Public Safeguards Past Due

Missed Deadlines Leave Public Unprotected

June 26, 2012 - A Public Citizen analysis of a set of public health and safety rulemakings with congressionally mandated deadlines reveals that most rules are issued long after their deadlines have passed, potentially putting American consumers at risk. Of the 159 rules analyzed, 78 percent missed their deadline and more than half remain incomplete. Federal agencies miss these deadlines for a variety of reasons, including having to conduct onerous analyses, dealing with politically motivated delays, and prolonged review at the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Among rules included in the analysis, all 14 rules currently under review at OIRA have been there longer than the agency’s allotted four month review period.  At present, Congress is considering many bills that would further hinder agencies’ abilities to do their jobs. Instead, law makers should seek ways to alleviate the undue burdens on agencies.