Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, following a period of public comment and peer review, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has finalized revisions to OMB Circular No. A-4: Regulatory Analysis. The Biden administration first announced actions to modernize the federal regulatory process in 2021. President Biden put forth an executive order in April of 2023 that takes new steps to make the process of regulatory review more inclusive and effective. The administration’s actions aim to improve public participation in the regulatory process and to make OIRA’s engagement with the public more inclusive.
Along with the executive order, OIRA released proposed revisions to “Circular A-4.” Circular A-4 is a document that guides federal agencies on how to assess the potential positive and negative effects of proposed and existing regulations. The revisions are meant to ensure that the regulatory review process promotes policies that are reflective of scientific and economic developments, accounts for regulatory benefits that are difficult to quantify, and avoids harmful anti-regulatory or deregulatory effects.
In response to the Biden Administration’s issuance of these revisions modernizing the federal rulemaking process, Democracy Forward President & CEO Skye Perryman released the following statement:
“The Biden Administration has taken a major step in making our government more responsive to the needs of the American people. This announcement puts an end to the era of analyzing 21st Century problems and solutions through a 20th Century lens. No longer will the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) be constrained in its evaluation of rules by outdated guidance, which emphasizes faulty or incomplete information. By equipping OIRA with improved methods to analyze federal rules, this Administration’s changes will lead to more responsible and effective decision-making that improves the lives of Americans. With this announcement, we moved closer to fulfilling the promise of a government that works for all people.”