Archive for May, 2013

“One of OIRA’s most important missions….”

Editor’s Note: The following is a brief excerpt from a Commentary article by Cass R. Sunstein, “The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Myths and Realities.”  The complete Commentary may be found here,

One of OIRA’s most important missions is to increase the likelihood that rulemaking agencies will benefit from dispersed information inside and outside the federal government. OIRA sees itself as a guardian of a well-functioning administrative process. Federal officials, most of them nonpolitical, know a great deal, and the OIRA process helps to ensure that what they know is incorporated in agency rulemakings. In addition, those outside of the federal government often have indispensable information, and OIRA understands one of its crucial tasks as encouraging the receipt and careful consideration ofthat information.


Rules of Engagement

From: Olin Business School/Washington University

by Alexis-Clair Roehrich

Another busy day for Olin students in Washington, D.C. in the Business & Government: Understanding and Influencing the Regulatory Environment course. Tim Keating, Senior Vice President of Government Operations at Boeing, kicked off the morning presentations with some tales from one of the most influential groups in the Capital: lobbyists.

A masterful storyteller, Tim shared eye-opening examples of the importance of developing relationships and engagement in ongoing conversations with policymakers. He discussed how essential grass-roots efforts have an impact on decision-making. Students may not become full time lobbyists, but they will understand the need to engage corporate headquarters and field units in the policy making process.

Progressives bang drums for ‘course correction’ at White House reg office

From: Greenwire

John McArdle, E&E reporter

In the obscure world of federal rulemaking and administrative law, yesterday’s gathering of progressives at American University was about as close as you could get to an old-fashioned revival meeting.

Grievances about the failures of the current regulatory system were aired, commitments to bring about change were reaffirmed and inspiring words were spoken.

“It is depressing, but the right attitude is to get your torch out and light it and march in the street,” said Rena Steinzor, president of the left-leaning Center for Progressive Reform (CPR), which hosted the event.

Policy Integrity’s Livermore discusses OMB study on costs, benefits of EPA regulations



Has there been a shift in tone on regulation during President Obama’s second term? During today’s OnPoint, Michael Livermore, executive director at the Institute for Policy Integrity, discusses the politics of regulation as Congress works through the confirmation process for several key regulatory positions. Livermore also gives his take on how Howard Shelanski, the president’s nominee to head up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, could affect the future of regulations coming out of this administration.

OIRA Directed to Work on Developing White House Open Data Policy

Editor’s Note:  The Administrator of OIRA was directed by President Obama’s “open data” Executive Order to participate in the development of the Executive Branch’s Open Data Policy.  An excerpt from the EO is below.  The complete Order may be found here.

Sec. 2. Open Data Policy. (a) The Director of the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Chief
Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and
Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
(OIRA), shall issue an Open Data Policy to advance the

Clearing the Air: EPA Benefits Outweigh Costs: Op-Ed

From: LiveScience

Gernot Wagner, Environmental Defense Fund

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is nerd heaven: a bunch of people getting their professional kicks from analyzing federal regulation. That bean counting may sound painfully lacking in glamour, but it’s incredibly important.

The OMB’s annual report to Congress on the benefits and costs of all major rules adopted by most federal agencies over the past 10 years shows how efficiently, or inefficiently, those agencies are functioning.  And the conclusion is clear: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comes out on top.

Who Is Running OIRA?

From: RegBlog

Lisa Heinzerling

In his revealing new book about his nearly four years as President Barack Obama’s “regulatory czar,” Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein describes a striking moment:  “After I had been in the job for a few years, a Cabinet member showed up at my office and told my chief of staff, ‘I work for Cass Sunstein.’  Of course that wasn’t true – but still.”