New federal agency policies aim to minimize redundant regulations and increase rulemaking transparency

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on November 24 issued guidance that establishes rulemaking policies aimed at minimizing redundant regulations and increasing transparency in agency rulemaking.

The first policy aims to minimize redundancies in HHS rulemaking by requiring the agency to ensure that new rules are consistent with, and do not overlap with, current agency regulations.

The second policy aims to increase transparency in agency rulemaking by requiring that HHS make public any data underlying its policy analyses that would allow a third party to replicate its work, to the extent permitted by law. These data include working papers, calculations, models, references, and other information.

“We are providing needed transparency by requiring the Department to show its math so the American people can know and challenge the methods government uses to calculate effects of regulations it imposes on them,” said HHS Chief of Staff Brian Harrison in a press release.

Opponents of the public data policy argue that the change results in limiting agency discretion. 

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