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OIRA Seeks Ways to Simplify Regulations

Posted 18 July 2012 | By

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a division of the Office of Management in Budget in charge of overseeing regulatory policy in the US, is calling on the public and industry to submit comments regarding ideas to make the federal bureaucracy more efficient by streamlining regulations.

"I want to know… what causing trouble for you?" asked OIRA Director Cass Sunstein in a video posted to the White House's website on 18 July. "What are we doing that we can be doing differently? What should we be simplifying? What should we be scaling back?"

Sunstein said the measure comes from a January 2011 Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama ordering federal agencies to conduct a retroactive review of all regulations to find where efficiencies could be found or regulations eliminated in their entirety.

Since Obama signed the order, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the withdrawal of at least one guideline and a policy guide. The first, a guidance document on lupus products, was withdrawn after the agency said it no longer reflected its current thinking on the topic. The second, a policy guide for blood products, was out of date as the result of numerous other regulations coming into effect."

The look-back provisions have not been without controversy, with some organizations saying they are largely ineffective and take up already-stretched staff resources at federal regulatory agencies that would be better spent acting on present needs.

Sunstein said OIRA will be soliciting comments on the White House's website, which contains a comment submission form.

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