Search Results Archives: August 2013

August 15, 2013

Have your say on the Draft Deregulation Bill (U.K.)

Editor’s Note:  One of the benefits of transatlantic regulatory compatibility discussions is that they provide regulators on all sides to learn from each other.  Of particular note in the Draft Deregulation Bill is the following objective:

“putting a deregulatory ‘growth duty’ on non-economic regulators, bringing the huge resource of 50 regulators with a budget of £4bn to bear on the crucial task of promoting growth and stopping pointless red tape….”


From: Joint Select Committee; House of Commons and House of Lords

The new Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Draft Deregulation Bill has published its Call for Evidence.

August 14, 2013

A Framework for Benefit-Cost Analysis in Digital Privacy Debates

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

Published in George Mason Law Review
Adam Thierer


Policy debates surrounding online child safety and digital privacy share much in common. Both are complicated by thorny definitional disputes and highly subjective valuations of “harm.” Both issues can be subject to intense cultural overreactions, or “technopanics.”1 It is common to hear demands for technical quick fixes or silver bullet solutions that are simple yet sophisticated.2 In both cases, the purpose of regulation is some form of information control.3 Preventing exposure to objectionable content or communications is the primary goal of online safety regulation, whereas preventing the release of personal information is typically the goal of online privacy regulation.4 The common response is regulation of business practices or default service settings.5

August 8, 2013

New DOL Head Renews Push For Contractor Regs

From: Law360

By Dietrich Knauth

The U.S. Department of Labor has submitted two affirmative action rules for contractors to the Office of Management and Budget, which attorneys are taking as a sign the department’s new leadership is looking to jump-start an ambitious regulatory agenda that stalled during President Barack Obama’s first term.

The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs, the DOL division charged with regulating federal contractors’ employment and affirmative action practices, asked the OMB last week to approve two rules aimed at boosting affirmative action hires of veterans and disabled workers.

Former FDIC Head Offers Prescriptions for Fixing Wall Street

From: RegBlog

Christina Reichert

Financial regulation is vital to the U.S. economy because it ensures stability, protects investors, and provides security to borrowers.  That’s why Sheila Bair, former Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), wants to fix what she sees as remaining problems in the federal financial regulatory system.

At an event earlier this year at the University of Pennsylvania, Bair urged greater steps be taken to end the risk of having banks that are “too big to fail.”  For example, she supports a proposed bill, the Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness Act, which would require big banks to fund fifteen percent of their balance sheets with equity capital.  These compulsory funds would be designed to help prevent the resolution of larger financial institutions, or at least lessen the blow if they fail.

August 6, 2013

Agencies May Differ from their Expert Scientific Panels

From: RegBlog

Craig N. Oren

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a decision last week that allows an agency to differ from its expert scientific panel.  The case involved the validity of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) air quality standards for ozone, the chief constituent of urban smog.  The court upheld the primary (health-based) standards, but remanded the secondary (public welfare-based) standard for further explanation by EPA.

Ozone is a dangerous air pollutant.  Ozone has been linked to many effects on health (including, possibly, premature mortality) and on trees, vegetation, and crops.  The levels of the primary and secondary standards are thus very important in determining how much protection there will be for humans and the environment, respectively.

August 5, 2013

Proposal to give Congress more oversight of EPA regulations

From: The State Journal (WV)

Rahall supports measure giving Congress more oversight of EPA regulations

U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said Aug. 2 that he has joined with U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where Rahall serves as the top Democrat, in introducing “The Domestic Energy Production Protection Act” that requires Congressional approval of EPA rules with an impact on coal and other forms of domestic energy production.

August 2, 2013

OMB’s evidence memo deserves praise

Editor’s Note: OMB Memorandum M-13-16, “Next Steps in the Evidence and Innovation Agenda,” signed by the Director of OMB, the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, the Director of OSTP and the Chairman of CEA is available here.

From: FCW

By Steve Kelman

By coincidence, only a few days before I wrote my most recent blog post on use of evidence to improve outcomes in emergency rooms after the Boston Marathon bombings and to reduce binge drinking at Dartmouth College, a memo came out from OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell and three others in the White House about next steps in the evidence and innovation agenda. (Raise your hand if you didn’t know there was an evidence agenda.)

August 1, 2013

GAO Calls for Executive Branch Guidance on Regulatory Coordination to Include Independent Agencies and Stakeholder Collaboration

Editor’s Note:  In a new report on International Regulatory Cooperation available here, GAO concluded that

Ultimately it is clear that international regulatory cooperation requires interagency coordination. No one U.S. agency has the expertise or processes to effectively conduct these activities. Not only must regulatory agencies collaborate with other U.S. agencies, but they need to effectively collaborate with their foreign counterparts and affected nonfederal stakeholders.

One of the primary objectives of the regulatory review function is to enhance coordination.  CRE’s 2002 report proposing OMB review of independenent agency regulatory actions is available here. The GAO report’s single recommendation is reprinted in complete below.