Cost-Benefit and Other Analysis Requirements in the Rulemaking Process [December 9, 2014]   [open pdf - 431KB]

"Regulatory analytical requirements (e.g., cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis) have been established incrementally during the last 40 to 50 years through a series of presidential and congressional initiatives. The current set of requirements includes Executive Order 12866 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-4, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). These requirements vary in terms of the agencies and rules they cover, and the types of analyses that are required. For example, a regulatory analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not required if the agency head certifies that the rule will not have a 'significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.' The most extensive and broadly applicable of the requirements are in Executive Order 12866 and OMB Circular A-4, but they do not apply to independent regulatory agencies. The statutes that provide rulemaking authority to independent regulatory agencies often require them to 'consider' regulatory costs and benefits, and they often have less explicit requirements for cost-benefit analysis, if any. An OMB report indicated that independent regulatory agencies provided some information and costs and benefits in 76 of the 118 major rules they issued from FY2003 to FY2012. Cabinet departments and other agencies estimated monetary costs and benefits for some, but not all, of their rules."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41974
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