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On January 18, 2007, President George W. Bush's administration put forward two pronouncements aimed at applying greater levels of scrutiny to agency's issuance of regulatory guidance. First, Executive Order 13422, required for the first time review of significant guidance documents by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), part of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Second, OMB issued the Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices (with authority under the Data Quality Act) which required OIRA's review of significant guidance documents as well as public notice-and-comment on guidance documents deemed "economically significant."

The Bulletin defines significant and economically significant guidance documents and instructs agencies on "policies and procedures for the development, issuance, and use of significant guidance documents." The definitions (from both E.O. 13422 and this bulletin) of both significant and economically significant guidance documents include documents that may reasonably be anticipated to lead to

  • (A) an annual effect of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities;
  • (B) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;
  • (C) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or obligations of recipients thereof; or
  • (D) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 13422.



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