By Susan E. Dudley, Director, GW Regulatory Studies Center, ACUS Public Member The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) turned 30 this year and the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center is co-hosting a one-day conference to commemorate this milestone, featuring ACUS Chairman Paul R. Verkuil, current and former OIRA administrators, senior career staff, and other regulatory experts. OIRA’s staff of about 50 professionals oversees the regulatory, information collection, and statistical activities of federal executive branch agencies. OIRA operates within the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President and provides a function similar to OMB’s oversight of department and agency fiscal budgets. Its role, like that of the budget divisions, is to provide the President with a tool to check agencies’ natural proclivity to want more (whether it’s more budget resources or more regulatory authority). The office scrutinizes agencies’ planned regulations and collections of information, along with the analysis supporting them. While OIRA now can look back on 30 years, its survival was not always clear. Throughout its history, groups have charged OIRA with improperly interfering in agency decisions, and Congress has held numerous hearings regarding the appropriate role of executive branch oversight. Our conference on May 20 will examine the key regulatory oversight issues, challenges, and developments over the last three decades, and draw lessons for regulatory oversight now and in the future. Distinguished speakers include former administrators Jim Miller, Chris DeMuth, Wendy Gramm, Judge Jay Plager, Sally Katzen, John Spotila, and Susan Dudley, as well as current OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein, ACUS Chairman Paul Verkuil, former Congressman David McIntosh, former Ambassador Boyden Gray, and former EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. For a complete agenda and list of speakers, and to register for the conference, please visit the event website here.
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