Regulatory agencies' streamlining plans due in 3 months

Monday - 7/11/2011, 7:30pm EDT

By Courtney Thompson
Federal News Radio

The Office of Management and Budget is giving independent regulatory agencies three months to issue a streamlining plan.

The Executive Order issued today builds on progress from preliminary plans to improve regulation efforts.

Cass Sunstein, the administrator at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), said that the language in the order is clearer and more direct than the previous order issued in January.

"We are hopeful that this will be viewed receptively by independent regulatory agencies as a whole," Sunstein said.

In a memo accompanying the order, President Obama said, "I hope you see this as an opportunity to do something big and lasting -- to change the ways of Washington; to focus on what works; and to forge a 21st-century regulatory system that makes our economy stronger and more competitive, while we meet our fundamental responsibilities to one another."

Sunstein said the so-called "look-back" plan, as it's dubbed by the White House, has produced benefits for participating agencies in the form of millions of hours of less paperwork as well as more than a million dollars in annual regulatory costs.

"In the long-run we hope and believe that this is going to cause a big change in how regulation works in this country, with hundreds of reform proposals on the preliminary plans which promise billions of dollars in savings beyond what we've been able to deliver so far," Sunstein said.

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Courtney Thompson is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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