Archive for June, 2014
From: Legal Planet
Editor’s Note: “OIRA’s personnel contraints must be addressed. More specifically, sustaining necessary staff levels requires the active, directed use of the social entprepreneurial skills of the OIRA Senior Executive Service Corp.” —J. Tozzi, 63 Admin. L. Rev. (Special Edition) 37 (2011).
As part of a larger coalition meeting, TRSA’s Jessica Skerritt recently met with Sen. Angus King (I-ME), one of a group of senators newly elected in 2012. However, Sen. King is no stranger to politics, having previously served two terms as governor of Maine.
From: US News & World Report
The government needs to provide better analysis of new and old regulations.
The White House Office of Management and Budget recently published a draft report to Congress in which it estimated the overall benefits and costs of federal regulations. The OMB report cautioned about taking the estimates at face value, as it pointed out the numerous problems with them.
However, it omitted one crucial point: The OMB report did not estimate the actual benefits and costs. Instead, it summarized agencies’ best guesses as to how much their regulations would improve public health and safety. Yet, the poor quality of agencies’ regulatory analysis puts in doubt their ability to actually achieve the promised benefits.
In theory, the regulatory system in the United States is a bi-lateral relationship between the will of Congress, as expressed in authorizing statutes, and the actions of agencies, ordered to implement the statutory mandates they receive.8
Assuming a statute is constitutional, the judiciary’s role is to ensure that the agencies’ actions are faithful to the statutes. The reality of the regulatory state is more complicated because of additional checks and balances imposed by Congress and the President. The APA and the OIRA review process are perhaps the two most important checks and balances added since the Progressive Era.
Editor’s Note: For information on the history of cost-benefit analysis, please see here at p. 41.
Before a federal agency can issue a new regulation, it must usually prove that the benefits of the proposal justify its costs. In theory, this process makes vast swaths of the American regulatory regime more legitimate, efficient, and effective. But what about zoning, building codes, licensing requirements, and other state and local rules? These regulations, which can have significant impacts, rarely face the scrutiny of cost-benefit analysis.