues to evolve, but it has only gotten to the point where we debate the merits of “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol via a century of investigation and the development of measurement techniques. Similarly, although in a very different field, professional sports teams increasingly develop new, quantitative metrics of player performance in order to optimize team performance — as described by the book and movie “Moneyball.”

Reforming Regulatory Analysis, Review, and Oversight: A Guide for the Perplexed

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

Jerry Ellig, Richard Williams

Since President Reagan’s Executive Order 12291, all presidents have issued executive orders (EOs) requiring agencies to conduct comprehensive regulatory impact analyses (RIAs) for significant regulations to ensure that regulatory decisions solve social problems in a cost-beneficial manner. President Clinton’s Executive Order 12866, as amended by President Obama’s Executive Order 13563, outlines the principal requirements that currently apply. However, experience demonstrates that neither the executive orders nor the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance implementing those orders have been sufficient to ensure that regulation accomplishes important public goals without imposing unnecessary costs on the economy. Even when agencies conduct detailed RIAs, there are often significant gaps in the analyses.

Behavioral economics: come semplificare la vita agli italiani

Editor’s Note: The following is presented as part of CRE’s ongoing project to analyze, report on and engage with centralied regulatory review bureaucrats on an international basis. Readers who prefer an English translation of the following article may use a free internet translations tool, here and here.

From: L’Huffington Post

, Ordinario di Psicologia IULM, Analista del comportamento

Nel suo libro “Semplice” (Feltrinelli, 2014, 320 pag) Cassie Sunstein – coautore con Dick Thaler di “Nudge. La spinta gentile” (Feltrinelli, 2009, 288 pag), racconta la sua esperienza a capo dell’OIRA, l’Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs della Casa Bianca, l’agenzia federale cui negli Stati Uniti è affidata la supervisione del sistema di regole e regolamenti, con il compito in particolare di verificare che i benefici sociali degli atti regolativi superino i costi potenziali.