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More Lame Ducks: shortened reviews for regulations

OMB Watch is reporting on the Bush Administration Pushing Last-Minute Rollbacks (08/19/2008). “The Bush administration is trying to finalize several new rules, covering a range of policy issues, before a new administration takes over and despite its own policy directive.”

The article reports that one proposed change in regulations missed the administration’s own deadline for new rules by two and a half months. It also says that the The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the White House office in charge of approving, changing, or rejecting new administration policy, spent only three days reviewing one proposed rule when the average time as been 71 days.

Government information specialists should be aware of this since the public comment period for some changes in rules has been reduced from the standard 60 days to 30 days.

Proposals included changes to Endangered Species Act; changes to how estimates for on-the-job risks are calculated; and changes that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans.

A leaked draft rule that could reduce women’s access to birth control by classifying oral contraception as a form of abortion has not been submitted to OIRA yet.

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