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Regulatory Plan Clearly States Administration Policies
The White House's Fall 2003 Regulatory Plan provides the "Administration's regulatory and deregulatory policies and priorities." The Plan admits that federal regulation is one of the three fundamental instruments of policy implementation. The other two are federal spending and taxing. Every Administration, and every Congress, uses the federal agencies to implement what they believe to be sound national policy. The primary difference between this Administration and some in the past is that this Administration candidly discusses its federal regulatory policy plans and goals.

The Plan states, "The Bush Administration supports Federal regulations that are sensible and based on sound science, economics, and the law. Accordingly, the Administration is striving for a regulatory process that adopts new rules when markets fail to serve the public interest, simplifies and modifies existing rules to make them more effective or less costly or less intrusive, and rescinds outmoded rules whose benefits do not justify their costs." The Plan further explains, "The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the Federal Government's regulatory policies."

OMB/OIRA has taken three steps to implement these regulatory policies. First, OMB/OIRA sought public comment on its regulatory reform initiatives. Second, OMB/OIRA significantly increased the publicly available information on its reform initiatives. Third, "the Bush Administration has moved aggressively to establish basic quality performance goals for all information disseminated by Federal agencies, including information disseminated in support of proposed and final regulations."

The Plan explains that this third policy--assuring that agencies only disseminate accurate and reliable information--is primarily implemented through the Information Quality Act and through the agencies' Information Quality Guidelines. Under the Act and Guidelines, any "affected person" who believes that the quality standards have been violated by agency-disseminated information can request that the agency correct the information. The Plan emphasizes, "Although we are still in the early phases of implementation, agencies are aware that ensuring the high quality of government information disseminations is a high priority of the Administration."

One can agree or disagree with this Administration's regulatory policies. That's what elections are for. The Bush Administration does, however, unquestionably deserve kudos for explaining its polices and implementation process to the public.
  • Click for White House's Fall 2003 Regulatory Plan.
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