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Letter to the Heads of Independent Regulatory Agencies on Improving Government Regulations

March 23, 1978

Today I issued an Executive Order to improve government regulations. This Order will open up new opportunities for public participation in the regulatory process, require regulations to be clearer and more understandable, and assure more effective oversight of the development of agency regulations.

I believe that this effort is one of the most important reform initiatives to be undertaken by my Administration. I have asked the members of the Cabinet and other agency heads to give personal priority and attention to implementing the Order. To be fully effective and achieve the full range of needed improvements, I believe that it would be useful for the independent regulatory commissions to initiate a voluntary effort to achieve similar procedural reforms.

As you know, public comment on whether or not to apply these procedures to independent regulatory agencies was specifically sought in the November 18, 1977 notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER. The overwhelming response was that these agencies should adopt the provisions of the Order. The public is seeking a change. They are encouraging us to seek new approaches to the way in which government regulates. They point out that if regulations were simpler, less burdensome, and more clearly understandable, people would be better able to comply with them.

I believe that the new spirit of openness, simplicity and clarity advocated in this Executive Order responds to the public's concerns. I know that many important reforms are already underway in the independent agencies and I believe that the requirements of the Order complement these efforts. I am asking you as Chairman of your agency to initiate your own program to incorporate the provisions of the Order. In addition, it would be useful for you to report progress on your efforts to the Congress and to me by June 30, 1978. I look forward to reviewing these reports.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Chairmen of the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Election Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Trade Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the Postal Rate Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jimmy Carter, Letter to the Heads of Independent Regulatory Agencies on Improving Government Regulations Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244553

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