Archive for June, 2012

OMB wants government to be easier to deal with

From: Federal Computer Week

By Matthew Weigelt

The Obama administration issued guidance June 22 to show agencies ways and reasons to reduce their regulatory burdens and lessen the required paperwork for outside entities that need to interact wit the government. The guidance lists a number of steps to make those interactions less troublesome.

To continue efforts to decrease regulatory trouble, officials want all agencies to attempt to identify at least one initiative, or combination of them, that would eliminate at least 50,000 hours in annual burdens.

To help, the administration wants agencies to:

Agencies told to trim paperwork

Editor’s Note:  The June 22, 2012 Memorandum from Cass R. Sunstein for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, “Reducing Reporting and Paperwork Burdens” is attached below. 

From: Government Executive

By Charles S. Clark

Federal agencies should take additional steps to reduce paperwork in easing the overall burden of regulations on business, the public and federal employees, Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said in a Friday memo to agency heads.
In a follow-up to President Obama’s May 10 executive order titled “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens,” Sunstein gave agencies until Sept. 10 to list “three new initiatives producing significant, quantified reductions in paperwork and reporting burdens.”

What is it Like to be a Regulatory Practitioner?

From: RegBlog (University of Pennsylvania Law School)

John F. Cooney

On a personal level, I believe that the best reason to become a regulatory practitioner is that it teaches you about how the world really works.

I grew up in a remote area: Central Tennessee at the end of the era of de jure segregation. I have been able to use regulatory work to learn how humans in different and much larger settings organize themselves to try to solve complicated problems. I do not know who I would be without what I have learned through the regulatory work about how people act and how they try to accommodate conflicting interests and institutions.

Working with Regulatory Agencies

From: RegBlog

John F. Cooney

For  a practitioner, the most creative part of the regulatory process is in discussions with the agency that has been delegated authority to implement a statute. The discretion and flexibility, the ability to solve problems and accommodate conflicting interests, is greatest at this stage of the process. In planning presentations to the agency, you can draw on your entire education to develop policy arguments, based on any discipline you have studied, or drawing analogies from other areas in which you have experience.

Comment on OMB’s Draft 2012 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations

Editor’s Note:  The Mercatus comments to OMB are attached below.

From:  Mercatus Center/George Mason University

From the Desk of Richard A. Williams, Ph.D.

June 11, 2012

Mr. Cass Sunstein,
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,
Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Mabel Echols,
NEOB, Room 10202,
725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.

Dear Mr. Sunstein,

Can We Employ Evidence in the Battle over Regulations?

Editor’s Note:  The answer to the question posed by OMB Watch is: Yes, we can and we do employ evidence in disputes over regulatory policy.  The federal criteria for accepting or rejecting assertions of evidence are found here.

From: OMB Watch

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) recently asked for comments on whether and how to consider if regulations under development in federal agencies could have “adverse effects” on employment. Once again, the rhetoric coming from OIRA is reinforcing the distortions of industry groups, even while evidence shows that regulations are good for the American people and the economy.

“Lookback” Progress

From: OMB

Posted by Cass Sunstein

President Obama is committed to a regulatory approach that protects public safety and welfare while also promoting economic growth and job creation. In January 2011, the President issued a historic Executive Order, setting forth new cost-saving, burden-reducing requirements for federal regulations, and requiring an ambitious government-wide “lookback” at existing regulations. In response to that requirement, over two dozen agencies identified more than 500 reforms. Agencies have already proposed or finalized more than 100 of them.

Slashing red tape?

From: Las Vegas Review-Journal


The president, in the midst of a re-election campaign, has in recent weeks been frantically trying to counter the impression that his spending policies have led to massive deficits and an unsustainable debt, and that his regulatory priorities have slowed the economic recovery and killed job creation.

Apparently, President Barack Obama is the natural successor of Calvin Coolidge, a guy who was busy slashing spending and regulations from the day he first took office.