• Video

Is OIRA Able to Serve Both Agencies and the Public?

Professor Sally Katzen explains the dual constituencies served by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) - administrative agencies and the public. Under different presidential administrations, OIRA may have different priorities. But the primary OIRA function remains the same - to impartially evaluate agency regulations and the effects of these regulations on the public. https://youtube.com/watch?v=Slw8H9Az9uE


The history of OIRA involves two different constituencies. First are the agencies and the relationship that OIRA has with the agencies, and we've seen differences in different administrations on that score. The other constituency is the public. One thing that OIRA has done and centralized review as a general matter has done over the years is be more or less transparent, more or less encouraging of participatory democracy, more or less accessible to those who are affected by regulations, whether it be those who are burdened by them, the regulated entities, or those that benefit from them, the regulatory beneficiaries. And so OIRA has walked, or some might say weaved between the public and the agencies, acutely conscious that it's in the executive office of the president and therefore has an important and visible role to play on behalf of the president. Over the years OIRA has had a number of administrators, and those administrators are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. They reflect the political philosophy of the president for whom they serve. So in democratic administrations the OIRA administrator would try to facilitate sensible, sound regulations and would be looking at the product of agency rulemaking to ensure that you were getting the biggest bang for the buck. That it was being done in the most intelligible, fact based way. Republican administrations have often been interested in deregulation, in eliminating regulations, as is the current administration. So while there's consistency you can have differences of emphasis on different syllables if you will, and democrats are traditionally a bit more pro-regulatory, republicans are traditionally more anti regulatory. But this provides a scheme, or an approach, or a mandate to take whatever action you're going to take, pro-regulatory or anti-regulatory, in a sensible, thoughtful, data based way.

Related Content