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Sunstein Provides Guidance on Regulatory Review Deadline

OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein, Photo: Matthew W. Hutchins, Harvard Law Record

Federal agencies have three weeks to complete a preliminary plan for reviewing regulations, according to a new memo from regulatory chief Cass Sunstein, who also provided guidance for the post-May 18 deadline.

President Barack Obama kicked off the regulatory reform in a January Executive Order directing agencies to review regulations and recommend whether they should be modified or streamlined.

Earlier, Obama had lain out his vision for a “21st-century regulatory system” in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, writing that a “balance” must be struck between regulating for the public good and overregulations, which hampers the free market.

“Sometimes, those rules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business — burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs,” he wrote.

Obama’s Executive Order directed agencies to involve the public more in their rule-making processes and to consider cost-benefit analysis before implementing new rules.

Meanwhile, in his April 25 memo, Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said agencies should begin preparing for what happens after the initial May 18 deadline.

First, agencies should make their preliminary plans available to the public no more than two weeks after the deadline to “promote public participation and transparency,” the memo states. They should then take public comments into consideration, revise where necessary and release finalized plans not more than 80 days after the May deadline.

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