Last year we covered
Executive Order 13,563 ("Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review") outlining the Obama
administration's regulatory strategy. One of the prongs of that strategy was
the retrospective analysis of existing rules that may be outmoded, ineffective,
insufficient, or excessively burdensome.
As a result of that government-wide
review of regulations already on the books, twenty-six executive agencies as
well as a few independent agencies identified initiatives to reduce burdens and
unjustified costs. Preliminary plans were released for public comment; final
plans were formulated later in the summer of 2011; and this month, agency
updates on regulatory reform became available on the White House page for a "21st-century
In a post on the
OMBlog yesterday, Prof. Cass Sunstein, the Administrator of the Office of Information and
Regulatory Affairs, highlights some of the featured plans and reform progress.
This is an ongoing
effort and, in fact, figured in the State of the Union address last week (the
full transcript of which is available here).
President Obama alluded to Executive Order 13,563 noting: "There's no question
that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly. (...) I've ordered every federal agency to
eliminate rules that don't make sense.
We've already announced over 500 reforms, and just a fraction of them
will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five
years. We got rid of one rule from 40
years ago that could have forced some dairy farmers to spend $10,000 a year
proving that they could contain a spill -- because milk was somehow classified
as an oil."
It will therefore be interesting
to see how the effort to eliminate regulatory burdens and cut waste will
continue to unfold, including the latest updates from independent agencies whose reports on
retrospective review are not yet available on the website linked to above.