Fundamental Improvements Needed for Timely Promulgation of Health Program Regulations

HRD-77-23: Published: Feb 4, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1977.

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Procedures associated with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) health program regulations were discussed and recommendations for improvement were offered.

There have been many delays in issuing regulations with adverse effects on related programs. Although Department policy requires that regulations be published within 6 months after enactment of enabling legislation, the regulations studied were published up to 3 years after enactment. Delay was due to limited manpower, low priorities, and time involved in resolving policy issues. New policies and procedures issued by the Secretary of HEW could result in some improvement but will result in continued delays due to requirements for public comment, and lack of procedures for monitoring and resolving disputes. The OMB Circular No. A-85 has been ineffective in promoting early consultation on regulations between federal agencies and state and local governments.

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