Technology aids regulation reform

Agencies are beginning to streamline their regulations through techniques that include simply eliminating some regulations and through technology, reports Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, in a post to the OMB blog on June 4.

The entry concerns the governmentwide regulatory “lookback” that President Barack Obama called for a January 2011 executive order. 

“In response to that requirement, over two dozen agencies identified more than 500 reforms,” Sunstein wrote. “Agencies have already proposed or finalized more than 100 of them.” Agencies released their progress reports on June 4.

Among the highlights Sunstein noted: The Department of Agriculture has “streamlined its meat and poultry labeling approval process, creating a new, web-based electronic alternative to paper applications, making the process faster, cheaper, and more accurate.”

Obama issued a new executive order on May 10 requiring federal agencies to continue to scrutinize rules on the books to see if they make sense.

That order has three primary features. It requires agencies to:

  • Identify reforms that will produce significant savings, especially for small business.
  • Report to the public regularly on their efforts and plans.
  • Obtain public comments to see which rules should be simplified, improved or repealed.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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