White House releases 30-agency regulatory reform plans

Goal is to save money for employers and government agencies by reducing red tape

Following up on President Barack Obama’s executive order five months ago to reduce regulatory burdens, the White House on May 26 made available online 30 federal agency plans for eliminating some regulations.

The administration expects to save billions for businesses and government agencies during the next decade by a governmentwide push to eliminate unneeded requirements and reduce costly rules.

The agency plans were published on the White House’s Web site, where they are available for download, and also on the SlideShare.net online document-sharing service.


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White House calls for greater rulemaking transparency


As of May 27, the most read on SlideShare were those of the Environmental Protection Agency, 1,509 views, Health and Human Services Department, 729 views; Transportation Department, 689 views; and Treasury Department, 604 views.

Obama asked that agencies always consider costs for businesses when developing new rules, expand opportunities for public participation and ensure that regulations are driven by science. The order called for a governmentwide review of existing regulations.

For example, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration has an anticipated proposed final rule to save an estimated $585 million annually for U.S. employers through harmonization of U.S. hazard classifications with those of other countries.

The EPA said it would propose to eliminate a requirement for states to require vapor recovery systems at local gas stations, because most automobiles have effective vapor control. The estimated savings are $670 million over 10 years.

The Health and Human Services Department said it is looking to incorporate new technologies to reduce regulatory burdens. For example, the Agency for Children and Families is encouraging states to use electronic signature and document storage while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working to expand use of telemedicine, HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr said in a news release.

The Veterans Affairs Department said it is conducting a rewrite project of its compensation and pension regulations. The goal is to streamline the regulations to make them easier to understand and apply.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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