President directs agencies to review and improve federal regulations

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President directs agencies to review and improve federal regulations

The president  this week called for increased accountability and transparency in the federal regulatory system and the rulemaking process.  Government agencies were told to review federal regulations to ensure that they protect the public welfare, are transparent and allow open participation, but do not unnecessarily burden small business or hinder job creation.  An executive order directs agencies to ensure that regulations are: 1) consistent with the law; 2) cost-effective; 3) transparent, with opportunities for public participation; 4) clear and understandable; 5) less redundant; 6) based on objective scientific evidence; and 7) necessary to achieve stated objectives.  Within 120 days, each agency is required to submit to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs a plan for periodic reviews of existing regulations to determine which ones should be “modified, streamlined, expanded or repealed.”  Specific emphasis is to be placed on regulations that can be changed to reduce the regulatory burden on small business.  In conjunction with the executive order, the White House issued memoranda on regulatory compliance and regulatory flexibility.  In the memorandum on Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement, the president directs agencies to develop, within 120 days, plans to make information on their regulatory compliance and enforcement activities “accessible, downloadable, and searchable online.”  The Federal Chief Information Officer, the Chief Technology Officer, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are instructed to work with agencies to identify ways to improve the sharing of enforcement and compliance information throughout the government.  The White House memorandum on Regulatory Flexibility, Small Business, and Job Creation reinforces the administration’s goal of “eliminating excessive and unjustified burdens on small business.”  When agencies design new regulations and rules, they are instructed to pay special consideration to cost effectiveness and the potential burden placed on small businesses.

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