White House Seeks Public Comment on Potential New Executive Order that Could Significantly Change Office of Management and Budget Regulatory Review Processes

Kelley Drye Client Advisory

On February 26, 2009, the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) announced it will take public comment on a potential new executive order that could have significant impacts on executive review of proposed agency regulations affecting the vast range of businesses, organizations, and individuals regulated by the federal government.

OMB has taken the unusual step of inviting public comment concerning how the OMB process can be improved and, specifically, the principles that should govern the OMB review process. Because public comment is not required, and seldom sought for executive orders, the fact that OMB is seeking public comment here may indicate the White House is contemplating a substantial departure from Bush-era (and Clinton-era) directives which increased executive oversight over, and cost-benefit analysis of, a broad array of agency actions. It may also signal a diminished role the for OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

The OMB request for public comment provides an important opportunity, as the new Administration organizes, for companies and other entities regulated by virtually all federal agencies to explain and suggest improvements to these valuable OMB processes. Kelley Drye is encouraging our clients and friends in the various regulated communities to provide comments highlighting the important procedural roles played by OMB and OIRA. Kelley Drye will also be filing its own comments in this matter, highlighting and expanding upon the considerations identified in this client advisory. We are glad to promote joint efforts to increase the profile and decrease the individual costs of this effort.

Public Comments are due March 16, 2009.

The Government Relations & Public Policy practice has prepared a client advisory discussing the February 26 announcement, the traditional role of OMB and the potential new direction that OMB will take under the Obama Administration.