Category Archives: Federal Rulemaking

Charles A. Barth named Director of the Federal Register

On July 6, 2012, the OFR Blog announced that Charles A. Barth has been named the new Director of the Federal Register.  Mr. Barth replaces Ray Mosley who retired this past winter.  See the OFR Blog for more information.

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Filed under Federal Rulemaking

Administrative Conference of the United States Recommendations

See Michael White’s post re: publication of ACUS’ recommendations at http://www.federalregister.gov/blog/2012/01/2273

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Filed under Administrative Law, Conferences, Federal Rulemaking, Uncategorized

Executive Order 13563 Published in January 21, 2011, Federal Register

On January 18, we reported that President Obama had issued an executive order “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”.  Executive order 13563 was published in the January 21, 2011, edition of the Federal Register (76 FR 3821-3823).

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Filed under Federal Rulemaking

President’s Executive Order Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

NPR reported today that President Barack Obama has issued an executive order improving regulation and regulatory review.  In the “It’s All Politics” blog post entitled “Obama Orders Regulation Review to Boost Business, Economy“, NPR states:

The president outlined why he signed the executive order in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

This order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth. And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. It’s a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades.

In the second story, “Obama Reaches Out To Businesses With Rules Review“, Ari Shapiro provides more context and reaction.

The text of the executive order has not yet been published in the Federal Register.  The text is available in a press release on the White House web site.

The President’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal is available online.

UPDATE:  1/19/2011.  The Federal Register’s Facebook page has been updated with a post that points to gov20govfresh.com and provides the number for the President’s executive order:

This article [http://gov20.govfresh.com/white-house-regulations-shall-be-adopted-through-a-process-that-involves-public-participation/] lays out the goals of the President’s Executive Order on regulatory review (E.O. 13563) and relates it to his op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on building a 21st century regulatory system. The article stresses that enhanced public participation is one of the key deliverables of the reg review process.

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Filed under Executive Oversight, Federal Rulemaking

E-Rulemaking Act of 2010 (S. 3961)

RegBlog (Penn Law) reports that Senators Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), and Susan Collins (R-ME) have in introduced the E-Rulemaking Act of 2010 (S. 3961).   As outlined in Section 2 of the bill, its purposes are:

(1) establish a framework for governing, managing and funding the next stage of the e-rulemaking program;

(2) enhance the capabilities of the Federal Docket Management System so that it can serve as effective core e-rulemaking support, while allowing the system to grow through innovation to provide for the development of new functions, tools and services, by both agencies and interested entities outside of Government;

(3) promote processes for discovering and disseminating good e-rulemaking practices and identifying and overcoming barriers to the evolution of e-rulemaking; and

(4) encourage all Federal entities that participate in the e-rulemaking process to work towards an accessible and interoperable docket management system.

The bill text is available from Thomas.

    • (1) establish a framework for governing, managing and funding the next stage of the e-rulemaking program;
    • (2) enhance the capabilities of the Federal Docket Management System so that it can serve as effective core e-rulemaking support, while allowing the system to grow through innovation to provide for the development of new functions, tools and services, by both agencies and interested entities outside of Government;
    • (3) promote processes for discovering and disseminating good e-rulemaking practices and identifying and overcoming barriers to the evolution of e-rulemaking; and
    • (4) encourage all Federal entities that participate in the e-rulemaking process to work towards an accessible and interoperable docket management system.

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Filed under Federal Rulemaking

Congressional Research Service Reports on Rulemaking

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has recently issued two reports looking at Federal rulemaking.

  • February 11, 2008:  RL34354 — Congressional Influences on Rulemaking Through Appropriations Provisions
  • February 12, 2008:  RL34355  — The Regulatory Flexibility Act: Implementation Issues and Proposed Reforms

The CRS does not make its reports available directly to the public. Open CRS — a “project of the Center for Democracy and Technology, … provides citizens access to CRS Reports that are already in the public domain” at http://opencrs.cdt.org/.

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“Best Practices in Regulatory Development” Conference, 8/21-22/2007

Dr. Stuart Shulman has posted the following to the e-Rulemaking ListServ:

Best Practices in Regulatory Development
http://www.epa.gov/opei/regconf/index.html

A Conference for Federal Regulatory Professionals August 21 & 22, 2007 Washington, D.C.

The Best Practices in Regulatory Development conference will provide a forum for federal regulatory experts to share best practices that could improve the future of regulatory development. The event will facilitate small group discussions, generate ideas, and inspire innovation.

