Laws & Regulations

Summary of Executive Order 12866 - Regulatory Planning and Review

58 FR 51735; October 4, 1993

Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 - Regulatory Planning and Review - was issued by President William J. Clinton in 1993. It provides that significant regulatory actions be submitted for review to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). A "significant regulatory action," as defined by the E.O., generally is any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may:

  • Have an annual effect on the economy 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;
  • Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;
  • Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or
  • Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive order.

After Federal Register publication of such an action, the E.O. provides that the federal agency promulgating the action and OMB make available to the public the documents exchanged between them during the review. The federal agency must identify any substantive changes between the draft submitted to OMB and the published rule and must identify those changes made at the suggestion or recommendation of OMB.

Executive Order 13563 - Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

E.O. 13563 – Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review – was issued by President Barack H. Obama in 2011 (76 FR 3821; January 21, 2011).  It reaffirms and amplifies the principles embodied in E.O. 12866 by encouraging agencies to coordinate their regulatory activities, and to consider regulatory approaches that reduce the burden of regulation while maintaining flexibility and freedom of choice for the public.  It directs agencies to, where feasible and appropriate, seek the views of those likely to be affected by a proposed rulemaking before a notice of proposed rulemaking is issued.  E.O 13563 requires agencies to quantify anticipated benefits and costs of proposed rulemakings as accurately as possible using the best available techniques, and to ensure that any scientific and technological information or processes used to support their regulatory actions are objective. 

To the extent feasible and permitted by law, E.O. 13563 also directs agencies to provide timely online access to the rulemaking docket for proposed and final rules, along with any relevant scientific and technical findings, on, and to afford the public the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations through the Internet.  With regard to existing regulations, E.O. 13563 instructs agencies to periodically review their significant regulations with the goal of making their regulatory programs more effective or less burdensome.

More Information

More information is available from the Office of Management and Budget on regulatory matters for federal agencies.