Archive for April, 2019

#Eakinomics: How Much Power Does OIRA Have?

From: American Action Forum

Restoring liberty: Paul Ray ’08 revises government regulations

From: The Collegian (Hillsdale College)

By Joel Meng

“I think I have the best job in government,” said Paul Ray ’08, recently appointed acting head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

After graduating from Hillsdale College, Ray earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit and for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. In July 2018, Ray Joined OIRA as deputy administrator. In March 2019, Ray assumed the duties of acting director.

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OMB Improves Implementation of the Data Quality Act

Editor’s Note: OMB’s update today to its Data (Information) Quality Act implementing guidance–including its new instance that an agency which has “performed analysis using a specialized set of computer code, the computer code used to process it should be made available to the public for further analysis…”is consistent with international research standards for data transparency and quality set by the United Kingdom in its Joint Code of Practice for Research (JCoPR), National Environmental Council (NERC) Data Policy and NERC Data Policy Guidance Notes, and NERC’s Guidance on Preservation of NERC Model Code and Model Output.

Checking in on Regulatory Budgets

From: American Action Forum

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Eakinomics: Checking in on Regulatory Budgets

People have different capacities for suspense. I, for example, have been breathless about whether the Trump Administration could hit its regulatory burden targets this year. After all, fiscal 2017 and 2018 were simply remarkable. After 8 years of the Obama Administration increasing the private sector regulatory burden by over $100 billion annually, the current administration held the increase to $5 billion in fiscal 2017 and reduced the burden by $6 billion in 2018. Stunning. The mechanism for achieving control of regulatory burdens was using the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to assign each agency a regulatory budget — an amount by which its rulemaking efforts could increase the cost of compliance for the private sector — and those budget targets were either zero or a negative number. The budgets worked better than I ever believed they could.

OMB, OIRA look to address AI transparency, consistency

From: Federal News Radio

By Jory Heckman


In addition, the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs are both working on guidance, due for public comment this summer, focused on what Parker described as “consistency across agencies in how they think about AI governance.”

While the guidance will give agencies a better sense of best practices around AI, Parker said the administration is also looking to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.

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Trump’s New Regulations Chief to Oversee Major Rule Rollbacks

From: Bloomberg Government

  • Businesses, environmentalists fighting proposals for changes
  • Low-hanging fruit among Obama’s initiatives has been picked

President Donald Trump, heading into what may be his most consequential year for rolling back restrictions on companies, is counting on Paul Ray, a lawyer with a history of representing oil and gas interests among others, to lead his regulatory affairs office.

The easy cutbacks on rules are long gone, leaving agencies to slash at Obama-era regulations that took years of data, analysis, and lobbying to put in place. Automakers are rebelling against plans to ease emission standards for cars, while environmentalists are shredding the analysis supporting less stringent air-pollution rules.

White House Tightens Central Review of New Agency Rulemaking

From: Government Execuitve


By Charles S. Clark


The Congressional Review Act “establishes a mechanism by which Congress is able to exercise direct oversight of federal agency action in real time, consistent with its role as the sole constitutionally authorized legislative authority,” Vought wrote in his April 11 memo to all agency heads intended to “ensure more consistent compliance with [the act’s] requirements across the executive branch.”

White House seeks tighter oversight of regulations issued by Fed and other independent agencies

From: The Washington Post

By Damian Paletta

The White House on Thursday for the first time said it was requiring the Federal Reserve and other independent agencies to submit new guidelines for review, a controversial step that has long been a goal of conservative groups.


But in a memo on Thursday, Russell Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, instructed all federal agencies to submit a range of proposals to the White House so that a determination could be made as to whether they are “major” or “minor.”

Economists at the Federal Communications Commission study economists!

Editor’s Note: The FCC Working Paper, “The Organization of Economists in Regulatory Agencies: Does Structure Matter?” by Jerry Ellig and Catherine Konieczny is available here.

From: AEI


How does the paper reach that conclusion?

The FCC economists examined the quality of RIA across federal agencies. Quality was measured in two ways. One approach was to have multiple economists assess the thoroughness of RIA studies. The other approach was to adopt the quality measure developed by an academic study.

Presidential Memorandum on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

From: The White House | Presidential Memoranda

Issued on: 


(b)  The report shall:


(iii)   To the extent that certain types of data are not currently available to the Federal Government, or accessible in a readily usable form, recommend changes to the data collection practices of agencies, including specification of categories of data that should be collected and appropriate standardization practices for data.