New Executive Order Requires Public Participation in Agency Review of Regulations

On May 10, President Obama issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to publish a semiannual notice of significant regulations that have undergone review by each agency. E.O. 13610, “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens,” is the latest in a series of executive orders and memoranda on the subject of regulatory review. The new executive order establishes public participation in regulatory review, setting priorities and accountability as mandatory elements of every agency’s regulatory process, which now must include review of significant regulations on an ongoing basis. “Public participation” must include a system for requesting and evaluating nominations of regulations in need of review.

The executive order requires that in establishing their review plans, agencies:

“shall give priority…to those initiatives that will produce significant quantifiable monetary savings or significant quantifiable reductions in paperwork burdens while protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment. To the extent practicable and permitted by law, agencies shall also give special consideration to initiatives that would reduce unjustified regulatory burdens or simplify or harmonize regulatory requirements imposed on small businesses.”

By requiring the agencies to publish reports on their review priorities on a semiannual basis and to make available relevant supporting data, the order seeks to make regular, ongoing regulatory review a permanent part of agency rulemaking.

—Charles Maresca, Director of Interagency Affairs

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