Small Business Benefits From Regulatory Cooperation

            Last Wednesday, Advocacy attorneys attended the American Bar Association’s 5th Annual Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Institute meeting.  All of the panels over the course of the daylong event focused on new directions in agency rulemaking following the transition into a new administration. 


            Topics included the role that technology is playing in increasing transparency and accountability in the regulatory process, new methods that agencies are exploring to make the public comment process more effective, tools that agencies have at their disposal to increase flexibility in rulemaking, and oversight of rulemaking by Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and OMB. 


            The Office of Advocacy often works closely with OIRA and other federal agencies to examine the impacts of proposed regulations on small businesses and forward the concerns and input of the small business community to the Administration and its regulatory decision makers.


            Current OIRA associate administrator Michael Fitzpatrick participated on a panel discussion regarding OIRA oversight in the Obama administration, saying that centralized review of proposed agency regulations under the Obama administration “continues to be robust and active.”  Fitzpatrick said that OIRA has completed reviews of 136 proposed rules since the start of the new administration.


            Former OIRA Administrator Susan Dudley also participated in the panel and defended OIRA’s oversight role.  Dudley stated that the Regulatory Impact Analyses that OIRA reviews not only provide the public and the President with the facts necessary to determine whether proposed agency actions will increase the public welfare, but also provide a transparent view of the inherent trade-offs that regulatory decision-makers must balance when creating new regulations. 


–Jamie Belcore Saloom, Assistant Chief Counsel