By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to modernize our regulatory system and to reduce unjustified regulatory burdens and costs, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Regulations play an indispensable role in protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment, but they can also impose significant burdens and costs. During challenging economic times, we should be especially careful not to impose unjustified regulatory requirements. For this reason, it is particularly important for agencies to conduct retrospective analyses of existing rules to examine whether they remain justified and whether they should be modified or streamlined in light of changed circumstances, including the rise of new technologies.
Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), states that our regulatory system "must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements." To promote this goal, that Executive Order requires agencies not merely to conduct a single exercise, but to engage in "periodic review of existing significant regulations." Pursuant to section 6(b) of that Executive Order, agencies are required to develop retrospective review plans to review existing significant regulations in order to "determine whether any such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed." The purpose of this requirement is to "make the agency's regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives."
In response to Executive Order 13563, agencies have developed and made available for public comment retrospective review plans that identify over five hundred initiatives. A small fraction of those initiatives, already finalized or formally proposed to the public, are anticipated to eliminate billions of dollars in regulatory costs and tens of millions of hours in annual paperwork burdens. Significantly larger savings are anticipated as the plans are implemented and as action is taken on additional initiatives.
As a matter of longstanding practice and to satisfy statutory obligations, many agencies engaged in periodic review of existing regulations prior to the issuance of Executive Order 13563. But further steps should be taken, consistent with law, agency resources, and regulatory priorities, to promote public participation in retrospective review, to modernize our regulatory system, and to institutionalize regular assessment of significant regulations.
Sec. 2. Public Participation in Retrospective Review. Members of the public, including those directly and indirectly affected by regulations, as well as State, local, and tribal governments, have important information about the actual effects of existing regulations. For this reason, and consistent with Executive Order 13563, agencies shall invite, on a regular basis (to be determined by the agency head in consultation with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)), public suggestions about regulations in need of retrospective review and about appropriate modifications to such regulations. To promote an open exchange of information, retrospective analyses of regulations, including supporting data, shall be released to the public online wherever practicable.
Sec. 3. Setting Priorities. In implementing and improving their retrospective review plans, and in considering retrospective review suggestions from the public, agencies shall give priority, consistent with law, to those initiatives that will produce significant quantifiable monetary savings or significant quantifiable reductions in paperwork burdens while protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment. To the extent practicable and permitted by law, agencies shall also give special consideration to initiatives that would reduce unjustified regulatory burdens or simplify or harmonize regulatory requirements imposed on small businesses. Consistent with Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review), agencies shall give consideration to the cumulative effects of their own regulations, including cumulative burdens, and shall to the extent practicable and consistent with law give priority to reforms that would make significant progress in reducing those burdens while protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment.
Sec. 4. Accountability. Agencies shall regularly report on the status of their retrospective review efforts to OIRA. Agency reports should describe progress, anticipated accomplishments, and proposed timelines for relevant actions, with an emphasis on the priorities described in section 3 of this order. Agencies shall submit draft reports to OIRA on September 10, 2012, and on the second Monday of January and July for each year thereafter, unless directed otherwise through subsequent guidance from OIRA. Agencies shall make final reports available to the public within a reasonable period (not to exceed three weeks from the date of submission of draft reports to OIRA).
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) For purposes of this order, "agency" means any authority of the United States that is an "agency" under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
The White House,
May 10, 2012.