Introduction to the Fall 2017 Regulatory Plan
OIRA also continues to respect and pursue longstanding principles and practices of centralized regulatory review. These principles, set out in President Clinton’s Executive Order 12866, emphasize that agencies should regulate only when necessary, when consistent with law, and in a manner that produces real net benefits for the American people.The Administration also takes seriously retrospective review and the imperative to evaluate the actual costs and benefits of existing regulations. The President’s two-for-one directive and the creation of a regulatory cap requires that agencies eliminate unnecessary or excessively burdensome rules as part of their regulatory planning.
Moreover, the Administration has reinforced the importance of fair notice and due process. In particular, this means agencies should closely examine their use of sub-regulatory actions, such as guidance documents, enforcement manuals, interpretive rules, “FAQs,” and the like. Such documents can serve an important role in explaining existing statutory or regulatory requirements; however, they should not be used to impose new or additional legal obligations or requirements. Accordingly, this Administration has encouraged agencies to take a close look at existing guidance documents to assess whether some of them should be withdrawn or modified, or whether their requirements should go through a process of notice and comment rulemaking. Limiting guidance to its intended purpose of clarifying existing law rather than making new law will provide greater transparency about the regulatory process and ensure that regulated entities and the public have notice and an opportunity to comment on significant changes in regulatory requirements.