Modernizing Regulatory Review
The Presidential Memorandum of January 20, 2021 (Modernizing Regulatory Review) directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to improve and modernize regulatory review. As stated in the Memorandum, this includes modernizing the regulatory review process, enhancing public participation, and improving regulatory analysis. With respect to the regulatory review process, the Memorandum directs OMB to "promote the efficiency, transparency, and inclusiveness of" the process. With respect to public participation, the Memorandum directs OMB to ensure that regulatory efforts are "informed by public engagement with relevant stakeholders." And with respect to regulatory analysis, the Memorandum directs OMB to ensure that such analysis "promotes policies that reflect new developments in scientific and economic understanding," "fully accounts for regulatory benefits that are difficult or impossible to quantify," and takes "into account the distributional consequences of regulations" in order "to ensure that regulatory initiatives appropriately benefit and do not inappropriately burden disadvantaged, vulnerable, or marginalized communities." More information about OIRA's efforts to fulfill these directives is located below.
The regulatory review process is governed by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review), as affirmed and expanded upon by Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review). The Executive Order of April 6, 2023 (Modernizing Regulatory Review) takes new steps to enhance the effectiveness of regulatory review, improve public participation in the regulatory process, and increase the transparency and inclusiveness of OIRA's engagement with the public.
Draft Guidance Implementing Section 2(e) of Modernizing Regulatory Review Executive Order (OIRA is soliciting public comment on this draft guidance from April 7, 2023 through June 6, 2023)
Regulatory analysis is a critical input that helps to ensure that regulatory policies are crafted to improve people's lives. OIRA is working to provide agencies with additional tools to make their analysis even stronger by reflecting new developments in scientific and economic understanding, more robustly accounting for regulatory effects that are difficult or impossible to quantify, and helping agencies take the distributional consequences of regulations into account when selecting among potential regulatory alternatives. OIRA has revised Circular A-4. The "OMB Circular No. A-4: Explanation and Response to Public Input" document below provides more detail regarding these revisions. OIRA has also released draft guidance on assessing changes in environmental and ecosystem services in benefit-cost analyses performed pursuant to Circulars A-4 and A-94 and will be accepting public comment on this draft guidance. In addition, OIRA has published guidance to help agencies better account for competition effects when developing and analyzing regulations.
Documents related to the proposed revisions to Circular A-4:
Promoting Competitive Markets Through Regulatory Design - Administrator Revesz
Proposed Guidance for Assessing Changes in Environmental and Ecosystem Services in Benefit-Cost Analysis (OIRA is soliciting public comment on the draft guidance from August 2, 2023 through September 15, 2023)
Regulations set the rules of the road that affect our lives in myriad ways-whether it is by providing access to affordable medicine, setting standards to keep workers safe on the job, making markets fairer and more competitive, or reducing children's exposure to harmful toxins. A critical part of designing regulations that work is hearing from those who would be affected by them-the American people. Greater public participation leads to a more responsive-and effective-government that better addresses people's needs.
On July 19, 2023 OIRA released guidance to Federal agencies on how agencies can better engage members of the public when developing regulations.
Guidance Memorandum, "Broadening Public Participation and Community Engagement in the Regulatory Process"
Blog Post, "Making Government More Responsive Through Greater Participation in the Regulatory Process," by Sam Berger, OIRA Associate Administrator