Registration is free and open to federal officials who are involved in regulatory development in any capacity. It is open to all agency employees. The registration deadline is August 10, 2007, unless the meeting space capacity is met earlier.

Register now for Best Practices in Regulatory Development

Location

The conference will be held at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference facility at 1735 New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C. (view map). AIA is close to two Metro stations: Farragut West on the orange and blue lines and Farragut North on the red line. The facility is convenient to many nearby hotels and eateries. Wi-fi is available throughout the conference space.

For More Information
Tracey Westfield
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation Phone Number: (202) 564-5586

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Filed under Conferences, Federal Rulemaking

President Bush Amends Executive Order 12866 Affecting Federal Rulemaking Process

[NOTE: This is a repost, with updates, from the old Rulemaking blog which has been discontinued.]

In 1993, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). That order, according to OMB Watch:

. . . establishes the guiding principles agencies must follow when developing regulations, including encouraging the use of cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment, and performance-based regulatory standards. The executive order also establishes the regulatory planning process for each agency, delegating authority to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to coordinate agency rulemaking efforts with the regulatory priorities of the President. E.O. 12,866 also expands the roles of OIRA in rulemaking through a centralized review of regulations, whereby OIRA acts as gatekeeper for the promulgation of all significant rulemakings. (Source: http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/180/1/67, accessed 1/27/2007)

On January 18, 2007, President Bush issued Executive Order 13422 (72 FR 2763, January 23, 2007), and OMB Watch sounded an alarm. Analyzing the new order in an article entitled, “Undermining Public Protections”, OMB watch warns:

The revised Executive Order . . . is a further threat to public protections from an administration committed to elevating special interests over public interests. It codifies regulatory delay, further removes agency discretion over legislative implementation, and centralizes control over the regulatory process into a small executive office. It substitutes free market criteria for the public values of health, safety, and environmental protections, and substitutes executive authority for legislative authority. (Source: http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/3685/1/{category_id}, accessed 1/27/2007)

Public Citizen is also critical of the executive order, characterizing it as a move that “will threaten the ability of the federal government to protect and inform the public.” Public Citizen itemized it concerns, saying:

First, it requires agencies to get White House approval of many important kinds of guidance for the public, which would allow the White House to create a bureaucratic bottleneck that would slow down agencies’ ability to give the public information it needs. Agencies use guidance to let the public know how they intend to enforce the laws and regulations on the books.

*****

Second, the new order stresses the concept of “market failure” in its revised command for agencies to state justifications for new regulations for public health, privacy, safety, civil rights and the environment. Market failure is an economics term describing situations in which private markets, left to themselves, fail to bring about results that the public needs. This order, however, will be enforced by Susan Dudley, the radical extremist that the White House is setting up for a recess appointment to become the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Based on an evaluation of Dudley’s record in a report released last year, Public Citizen has concluded that in her hands, the market failure provision will become a barrier to the protections that the public needs.

Third, the order requires agencies to develop annual plans for upcoming rulemakings that identify “the combined aggregate costs and benefits of all … regulations planned for that calendar year to assist with the identification of priorities.” This new requirement will make cost/benefit analysis the central factor in setting priorities for needed protections of the public interest. (Source: http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2361, accessed 1/27/2007)

Other news about the order seems scarce. Searches on major eastern newspaper websites, and the news services on Google and Yahoo yielded only one other article. In that article, NewsInferno.com (http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/1402#more-1402) relied upon information from Public Citizen. Even the Wall Street Journal appeared to be silent about the order.

Part of the problem might be accessibility and the method used to amend the order. Executive Order 13422 directs changes at specific paragraphs in the old, previously amended order. After spending a significant amount of time searching online, it became clear that a complete version that integrates the changes is not available–at least not yet.

It will be interesting to watch the federal regulatory process and see if the fears expressed actually materialize.

NOTE: Executive Order 12866 was also amended by Executive Order 13258, issued February 26, 2002, by President Bush (67 FR 9385, February 28, 2002).

UPDATE: On January 30, 2007, twelve days after President Bush signed the order, the New York Times ran an article entitled “Bush Directive Increases Sway on Regulation.” The same day, the Washington Post considered the Executive Order in an article “Bush Order Limits Agencies’ ‘Guidance’.”

On February 13, 2007, the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, held an oversight hearing — “Amending Executive Order 12866: Good Governance or Regulatory Usurpation?Also on February 13, 2007, and April 26, 2007, the House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held similar hearings.

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Filed under Administrative Law, Executive Oversight, Federal Rulemaking

70 Years of Public Access — Federal Register Celebrates 70th Anniversary

At its winter meeting, Administrative Codes and Registers adopted the following resolution.

