MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT'S MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
On December 19, 2002, the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) submitted its annual report to Congress on the costs and benefits
of Federal regulations entitled, Stimulating Smarter Regulation.
An important component of this years report is OMBs response
to the statutory requirement to include recommendations for regulatory
reform. In our March draft report, we requested public nominations of
regulatory reforms. The public was encouraged to consider problematic
paperwork and guidance document requirements, along with regulatory requirements.
In order to encourage broad public participation and to
expand on the response to last years report, OMB also conducted
outreach activities to a wide variety of groups. As a result, approximately
1,700 public comments were received nominating specific regulations and
guidance documents for reform.
D. Graham /s/
Agency Response to Public Regulatory Reform Nominations
OIRA conducted a preliminary review of the public comments
and identified 267 rules and 49 guidance documents nominated for reform
by one or more commenters (excluded from consideration were comments that
did not provide specific information on regulations or guidance documents).
In our review of the 316 nominations, OIRA found that the rules and guidance
documents fell into several categories. This review was based on information
available to OIRA at the time the public nominations were processed.
The first category includes 92 rules and 12 guidance
documents that are under agency consideration or were recently the subject
of agency consideration. This category also includes nominations designated
by OIRA in last years report as high priority review
candidates. The second category includes 49 rules and two guidance documents
that raised issues concerning independent agencies. The remaining 126
rules and 35 guidance documents make up a third category of nominations
that OIRA is referring to agencies for their evaluation (they are listed
in Tables 13 and 14 of the Final Report).
Unlike last year, we have not ranked the
316 public nominations and identified high priority review
candidates. Instead, we have decided to evaluate the nominations through
an agency-initiated process because (1) the large volume of nominations
(316 this year compared to 71 last year) strains OIRAs ability
to develop an informed list of priority nominations for consideration
by agencies and (2) giving agencies the task of evaluating the nominations
will allow you to bring to bear on the candidates your extensive knowledge
and resources, which will provide a basis for selecting reform priorities
in consultation with OIRA. OIRA will continue to work with agencies on
reform opportunities during the inter-agency consultation process.
Accordingly, OIRA is referring to the agencies all of
the public nominations for their review. We are specifically requesting
that the responsible agencies consider the nominations in the third category
as potential candidates for reform. The public comments suggesting candidates
for reformand OIRAs summaries of themare available
on the OMB website at /omb/inforeg/regpol-reports_congress.html.
Attached for your convenience is a listing of the nominations, by category.
It is OIRAs intention that this agency review of
nominations be a merit-based process in which the consideration of nominations
is objective, consistent, and grounded in the regulatory principles codified
in Executive Order 12866 and the statutory authority of the agencies.
In conducting this evaluation, we suggest that agencies rely on three
criteria: efficiency, fairness, and practicality.
OIRA is asking that agencies complete their initial review
of the nominations for which they are responsible by February 28, 2003.
During these consultations, any rules and guidance documents that are
under current or recent agency consideration will also be discussed. Where
appropriate, OIRA may request agencies to report on their recent, ongoing,
or future activities concerning the issue(s) raised by the public commenter(s).
In cases where a final decision has not been made and agency activities
are underway, OIRA may encourage agencies to consider the public comment
and, where appropriate, place it in the rulemaking docket.
OIRA is also requesting that SBAs Office of Advocacy
review all of the public nominations and identify for agencies those that
it thinks offer the potential to reduce unjustified regulatory burdens
on small businesses. OIRA is requesting that SBA consult with OIRA to
develop a process for addressing these issues.
OIRA staff will be contacting your staff to schedule meetings
to discuss the public nominations. It is very important that your agency
review the nominations so that these consultations are productive. Your
staff may direct any questions regarding the development and analysis
of your evaluations to the appropriate desk officer in OIRA.
Thank you for your cooperation and prompt attention.