OMB crowdsources regulatory reform

Crowdsourcing has lately been a popular way to gather ideas and information from an array of sources. Now, the Oama administration is taking that avenue to ask citizens to chime in on how to help them overhaul and simplify rules and regulations.

Writing for the OMBlog, Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said the administration wants to hear from the public on which rules should be eliminated, streamlined or made more effective. Citizens are also encouraged to share their insight on how to decrease reporting and paperwork burdens, as well as the best way to cut regulatory costs.

A January 2011 directive requires all executive agencies to do a sweeping review of regulations on the books to explore what’s working and what isn’t, and what can be streamlined or eliminated. More than two dozen agencies responded with regulatory reform plans, listing more than 800 initiatives, Sunstein said.

“We are already seeing big results,” he wrote July 18. “Just a small fraction of those initiatives, already finalized or formally proposed to the public, will save more than $10 billion over the next five years. Far more savings are expected as the plans are implemented and improved.”

Since May 2012, executive agencies have focused on making regulatory reform a continuing responsibility. Part of that effort is to engage with the public to get suggestions on which regulations should be improved or eliminated completely. All agencies are required to prioritize reforms that would see significant savings or big reductions in paperwork and reporting burdens. Finally, agencies must report regularly to the public on their progress.

The next progress reports are due in the fall, and to make the review “as ambitious as possible,” members of the public are urged to submit offer their ideas at All submissions will be carefully considered, Sunstein said.


About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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Reader comments

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 Joseph Perez St. Louis, Missouri

(1). Require all agencies to change their computer systems to ensure that businesses only report a single data item one time and are not required to repeat the same information on every report. (Data de-duplication). (2). Concentrate efforts to repeal all regulatory requirements that absolutely provide no benefit, concentrating on the ones that have been on the books for eons. (3) Apply the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) concept when writing regulations. Understanding what the government requires is a burdensome task for businesses.

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