Bill would require cost-benefit reg reviews

letters@govexec.com

Federal agencies would have to conduct regular cost-benefit analyses on all major regulations under a bill introduced last week in the Senate.

Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced S. 2161, the Regulatory Right-to-Know Act, on Thursday. The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to submit a report to Congress every two years quantifying the effect of regulation on the U.S. economy.

"More information on the benefits and costs of regulation will help us make smarter decisions to get more of the good things that sensible regulation can deliver, and reduce needless waste and red tape at the same time," Thompson said.

The bill would cover all regulations that have a cost to the economy of $100 million or more, and would require the president to recommend ways to reform regulations that do not show benefits that justify their costs.

According to an Office of Management and Budget report last year, the benefits of regulations outweigh their costs. The dollar benefit of economic, environmental and social regulations for 1997 was $298 billion, compared to a cost of $289 billion, OMB estimated. The one-time OMB report was prepared at the Congress' request.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, has estimated the cost of regulation to be around $700 billion a year.

Policy analysts debate the value and validity of economic analysis for regulations. For example, OMB notes that assigning dollar amounts to benefits like clean air is difficult.

But Thompson argues that cost-benefit analysis would improve regulatory decisionmaking.

"There is substantial evidence that the current regulatory system often misses opportunities for greater benefits and lower costs," Thompson said.

Thompson's proposal is separate from a more sweeping regulatory reform package he is advancing on the Hill.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.