Published since 1946
President Trump Signs Orders on Transparency in Guidance and Regulatory Action
At a White House event on October 9, President Trump signed two executive orders intended to increase the transparency of regulatory actions by federal agencies. The first executive order focuses on agency guidance documents calling to have a more “open and fair regulatory process that imposes new obligations on the public only when consistent with applicable law and after an agency follows appropriate procedures.” Agencies will still be able to issue guidance, but it is now required that it be published online for public review and the Office of Management and Budget will have oversight in the process for implementation of the guidance. The second order focused on “Transparency and Fairness” in the interpretation and enforcement of federal regulations. The order states: “No person should be subjected to a civil administrative enforcement action or adjudication absent prior public notice of both the enforcing agency’s jurisdiction over particular conduct and the legal standards applicable to that conduct.”
“All too often, guidance documents are a backdoor for regulators to effectively change the laws and vastly expand their scope and reach,” noted the president in his remarks at the signing ceremony. “Guidance has frequently been used to subject U.S. citizens and businesses to arbitrary and sometimes abusive enforcement actions. This regulatory overreach gravely undermines our constitutional system of government.
“My first executive order will require agencies to publish guidance documents online, so that small businesses and everyday citizens can easily find them. The second order I will sign today will protect American citizens from secret interpretations of regulations, unexpected penalties, and violations of their rights. From now on, agencies will be required to inform individuals about any case against them and respond to their arguments. It will be the agency’s duty to fully educate small businesses about new regulatory changes."