OMB to Direct Federal Agencies to Write Clear and Simplified Summaries of Rules

Have you ever had the pleasure of reading the Federal Register? For those that have to decipher, translate, and live with the implications of federal rulemakings, trying to understand them can cause significant frustration or perhaps be a cure for insomnia. Here's hoping that a recent announcement by Cass Sunstein, the Director of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, will offer state governments some future relief.

On January 6, Mr. Sunstein posted a statement on OMB's blog that "the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has directed agencies to provide the public with brief, straightforward executive summaries of all complex and lengthy rules. These summaries will include separate descriptions of all key provisions and policy choices. They will explain the need for the rule and offer a succinct statement of its legal basis. The summaries will also include a table describing the costs and benefits of the rule."

This decision by OMB is meant to dovetail with the Administration's efforts like Executive Order 13563  to provide a "regulatory lookback" to determine if some existing rules or procedures are outdated or unjustified.

To read the OMB posting, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/06/point