The Penn Program on Regulation’s Regulatory Review is featuring a series of essays on “Using Rigorous Policy Pilots to Improve Governance.”

The series continues a conversation sparked at the May 30, 2019, Workshop on Rigorous Policy Pilots. The workshop, organized by Santa Clara Law Professor Colleen V. Chien, brought together experts from the public and private sectors and academia to “share best practices, increase capacity, and build a community of practice around the use of rigorous policy pilots in making law and policy.”

ACUS co-sponsored the workshop along with the Partnership for Public Service, the Columbia Center for Constitutional Governance, the Santa Clara University High Tech Law Institute, and the Penn Program on Regulation.

ACUS Attorney Advisor Todd Rubin and Research Director Reeve Bull moderated a “Cross-Agency Dialogue on Policy Pilots” with officials from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Energy, Education, and Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

These efforts build on past ACUS recommendations which encourage agencies to collect and analyze reliable data to learn from regulatory experience and study policy options.

In Recommendation 2014-5, Retrospective Review of Agency Rules, ACUS urged agencies to “remain mindful of their existing body of regulations and the ever-present possibility that those regulations may need to be modified, strengthened, or eliminated in order to achieve statutory goals while minimizing regulatory burdens.”

The Recommendation, among other things, encouraged agencies to “make a plan for assessing existing regulations and to design new regulations in a way that will make later retrospective review easier and more effective” and offered best practices for integrating retrospective review into new regulations.

In Recommendation 2017-6, Learning from Regulatory Experience, ACUS encouraged agencies to collect data and conduct reliable analysis to “learn the most effective way to design their rules and analyze the effects of these rules” and to “learn more about the effectiveness of policy options.”

The Regulatory Review will publish new essays on “Using Rigorous Policy Pilots to Improve Governance” through December 6. The series includes essays by Reeve Bull, Todd Rubin, ACUS Senior Fellow and former Vice Chair Sally Katzen, and 11 other scholars, agency officials, and practitioners.

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