Monday, February 27, 2017

Executive Order on Enforcing Regulatory Reform

The President issued an Executive Order (EO) last Friday designed to add teeth to his regulatory reform agenda. The EO requires agencies to dedicate an individual and a task force infrastructure to enforce his previous EO concerning two for one offsets for any new regulations at zero cost.

To implement the new EO, every agency must designate an agency official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO). They must also set up a task force to assist the RRO in implementing the EO.

Each RRO will oversee the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies to ensure that agencies effectively carry out regulatory reforms consistent with applicable laws. These initiatives and policies include:

  • Executive Order 13771 (under President Trump) regarding offsetting the number and cost of new regulations (eliminating two existing regulations for every new regulation and at zero increased cost.
  • Executive Order 12866 (under President Clinton) regarding regulatory planning and review
  • Executive Order 13563 (under President Obama) regarding retrospective review
  • The termination of programs and activities that derive from or implement Executive Orders, guidance documents, policy memoranda, rule interpretations, and similar documents, or relevant portions thereof that have been rescinded (such as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rules).

Each agency RRO must periodically report to the agency head and regularly consult with agency leadership. The definition of "periodically" and "regularly" is left up to the agencies.

The RRO, along with the Regulatory Reform Tax Force (RRTF), will be evaluating existing regulations and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, At a minimum, the Task Force must identify regulations that

  • eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation
  • are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective,
  • impose costs that exceed benefits
  • create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies
  • derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.
Although not part of the EO, it would seem beneficial for the RRO and the RRTF to solicit public input on what regulations should be repealed, replaced, or modified. Perhaps the RRTF could begin with provisions in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) that are ignored or not enforced that have no consequences for noncompliance. 

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