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April 10, 2017

White House’s OMB Offers More Guidance On President’s Regulatory Reduction Efforts

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) released additional guidance to federal government agencies as they attempt to comply with President Donald Trump’s executive order to eliminate two regulations for every one new, “significant” regulation. (Click here to read more about that executive order, which also requires that federal agencies offset any new regulatory costs with reductions from the eliminated or partially eliminated rules.) 

The new guidance released last week clarifies that the executive order applies to “significant” regulations and guidance documents, including negotiated rulemakings and interim final rules. Deregulatory actions for compliance with the policy may be regulations, guidance documents, some international regulatory cooperation items, and information collection requests. The guidance clarifies that agencies that have statutory obligations prohibiting consideration of costs must comply with those statutes, but the agency will still have to offset the cost of such rules through deregulatory actions. Importantly, federal agencies will be able to “bank” surplus cost savings and regulatory eliminations for future fiscal years. Sub-agencies or components of agencies may share offsets within the same agency, according to the guidance, while only military and national security-related rules are exempt from the executive order. 

The guidance also emphasizes that when prioritizing regulations to repeal or revise, agencies should 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  • Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;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;
  • Are inconsistent with requirements of the Information Quality Act on quality and reproducibility of data; or
  • Are derived from rescinded or substantially modified executive orders or presidential directives.

Finally, the guidance directs federal agencies to solicit feedback from regulated entities, consumers, trade associations, and local governments during its efforts to comply with the executive order. The Metals Service Center Institute will be an active participant in that process.