On January 18, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563 "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review," which supplements and affirms the requirements of Executive Order 12866 "Regulatory Planning and Review."
Executive Order 13563 sets out "principles and requirements designed to promote public participation, improve integration and innovation, increase flexibility, ensure scientific integrity, and increase retrospective analysis of existing rules."
In particular, Executive Order 13563 directed federal agencies to develop a Preliminary Plan on the Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations ("Preliminary Plan"), which outlined the agency's approach for periodically reviewing regulations to determine whether any rules "should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed as to make the agency's regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives."
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) subsequently issued guidance for transforming agency preliminary plans into final plans.
Development of the DHS Plan
- Public Input:
- To assist in developing the DHS Preliminary Plan, DHS sought public input through various means throughout this process.
- On March 8, 2011, DHS published a notice in the Federal Register, soliciting views on how DHS should develop its Preliminary Plan and on specific existing rules that DHS should consider for retrospective review.
- In addition, DHS solicited public feedback through IdeaScale. An online tool for facilitating public dialogue, IdeaScale allows users to submit ideas, comment on each others' ideas, and vote on each others' ideas.
- The comment period for both initiatives closed on April 13, 2011. The public comments informed the development of the DHS Preliminary Plan.
- DHS Preliminary Plan:
- On Thursday, May 26, 2011, the DHS Preliminary Plan was made publicly available.
- On Monday, June 6, 2011, DHS published a notice in the Federal Register, announcing the availability of the DHS Preliminary Plan. DHS accepted public comment until June 25, 2011.
- DHS made its Preliminary Plan available on the DHS website and on the Federal eRulemaking portal. The White House also made the DHS Plan available on the White House website.
- In addition, on May 26, 2011 DHS announced the release of the DHS Preliminary Plan through a blog posting by General Counsel Ivan Fong.
- DHS Final Plan:
- On August 22, 2011, DHS released its Final Plan for the Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations.
- DHS made the Final Plan available on the DHS website and on the Federal eRulemaking portal. The White House also made the DHS Final Plan available on the White House website.
The DHS Final Plan
The DHS Final Plan is designed to create a process for identifying regulations that may be obsolete, unnecessary, unjustified, counterproductive, or excessively burdensome.
The DHS retrospective review process is intended to facilitate the identification of rules that warrant repeal, modification, strengthening, complementing, or modernizing, where necessary or appropriate.
A central tenet of the DHS Final Plan is the critical and essential role of public input in driving and focusing DHS retrospective review. In developing the Plan – and in implementing the Plan – DHS has sought, and will continue to seek, public comment.
In addition to describing the DHS process for retrospective review, the Final Plan contains several appendices, which identifies in-progress reviews of regulatory actions and long-term retrospective review candidates.