|The American Presidency Project|
|• Jimmy Carter|
|Executive Order 12044—Improving Government Regulations|
|March 23, 1978|
As President of the United States of America, I direct each Executive Agency to adopt procedures to improve existing and future regulations.
SECTION 1. Policy. Regulations shall be as simple and clear as possible. They shall achieve legislative goals effectively and efficiently. They shall not impose unnecessary burdens on the economy, on individuals, on public or private organizations, or on State and local governments.
To achieve these objectives, regulations shall be developed through a process which ensures that:
SEC. 2. Reform of the Process for Developing Significant Regulations. Agencies shall review and revise their procedures for developing regulations to be consistent with the policies of this Order and in a manner that minimizes paperwork.
Agencies' procedures should fit their own needs but, at a minimum, these procedures shall include the following:
(b) Agency Head Oversight. Before an agency proceeds to develop significant new regulations, the agency head shall have reviewed the issues to be considered, the alternative approaches to be explored, a tentative plan for obtaining public comment, and target dates for completion of steps in the development of the regulation.
(c) Opportunity for Public Participation. Agencies shall give the public an early and meaningful opportunity to participate in the development of agency regulations. They shall consider a variety of ways to provide this opportunity, including (1) publishing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking; (2) holding open conferences or public hearings; (3) sending notices of proposed regulations to publications likely to be read by those affected; and (4) notifying interested parties directly.
Agencies shall give the public at least 60 days to comment on proposed significant regulations. In the few instances where agencies determine this is not possible, the regulation shall be accompanied by a brief statement of the reasons for a shorter time period.
(d) Approval of Significant Regulations. The head of each agency, or the designated official with statutory responsibility, shall approve significant regulations before they are published for public comment in the FEDERAL REGISTER. At a minimum, this official should determine that:
(4) public comments have been considered and an adequate response has been prepared;
(e) Criteria for Determining Significant Regulations. Agencies shall establish criteria for identifying which regulations are significant. Agencies shall consider among other things:
SEC. 3. Regulatory Analysis. Some of the regulations identified as significant may have major economic consequences for the general economy, for individual industries, geographical regions or levels of government. For these regulations, agencies shall prepare a regulatory analysis. Such an analysis shall involve a careful examination of alternative approaches early in the decisionmaking process.
The following requirements shall govern the preparation of regulatory analyses:
(a) Criteria. Agency heads shall establish criteria for determining which regulations require regulatory analyses. The criteria established shall:
(b) Procedures. Agency heads shall establish procedures for developing the regulatory analysis and obtaining public comment.
(1) Each regulatory analysis shall contain a succinct statement of the problem; a description of the major alternative ways of dealing with the problem that were considered by the agency; an analysis of the economic consequences of each of these alternatives and a detailed explanation of the reasons for choosing one alternative over the others.
(2) Agencies shall include in their public notice of proposed rules an explanation of the regulatory approach that has been selected or is favored and a short description of the other alternatives considered. A statement of how the public may obtain a copy of the draft regulatory analysis shall also be included.
SEC. 4. Review of Existing Regulations. Agencies shall periodically review their existing regulations to determine whether they are achieving the policy goals of this Order. This review will follow the same procedural steps outlined for the development of new regulations.
In selecting regulations to be reviewed, agencies shall consider such criteria as:
Agencies shall develop their selection criteria and a listing of possible regulations for initial review. The criteria and listing shall be published for comment as required in Section 5. Subsequently, regulations selected for review shall be included in the semiannual agency agendas.
SEC. 5. Implementation.
(a) Each agency shall review its existing process for developing regulations and revise it as needed to comply with this Order. Within 60 days after the issuance of the Order, each agency shall prepare a draft report outlining (1) a brief description of its process for developing regulations and the changes that have been made to comply with this Order; (2) its proposed criteria for defining significant agency regulations; (3) its proposed criteria for identifying which regulations require regulatory analysis; and (4) its proposed criteria for selecting existing regulations to be reviewed and a list of regulations that the agency will consider for its initial review. This report shall be published in the FEDERAL REGISTER for public comment. A copy of this report shall be sent to the Office of Management and Budget.
(b) After receiving public comment, agencies shall submit their revised report to the Office of Management and Budget for approval before final publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER.
(c) The Office of Management and Budget shall assure the effective implementation of this Order. OMB shall report at least semiannually to the President on the effectiveness of the Order and agency compliance with its provisions. By May 1, 1980, OMB shall recommend to the President whether or not there is a continued need for the Order and any further steps or actions necessary to achieve its purposes.
SEC. 6. Coverage.
(a) As used in this Order, the term regulation means both rules and regulations issued by agencies including those which establish conditions for financial assistance. Closely related sets of regulations shall be considered together.
SEC. 7. This Order is intended to improve the quality of Executive Agency regulatory practices. It is not intended to create delay in the process or provide new grounds for judicial review. Nothing in this Order shall be considered to supersede existing statutory obligations governing rulemaking.
SEC. 8. Unless extended, this Executive Order expires on June 30, 1980.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:58 p.m., March 23, 1978]
|Citation: Jimmy Carter: "Executive Order 12044—Improving Government Regulations", March 23, 1978. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=30539.|
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