What is OIRA?
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA, pronounced "oh-eye-ruh") is a Federal office located within the Office of Management and Budget that plays a key role in coordinating the review of Federal regulations. OIRA was created by Congress with the enactment of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980. In addition to reviewing government collections of information from the public under the Paperwork Reduction Act, OIRA reviews drafts of proposed and final regulations under Executive Order 12866 as well as overseeing the implementation of government-wide policies in the areas of information policy, privacy, and statistical policy. OIRA also coordinates agency implementation of the Information Quality Act, including the peer review practices of agencies.
What is OIRA’s role in the rulemaking process?
Executive Order 12866, "Regulatory Planning and Review," issued by President Clinton on September 30, 1993, establishes and governs the process under which OIRA currently reviews agency draft and proposed final regulatory actions. The objectives of the Executive Order are to enhance planning and coordination with respect to both new and existing regulations; to reaffirm the primacy of Federal agencies in the regulatory decision-making process; to restore the integrity and legitimacy of regulatory review and oversight; and to make the process more accessible and open to the public. For all significant regulatory actions, the Executive Order requires OIRA review before the actions take effect. Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to conduct an analysis of the costs and benefits of rules and, to the extent permitted by law, directs that regulatory action shall only proceed on the basis of a reasoned determination that the benefits of a regulation justify the costs. Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” was issued by President Obama on January 18, 2011 to reaffirm and supplement Executive Order 12866 in order to further improve regulations and regulatory review.
Who works in OIRA?
OIRA has 42 full-time career civil servants who work with agency officials on specific issues and regulations. All OIRA career staff possess graduate level degrees and have historically come from backgrounds in economics, law, policy analysis, statistics, and information technology. With the growth of science-based regulation and information-quality issues, several staff members also have expertise in public health, toxicology, epidemiology, engineering, and other technical fields.
The OIRA Administrator, Howard Shelanski, leads the office and is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
How can outside parties best make their ideas about rules under review known to OIRA?
Outside parties may provide written comments to the OIRA Administrator on a rule that is under review. If a rule is at OIRA for review, you can provide comments by email at OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov. In the email please specify the name of the rule and the regulatory identification number (RIN) as specified in the docket for the rule on www.reginfo.gov .
Outside parties may also request a meeting with the Administrator, or his designee. If you would like to request a meeting to provide views on a rule being reviewed at OIRA, email Mabel_E._Echols@omb.eop.gov or call 202-395-6880 to schedule.
As required by Executive Order 12866, OIRA makes publicly available all substantive communications with any party outside the Executive Branch concerning regulations under review. If the OIRA Administrator or his designee meets with outside parties regarding a rule under review, the subject, date, and participants of the meeting are disclosed on Reginfo.gov. Any material received from outside parties on rules under review is placed in the public docket and noted on the www.reginfo.gov .