Financial institution regulators ‘encouraged’ to identify cost savings through rule reduction

Independent federal agencies – such as federal financial institution regulators – are being encouraged to identify cost savings through regulatory reduction to offset costs of planned new, significant regulations — even though the regulators are not required to do so, according to a memo from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

According to the memo issued March 6 by OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announcing the start of the 2017 “Spring Data Call for the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions,” federal agencies submitting data for the 2017 unified agenda are urged to keep in mind the various executive orders, memos and interim guidance issued by the Trump administration in January and February.

In particular, the memo points to the Jan. 30 executive order stating that any new, proposed federal regulation would have to be offset by repeal of “at least two” existing regulations. “We remind agencies of EO 13771’s directives that ‘for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process,’” the OIRA memo states.

In February, interim guidance issued by OIRA clarified that “significant actions” by the independent agencies are not covered under the order. However, The March 6 memo repeats language that was contained in the interim guidance issued last month, which encouraged the independent agencies to “identify existing regulations that, if repealed or revised, would achieve cost savings that would fully offset the costs of new significant regulatory actions.”

The memo also asks all agencies to “please ensure that a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President after noon on January 20, 2017, or his or her delegate, has had an opportunity to review significant regulatory actions in light of these directives.”

The “unified agenda” is designed to promote transparency and open government, according to OMB. In the Fall edition, OMB noted, the Unified Agenda also includes The Regulatory Plan, describing the most important significant regulatory and deregulatory actions that the agency reasonably expects to issue in proposed or final form during the upcoming year.

Memorandum: Spring 2017 Data Call for the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions