FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Harry M. Seidman
White House Order and Guidance on Regulatory Review Reflect Administrative Conference Recommendations
Washington, D.C., April 10, 2023 – Recent White House actions implemented recommendations of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS).
An executive order, issued by President Biden last week to “modernize the regulatory process,” made several important changes to the regulatory review process. Notably, it changed when the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviews agency rules and how agencies analyze the effects of their regulations, including the extent to which they promote distributional fairness and advance equity.
OIRA is seeking public comment on proposed changes to longstanding guidance on regulatory analysis. The proposed changes reference ACUS Recommendation 2011-6, International Regulatory Cooperation, key features of which were incorporated into a 2012 executive order.
In the new executive order, President Biden also calls for agencies to actively engage interested or affected parties in the regulatory process, including underserved communities. A memorandum OIRA issued to help agencies implement the executive order, propose strategies to encourage public participation, reflecting best practices set forth in several ACUS recommendations, including:
- Recommendation 2022-2, Improving Notice of Regulatory Changes
- Recommendation 2021-3, Early Input on Regulatory Alternatives
- Recommendation 2020-1, Rules on Rulemakings
- Recommendation 2018-7, Public Engagement in Rulemaking
- Recommendation 2013-5, Social Media in Rulemaking
The executive order directs agencies to improve processes by which interested persons can petition them to issue, amend, or repeal rules. The OIRA memorandum proposes strategies to do so, drawing heavily on Recommendations 2014-6 and 86-6, both titled Petitions for Rulemaking.
Additionally, the executive order directs OIRA to “consider guidance or tools to modernize the notice-and-comment process, including through technological changes,” including guidance or tools to address mass, computer-generated, and falsely attributed comments. As the OIRA memorandum emphasizes, ACUS Recommendation 2021-1 provides a comprehensive set of recommendations to help agencies manage these comments.
ACUS Chair, Andrew Fois, said the following: “We are delighted that the Administration has adopted so many ACUS recommendations to make executive agencies more modern, accessible, and fair. These changes will help implement the ACUS mission of making government work better.”
The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent, non-partisan federal agency within the executive branch dedicated to improving administrative law and federal regulatory processes. It conducts applied research, and provides expert recommendations and other advice, to improve federal agency procedures. Its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics, and other experts from the private sector. Since 1968, ACUS has issued hundreds of recommendations, published reports and reference guides, and organized forums to improve the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of administrative processes such as rulemaking and adjudication. Many have resulted in reforms by federal agencies, the President, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States. Learn more at www.acus.gov.