Wednesday, April 27, 2011

White House Suggests Timeline To Finalize Regulatory Review Plans In Accord With EO

Executive Office of the President, “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies”

In a memorandum, the White House has issued a suggested timeline for agencies to follow in finalizing their preliminary plans to retrospectively review existing regs in accord with Executive Order (EO) 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” Such plans must be submitted to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs by May 18, and should be finalized within 80 days after they are released.

Background. President Obama signed EO 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” on Jan. 18, 2011. The EO contained a number of principles and requirements relating to regs with an eye towards enhanced public participation, improved integration and innovation, increased flexibility, scientific integrity, and retrospective analysis of existing rules. These principles included being aware of the costs and benefits of a reg; making the regulatory process more transparent and including public participation; coordinating and simplifying regs to reduce costs and promote certainty; and guiding regs by “objective scientific evidence.”

Section 6 of EO 13563 also requires agencies to submit a preliminary plan within 120 days (i.e., by May 18, 2011) outlining how it will conduct periodic reviews of its existing regs to determine whether any such regs ought to be modified, expanded, streamlined, or repealed.

Observation: On March 29, the Treasury Department released and sought comments on its preliminary plan to retroactively review its regs in accord with EO 13563.

Suggested timeline. The memorandum sets out a series of steps that agencies are encouraged to follow after the initial 120-day period.

... Immediately after May 18. Agencies should make their preliminary plans available to the public within a reasonable period (not to exceed two weeks) after May 18.

... Days 1 through 30 after preliminary plans are released. Agencies should use the first 30 days after releasing their plans to engage in such public consultation via public meetings, Federal Register notices, social media, or other kinds of outreach.

... Days 31 through 60. Agencies should revise their plans in ways that are responsive to the public input received.

... Days 61 through 80. Agencies should finalize their plans within 80 days after releasing their preliminary plans. The final plans should be made available to the public and can be published on

... After finalization. In accord with the goals of the EO, agencies should write and design future regs in a manner intended to facilitate evaluation of their consequences and promote retrospective analyses. To the extent consistent with law, agencies should consider how best to promote empirical testing of the effects of rules both in advance and retrospectively. Additionally, agencies' plans should also be periodically reviewed and updated.

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