The Coming Digitization of the Regulatory Environment

From: Nextgov

By Mark Forman

Here’s what the U.S. can learn about digitizing regulations from two of the largest economies.


Government CIOs around the world should take note. If the World Bank and key reformers have it right, digital government strategies need to include digitization of regulatory approaches, removing barriers to economic growth and focusing efforts on violators rather placing equal burdens on all companies in an industry.

Reining in regulatory dark matter

From: The Hill | Opinion


Agencies are already required to contribute to transparency reporting through the twice yearly “unified agenda of federal regulatory and deregulatory actions” for recent and upcoming regulations. The agenda lists rules that go through the standard rulemaking process, but not guidance documents. An executive order should require the agenda to include guidance and other agency subregulatory directives. Each guidance document should also be classified as either “regulatory” or “deregulatory” to make their individual impacts easier to determine.

Financial Stability Oversight Council Calls for Regulatory Reform

Editor’s Note: The following is a brief excerpt from the FSOC 2018 Report. The complete report is available here.

From: Financial Stability Oversight Council

2018 Annual Report
3.12 Regulatory Efficiency and Effectiveness

While the regulatory environment has contributed
to improvements in financial stability and the
resiliency of financial institutions since the financial
crisis, new regulations have also raised concerns
about increased compliance costs and regulatory
burdens for financial institutions, especially for
smaller institutions.


The Council recommends that federal and state
financial regulators continue to work together
to evaluate regulatory overlap and duplication,
modernize outdated regulations, and, where
authority exists, tailor regulations based on the size
and complexity of financial institutions.

Managing the Monster


Lawmakers should be trained to limit excessive regulation.

One of President Donald J. Trump’s earliest executive orders, like those of many of his predecessors, was devoted to reducing regulatory burdens. This goal was not exceptional; most developed jurisdictions around the word have similar ambitions. The United Kingdom, for example, has established a policy that calls for eliminating three regulations for every one new regulation—although this policy is not implemented in practice. Canada and Australia have legislation dedicated to reducing regulation. Similarly, the European Union has an entire body devoted to regulatory reduction; related EU guidance notes are over 600 pages long.

Building Capacity for Economic Analysis at Independent Agencies

From: The Regulatory Review


The administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Neomi Rao, has argued that regulations from independent agencies should be subject to the same economic analysis standards and review procedures as regulations from executive branch agencies. Sixteen state governors and attorneys general signed a letter requesting that President Donald J. Trump issue an executive order to accomplish that goal. Former OIRA administrators of both political parties agree. Requiring economic analysis and OIRA review is also one of the statutory regulatory process reforms that enjoys bipartisan support in Congress. Legal scholars like Cass Sunstein, Jonathan Masur and Eric A. Posner predict that federal courts will eventually adopt the doctrine that it is arbitrary for an agency to ignore economic factors if the authorizing statute does not prohibit the agency from considering them.

George H.W. Bush’s Bureaucratic Legacy

From: Government Executive

By Charles S. Clark


Regulatory Reform

The Office of Management and Budget, run by Richard Darman sought to reduce agency spending and rein in regulations. In a push that Trump-era observers would recognize, the first President Bush sought to “weed out unnecessary and burdensome government regulations, which impose needless costs on consumers and substantially impede economic growth,” read the goal reported by National Journal in April 1992. “The Federal Register has joined Weight Watchers,” the publication observed.

70th Plenary Agenda: Comments Due Dec. 7 (ACUS Update)

Editor’s Note: See also Regulations.Gov Should Be Controlled by the Federal Register and it Should Include the Administrative Record.

From: Notice & Comment | A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

by Emily Bremer

The Administrative Conference will host its 70th Plenary Session on December 13th and 14th, 2018.  Once again, the meeting will be held at the George Washington University Law School, Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, 2000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052.  The Assembly is set to consider five proposed recommendations.  From the Federal Register notice, these recommendations address the following subjects:

Indonesia Institutes Centralized Regulatory Review to Overcome Regulatory Obesity

Editor’s Note: Translated from the Indonesian original.

From: Indopos

Institution Created to Overcome Regulatory Obesity

The Joko Widodo government will form a special body that will manage all laws and regulations. The formulation of government regulations relating will be coordinated centrally and then legislature will be consulted. The aim is to respond to too many legal rules in Indonesia that slow the pace of development.


Neomi Rao Was Right About Dwarf Tossing, Dignity, and Consent. She Deserves To Be a Federal Judge.

From: Reason

A defense of Brett Kavanaugh’s nominated replacement on the D.C. Circuit.

Seven years ago Neomi Rao, President Donald Trump’s pick to replace now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, defended the concept of “dwarf tossing”—wherein someone with dwarfism voluntarily allows himself to be thrown, while wearing protective gear, onto a padded surface. While invoking the example was no doubt provocative, Rao’s larger point dealt not with the sport itself but with the dignity inherent to making consensual arrangements.

Lessons in Regulatory Oversight

Editor’s Note: See also An Alternative To The Regulatory Accountability Act?

From: National Affairs

C. Jarrett Dieterle


Ultimately, instead of viewing legislative review as a silver bullet for deregulation, it is best to regard it as a measured effort to inject more democratic accountability into the rulemaking process. To be sure, this is unlikely to assuage the concerns of some critics; again, many commentators explicitly extol the virtues of keeping the rulemaking process less democratic and more technocratic. But in an era when much of the rulemaking process is coordinated by unelected, bureaucrats, proponents of legislative review would be well-served by arguing that providing legislators with a systematic method to review, influence, and even vote on proposed rules offers a welcome boost of accountability.