The Regulatory Right-to-Know Act: Making Regulatory Disclosure Work

Full Document Available in PDF

Testimony before the Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources & Regulatory Affairs Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives


Regulations in Perspective, 1999

  • Costs of Regulations
  • Numbers of Regulations – 4,899 rules in 1998
  • Numbers of Regulations – 4,560 rules in the Works
  • Numbers of Regulations – EPA Spotlight

Overview: Why improved disclosure as provided in the Right-to-Know Act (H.R. 1074) is essential

Themes to guide successful regulatory reform: accountability and disclosure

Ensuring the Right-to-Know Act’s Success

  • OMB should compile a simplified “Regulatory Report Card” of available regulatory statistics for publication in the Federal Budget or the Economic Report of the President
  • The Right-to-Know Act should lower the threshold for “economically significant” or “major” rules, and have OMB designate multiple classes of them
  • Agencies should emphasize costs rather than benefits
  • As long as Right-to-Know retains benefit calculation requirements, the OMB must be more willing to criticize agency benefit claims
  • In aggregate and annual cost estimates, the Right-to-Know Act should separately categorize economic, social/environmental administrative, and “agency only” rules
  • The Right-to-Know Act properly acknowledges indirect impacts of regulations
  • The Right-to-Know Act should ask the OMB to aggressively recommend rules for revision or elimination

Further advancing the public’s right-to-know