Archive for January, 2016

Revision of OMB Circular No. A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities”

CRE’s white paper discussing the revised federal standards policy, An Updated Look at the Federal Policies Governing How Agencies Use Voluntary Consensus Standards in Regulatory, Procurement, and Science Documents is here. The Final Revision of OMB Circular A-119 is available here. OMB’s Federal Register notice is here. CRE’s white paper on federal regulatory preference for consensus and market-driven consortia standards is here. Below are excerpts from Revised A-119.

Revision of OMB Circular A-119. OMB is revising this Circular in light of developments in regulation, standards, and conformity assessment since the Circular was last revised in 1998. These revisions reflect the experience gained by U.S. agencies in implementing the Circular since 1998, and concluding and implementing U.S. trade agreements, as well as developments in domestic and international regulatory, standards, and conformity assessment policies.

White House Calls On Federal Agencies To Avoid “Midnight Regulations”

Editor’s Note: If OIRA is going to be able to resist agency pressure for midnight regulations, it will need a strong institutional base.

From: NFIB

The last-minute rush to regulate

From: The Hill

By Sherzod Abdukadirov, contributor


Agencies rush to issue regulations at the end of the administration primarily for two reasons: to avoid delays and to avoid scrutiny. The change in the administration and the often-lengthy confirmation process for new agency heads that follows can disrupt agencies’ operations and delay regulations. Consequently, agencies try to get their regulations out before the outgoing administration leaves office. Alternatively, agencies may deliberately hold off on finalizing controversial regulations until the midnight period when they face few political repercussions and little oversight.

Midnight Regulations and the Decrease of OIRA Staff

From: Mercatus | George Mason University

Sherzod Abdukadirov

Every four years, the number of new federal regulations surges during the “midnight” period between presidential election day and Inauguration Day. This surge is seen when an incumbent president is reelected; however, it is considerably higher when there is a change in administration. Freed from many of the normal political constraints, administrations use the midnight period to enact sweeping and controversial regulations. Once finalized, regulations are difficult to repeal.

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