Regulatory Reform:

Procedural and Analytical Requirements in Federal Rulemaking

T-GGD/OGC-00-157: Published: Jun 8, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 2000.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed its reviews of agency compliance with a number of procedural and analytical requirements in federal rulemaking.

GAO noted that: (1) GAO's congressionally-requested evaluations have produced a mixed result; (2) while they may not have been representative of all rulemakings, in some cases GAO disclosed inadequate data, methodologies, or assumptions, and in other disclosed noncompliance with statutory requirements or executive orders; (3) there are examples in which GAO's reviews have helped ensure better adherence to applicable regulatory requirements; (4) on the other hand, sometimes GAO's reviews did not disclose a failure to comply with rulemaking requirements, but provided Congress with factual detail and a better understanding of the agencies' procedures and decision making; (5) in other cases, GAO's reviews established that the agencies were acting within allowable discretion to determine that certain requirements were inapplicable, and in others, that the requirements themselves were narrowly tailored and had little effect on rulemaking; and (6) GAO also found cases where regulations that were considered burdensome by the regulated community were required by the statute being implemented.

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