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  • Washington Highlights

    OMB Provides Guidance on Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Costs

    Heather Pierce, Senior Director, Science Policy & Regulatory Counsel

    The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) April 5 released guidance on the requirements of the Jan. 30 Executive Order (EO), “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The new guidance supplements the Feb. 2 interim guidance and reflects the comments received in response to the OIRA’s request for public input [see Washington Highlights, Feb. 10].  

    The Jan. 30 EO requires that for every new regulation issued “at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and […] the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed though a budgeting process.” In addition, Section 2 of the EO establishes a cap of zero dollars for each department or agency for “the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations” finalized in FY 2017.

    The April 5 guidance emphasizes that Executive Order 12866 “Regulatory Planning and Review,” issued under President Clinton in 1993, remains the primary order that should govern regulatory matters. The new guidance also defines new terms and clarifies terms set forth in the interim guidance.

    Several agencies have taken steps to enforce the Jan. 30 EO as required by the President’s Feb. 24 Executive Order, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” which requires the head of each federal agency to designate a Regulatory Reform Officer to oversee and enforce implementation of the administration’s regulatory reform policies and initiatives [see Washington Highlights, March 3].