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Regulations set the rules of the road that affect our lives in myriad ways—whether it is by providing access to affordable medicine, setting standards to keep workers safe on the job, making markets fairer and more competitive, or reducing children’s exposure to harmful toxins. A critical part of designing regulations that work is hearing from those who would be affected by them—the American people. Greater public participation leads to a more responsive—and effective—government that better addresses people’s needs.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is taking new steps to work with Federal agencies to make it easier for interested members of the public to voice their views in the regulatory process. Read more about these activities below:
On July 19, 2023 OIRA released guidance to Federal agencies on how agencies can better engage members of the public when developing regulations.
- Guidance Memorandum, “Broadening Public Participation and Community Engagement in the Regulatory Process”
- Blog Post, “Making Government More Responsive Through Greater Participation in the Regulatory Process,” by Sam Berger, OIRA Associate Administrator
OIRA invited public comments in Spring 2023 on strategies OIRA should consider in developing tools and guidance on public participation and community engagement in the regulatory process. You can read the public comments we received here. Please note these comments only include material for which we received the author’s permission to release publicly. These comments informed the development of OIRA’s July 2023 guidance along with listening sessions held throughout Fall 2022 and Spring 2023.
Executive Order 14094, Modernizing Regulatory Review
In section 2 of Executive Order 14094, the President directed that, to the extent practicable and consistent with applicable law, regulatory actions should be informed by input from interested or affected communities; State, local, territorial, and Tribal officials and agencies; interested or affected parties in the private sector and other regulated entities; those with expertise in relevant disciplines; and the public as a whole. The President also directed that opportunities for public participation shall be designed to promote equitable and meaningful participation by a range of interested or affected parties, including underserved communities.
Open Government National Action Plan
As part of the Fifth U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, OIRA committed to new activities to increase public participation in the regulatory process. Read the plan here.