Nearly a month ago, I made predictions about what we might read in OSHA’s and MSHA’s regulatory agendas. The Administration’s regulatory plan is supposed to be published in October; it’s been an annual requirement since 1993 (see Executive Order 12866.) When I wrote my post last month, the Obama Administration was already a few days late releasing their plan. Today is December 1 and the President’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, the director of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), has still not issued it.
The regulatory plan gives the public a sense of the President’s and the agency leaders’ regulatory priorities. It also allows us to gauge their performance on meeting target dates for regulatory action. Last year the Obama Administration didn’t publish its regulatory plan until December 7. I attributed that tardiness on the OIRA chief’s newness on the job and his desire to put his personal stamp on the agenda. I don’t offer any excuse for this year’s delay.
Yesterday the OIRA chief was at Brookings Institution event speaking about E-Rulemaking.” The forum’s purpose was
“to explore how new technologies can promote more effective public participation and greater efficiency in the rulemaking process.”
I’m all for using technology to streamline processes especially when the results mean more protective worker safety regulations that don’t take 10 years to promulgate. I’m skeptical though when I hear stale rhetoric about efficiency and streamlining when OIRA can’t even meet the simple deadline for publishing a regulatory plan during the month of October.