Administrative Codes and Registers Section
of the
National Association of Secretaries of State

RESOLUTION

The Administrative Codes and Registers section of the National Association of Secretaries of State hereby recognizes the 70th anniversary of the Federal Register.

On March 14, 2006, the National Archives and Records Administration and the Office of the Federal Register will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first edition of the Federal Register. The daily Federal Register was created to document the workings of our democracy, ensuring that citizens are well informed about the policies and actions of their government. Accordingly, the Administrative Codes and Register section commends the Office of the Federal Register for seventy years of service to the people of the United States.

The scope and complexity of governmental activity has grown enormously since the Federal Register began publishing in 1936. Now more than ever, we rely on the Federal Register for the accuracy and integrity of official information, for ensuring transparency and accountability of government, and for maintaining our system of checks and balances in administrative rulemaking and constitutional democracy.

For seventy years the Federal Register has been published every business day, without fail, providing indispensable information about the actions of the President, the full and exact text of the proposed and final regulations of Federal agencies, and many other documents that enable the American people to participate in the making of law and policy.

Whereas, the Office of the Federal Register is a charter member of the Administrative Codes and Registers section, the ACR wishes to congratulate the past and present staff of the Federal Register for their dedication and professional skill in this 70th year of publication.

Presented this 3rd day of February 2006,
at the NASS/ACR annual winter
conference in Washington, D.C.

[signed] Dennis Stevenson, President
[signed] Jane Chaffin, Vice President
[signed] Julie Yamaka, Secretary/Treasurer

Best wishes to Raymond Mosley, Director, and the staff at the Office of the Federal Register.

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Filed under Federal Rulemaking

Funding Restrictions Impact Federal E-Gov, including E-rulemaking, Initiatives

Yesterday, Cary Coglianese, Chair of Harvard’s Regulatory Policy Program, posted the following letter on the e-rulemaking listserv (see http://www.erulemaking.org/) from the co-chairs of the federal government’s eRulemaking Executive Committee.

December 19, 2005

E-Rulemaking Executive Committee Members:

Recently-signed provisions of the FY06 Treasury/Transportation/HUD appropriations bill contain restrictions on government-wide funding of E-Government (E-Gov) Initiatives. This significant legislation requires agencies to inform and secure Congressional approval to fund E-Gov initiatives including eRulemaking. The Office of Management and Budget and the eRulemaking Program Management Office (PMO) are aware of this and other Congressional appropriations restrictions and are working to resolve them.

At the current rate of expenditures, the eRulemaking PMO available funding will expire in mid-February 2006. In response, as Co-Chairs of the eRulemaking Executive Committee and in conjunction and concurrence with the OMB E-Gov Administrator, we have decided to allocate remaining funds to operate and maintain the current Federal Docket Management System, Regulations.gov. This will ensure continued operations and service for federal agencies that have already implemented and use FDMS/Regulations.gov as well as millions of public users of the system. In addition, in light of the funding shortfall, eRulemaking will suspend all further agency implementation and development activities, effective beginning second quarter FY2006. As funding is approved and received, the PMO will resume agency implementation and system development activities to the extent that resources allow. The eRulemaking PMO will keep the eRulemaking Initiative partner agencies apprised of any future developments as information becomes available.

We recognize that this action will impact E-Gov implementation plans for several agencies. We will continue to work with those agencies affected by this decision and renegotiated new migration and implementation dates.

We regret that this decision had to be made but are doing so in consideration of the importance of maintaining functionality for all of our participating agencies and the user community. If you have any concerns or wish to discuss further please contact us at 202-564-6665 (Kimberly T. Nelson) and 202-395-5897 (Don Arbuckle). We look forward to our continued collaboration on this important government-wide initiative.

Sincerely,

Kimberly T. Nelson
Co-Chair, eRulemaking Executive Committee
Chief Information Officer and Assistant Administrator
Office of Environmental Information
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Donald R. Arbuckle
Co-Chair, eRulemaking Executive Committee
Deputy Administrator
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Office of Management and Budget

Dr. Coglianese then followed this letter with some contextual information. The ensuing exchange of E-mails has explored the reasons behind the Congressional funding restrictions. This exchange is helpful for those of us looking at rulemaking automation projects at the state level.

If you are not a member of the e-rulemaking listserv, and this issue interests you, you should sign up. To sign up, visit the e-rulemaking web site and follow the ListServ link.

UPDATE: See related article at OMB Watch.

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Filed under Federal Rulemaking, Technology