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Independent Regulatory Agencies Should be More Accountable Open Access

Should government regulators think through the likely effects of proposed regulations to see whether they’ll do more good than harm? Every president for over 30 years has thought so, and required executive branch agencies to analyze regulatory impacts before imposing new requirements, and to send them for review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget. However, because of their historical designation as “independent,” some agencies have been exempt from these common-sense requirements, making their regulations less accountable and well-reasoned than others. This issue has recently gained the attention of the President’s Jobs Council, the Administrative Conference of the United States, and legislators in Congress.

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