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Watchdog report analyzes regulatory process under Obama

January 11, 2011

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Washington – Although the Obama administration set a more aggressive regulatory tone than its predecessor, efforts to overhaul the rulemaking process have stalled, according to a report released Jan. 6 by OMB Watch, a government transparency and accountability watchdog group.

The Obama Approach to Public Protection: The Regulatory Process (.pdf file) is the third in a series of reports. According to the report, Obama failed to issue a regulatory executive order to significantly change the relationship between the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and federal agencies. However, OIRA has taken incremental steps toward change, such as allowing agencies more discretion over rulemakings, the report said. OMB Watch also said OSHA has strengthened oversight of employers with historically poor safety and health records and made inspection data more accessible.

From Jan. 20, 2009, to Jan. 19, 2010 – Obama’s first year in office – federal and state OSHA programs issued more than 68,000 violations, which marked a 167 percent increase from the previous year, the report said.

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