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OMB Report to Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulation

Leave a Comment According to the Federal Register notice, the OMB draft report has four chapters. The following quotations from that notice describe the report's content.

  • "Chapter I presents OMB's estimates of total annual costs and benefits of Federal regulation and paperwork in the aggregate, by agency, and by agency program. It presents an analysis of the impact of Federal regulation on State, local and tribal government, small business, wages, and economic growth. It also presents estimates of the costs and benefits by agency of the major final regulations issued between April 1, 1995 and March 31, 1999 for which OMB could quantify and monetize impacts."
  • "Chapter II uses agency regulatory impact analyses to present quantitative estimates and qualitative descriptions of the benefits and costs of the 44 major rules issued by Federal agencies for which OMB concluded review during the 12-month period between April 1, 1998 and March 31, 1999. This 'regulatory year' is the same period OMB used for the first two reports."
  • "Chapter III presents OMB's estimates of the costs and benefits of major Federal regulations for which we concluded review during the period April 1, 1995 to March 31, 1999. We included only the regulations for which OMB had quantitative information on both costs and benefits. For these regulations, we applied a uniform format and standardized measures of costs and benefits to produce estimates that could be more readily compared to each other. This information is used in our aggregate and by-agency estimates of the total annual costs and benefits of Federal regulation in Chapter I."
  • "Chapter IV presents ten recommendations for reform of specific Federal regulations."

Opportunity for Public Comment

Due to the compressed time schedule, OMB requests that comments be received no later than January 21, 2000. The full report was not published in the Federal Register. Although the report can be obtained from the Internet at, the brevity of the comment period may make it difficult for all members of the interested public to submit their views.

At least one organization, the Heritage Foundation, has called for an extension of the public comment period. Consider the following e-mail announcement sent by Angela Antonelli, Director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

From: Antonelli, Angela
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2000 2:00 PM
Importance: High

OMB published in the January 7th Federal Register a notice announcing the availability of its 3rd Report to Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulation. The public comment period is a mere 14 days and closes on January 21st.

Unlike previous reports, this one was not actually published in full in the Federal Register. The very short notice provides a web link where you can download the 95-plus page report. If you are not lucky enough to have access to either the Federal Register or the Internet, you are basically out of luck because you need to contact OMB and wait for them to send a copy to you to review, which is unlikely to happen within 14 days.

This 3rd report is sufficiently different in format and content that the public should have more time to comment on it. If you want to ask for an extension of the comment period, you need to act immediately and submit your request for an extension of the comment period to:

John T. Spotila
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20503

John Morrall
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Office of Management and Budget
New Executive Office Building, Room 10235
725 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20503