Search Results Archives: April 2013

April 25, 2013

FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Test Site Program; Docket No: FAA-2013-0061

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

Jerry Brito, Eli Dourado, Adam Thierer

In the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA),[1] Congress tasked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), sometimes referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, into the National Airspace System by September 2015. As part of that effort, Congress directed the FAA to establish six test ranges to serve as integration pilot projects.[2] On February 22, 2013, the FAA issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing the process for selection of the sites and a request for public comment on its “proposed approach for addressing the privacy questions raised by the public and Congress with regard to the operation of unmanned aircraft systems within the test site program.”[3]

April 24, 2013

Deadline, delays loom over ObamaCare rule

From: The Hill

By Megan R. Wilson

The White House is conducting a final review of a proposal from the  healthcare reform law that would cut federal grants for hospitals that serve  poor patients.

The facilities, known as Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH), are  eligible for state and federal funding to balance out the amount they spend  caring for patients who are unable to pay their bills.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spent more than $17 billion  on payments to DSHs in 2011, according to a Government Accountability Office  study. The Affordable Care Act aimed to slash those grants exponentially  from 2014-2020, starting with a $500 million cut next year.

April 23, 2013

Costs of New Regulations issued in 2012 Dwarf those of Previous Years, according to OMB Report

From: George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center

By Susan Dudley

The Office of Management and Budget quietly released its draft 2013 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Regulationson Friday, April 19, covering regulatory activity through the end (September 30) of fiscal year 2012.

Recall that, as the presidential election approached, the White House was widely reported to be restraining the regulatory agencies out of concern for the state of the economy.  Now that the results are tallied, however, there is little evidence of restraint.  By the administration’s own estimates, the rules it issued in FY2012 alone imposed more costs on the economy than all the rules issued during the entire first terms of Presidents Bush and Clinton, combined.

Agencies don’t report cross-agency GPRA goals, but OMB doesn’t explicitly require them, GAO report says

From: FierceGovernment

By Ryan McDermott

Agencies don’t report how they work together to achieve shared goals, or  goals that could use resources from other agencies, as required by the  Government Performance and Results Modernization Act, because Office of  Management and Budget rules for reporting don’t make that requirement clear, an  April 19 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf)  says.

That lack of information could hinder efforts to eliminate duplication and  overlap.

April 19, 2013

Lessons From France

From: The Washington Post

Overload of Regulatory do’s and don’ts stifiling France’s growth, critics say

By Edward Cody

ALBARET-SAINTE-MARIE, FRANCE — Although he is rich with 25 years of experience as mayor of this little town in the wooded hills of central France, Michel Therond gets advice from the bureaucrats in Paris almost every time he opens the mail.

One day’s delivery brings a directive stipulating that the sidewalks must be widened to permit two wheelchairs to cross paths without bumping. Another says the school cafeteria must be made accessible by elevator. Trees must be trimmed of branches six feet up their trunks, the orders go, and only government-certified technicians can change a light bulb on city property.

April 18, 2013

President Obama’s Budget Sets Regulatory Priorities Too

From: RegBlog

Sam Batkins

The long-awaited release of President Obama’s budget will once again ignite debate in Washington, D.C. over the nation’s spending priorities.  But the budget is more than a roadmap for federal spending; it also emphasizes the administration’s regulatory priorities.

In the budget, the administration touts its lodestar Executive Order 13,356 on regulatory reform, arguing that “the Administration carefully weighs the costs and benefits of rules – not by reducing difficult questions to problems of arithmetic, but by carefully weighing economic effects and also by taking into account qualitative factors, including fairness and human dignity.”

SEC Guidance on Social Media and Business Disclosures Stirs Controversy

From: RegBlog

Could social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter soon become a tool for tracking investment news?  Possibly, according to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), which announced last week that corporations may use social media sites to make business announcements without violating disclosure rules.

The recent SEC guidance states that making business announcements via social media sites does not violate the Regulation Fair Disclosure rule, also known as RegFD, provided corporations give shareholdersprior notice concerning which specific social media sites they will use to make disclosures.

April 16, 2013

White House finalizes national ocean policy

Editor’s Note: The National Ocean Council’s National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan is attached here.  The Appendix to the Implementation Plan is attached here.  The White House’s Press Release “Plan to Promote Ocean Economy and Resilience” is available here.

From: The Washington Post

Posted by Juliet Eilperin

The White House on Tuesday issued its final plan for managing the world’s oceans, outlining a strategy that aims to coordinate the work of more than two dozen agencies and reconcile competing interests including fishing, offshore energy exploration and recreational activities.

The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database and the Data Quality Act

Editor’s Note:  How does the CFPB perform it’s pre-dissemination review, mandated by OMB in its government-wide Information Quality Guidelines, to verify the quality of the third-party information it is disseminating?

From: RegBlog

CFPB Debuts an Expanded Consumer Complaint Database

Lauren-Kelly Devine

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced the addition of over 90,000 consumer financial complaints to its online database.

The agency recently unveiled the expanded database, citing the need to provide consumers with more information about products and services before making important financial decisions.  However, representatives from the banking industry have heavily criticized the public availability of the data.  They fear unwarranted reputational damage, noting that complaints are not fully verified by the agency before being released.

April 12, 2013

Regulations.Gov Should Be Controlled by the Federal Register and it Should Include the Administrative Record

Editor’s Note: For a perspective on and the Federal Register from a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), please see here and here.  With respect to the Sunlight Foundation’s observation that exclusion of independent agencies from the regulatory review Executive Order harms transparency, the NGO is correct.  For more information on the President’s unquestionable authority to require OMB review of independent agecnies, please see here.

From: Sunlight Foundation Continues to Improve, but Still Has Potential for Growth

by Andrew Pendleton