Bush taps risk expert to be regulatory chief

In a much-anticipated move, President Bush on Wednesday tapped risk analysis expert John Graham to direct the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget. As the head of OIRA, Graham would be President Bush's point man on the vast number of regulatory proposals churned out by federal agencies. Graham is currently a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and is the founder of Harvard's Center for Risk Analysis. OIRA's relationship with federal agencies is closely scrutinized by regulation watchers. While OIRA worked with federal agencies to craft regulations under President Clinton, the Bush administration may use OIRA to stop agencies' rules, as it did during the Reagan administration. The administration has already moved to scuttle Clinton-era regulations such as a controversial ergonomics rule and the so-called "blacklisting" rule, which sets ethics standards for government contractors. OIRA also directs implementation of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and has a hand in information security and privacy issues. President Bush has yet to announce who will serve as deputy director for management at OMB.
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