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Letter to OIRA on Interagency Coordination

Policy Integrity submitted a letter to OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein today with recommendations for how OIRA can improve interagency coordination. The letter focuses on two key areas: (1) concerns about regulatory conflict, and (2) potential for harmonization of cost-benefit analysis methodology.

Our first recommendation is for OIRA to directly address criticism about the prevalence of conflicting, incoherent, and redundant regulations throughout the administrative state. OIRA should conduct an empirical investigation to assess the real scope of such a problem. Methodologies for this include surveying the academic literature, consulting with agencies, and soliciting comments to better understand the extent of conflicting regulations.

OIRA can also improve interagency coordination by standardizing methodological practices related to cost-benefit analysis. Developing uniform standards for various aspects of regulatory analysis would create a more logical system with rules that could be easily compared across agencies. More specifically, we recommend that OIRA take the following actions: address the fact that disparate Values of Statistical Life are currently being used by different agencies; to require agencies to conduct distributional analysis of significant rules; to develop best practices for for labeling rules; and to address the need for standard cancer risk assessment protocols.