May, 2009

The Future of Regulatory Oversight and Analysis

  • Susan Dudley

    Director, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center
  • Art Fraas

Key materials
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Every president since Ronald Reagan has relied on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the White House Office of Management and Budget to coordinate regulatory policy and to ensure new regulations are
accountable to the public and consistent with presidential priorities. Like those before him, President Obama recognizes the importance of this "dispassionate and analytical 'second opinion' on agency actions" and is moving to put his own stamp on this regulatory oversight function.

As this administration advances its agenda for change, many of its most important actions will be implemented through regulations. Compared to programs financed directly through taxes, the effects of regulations-their benefits and costs-are less visible and less well-understood. Particularly in today's economic climate, a careful and deliberate consideration of the effects of regulatory actions, facilitated by effective centralized review, is important to ensure that regulations best serve the American people.