by Lili Carneglia, Summer Fellow
Decreases in OIRA’s Resources While Rulemaking Increases
Since OIRA was established in the early 1980s, our Regulator’s Budget data reveal that the staff and budget resources allocated to regulatory review have decreased, yet the responsibility for oversight has expanded. While the full-time staff of regulatory agencies has grown 96% since 1981, OIRA staff has declined by 33%. Budget changes for OIRA have also been much lower than for all regulatory agencies since 1981. The total regulators’ budget has multiplied 8 fold while OIRA’s budget is only 1.5 times what it was in 1981. In the coming year, the requested percentage increase in OIRA’s budget is less than half that expected of all regulatory agencies.
The figure below shows the relative growth in OIRA and regulatory agency staffing. Whether these data suggest federal regulatory agency growth is excessive or OIRA’s is inadequate is open for debate, but the relative difference in their growth is significant.