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A new Presidential order increases the broad authority of the Office of Management and Budget in the federal rule-making process, allowing the office to review regulations planned by other federal agencies before they are drafted.

Under the current policy, adopted in February 1981 by the Reagan Administration, omb officials are able to examine regulations after they are drafted but before they are published in the Federal Register for public comment.

But starting this year the Education Department and most other agencies will be required to submit to omb a statement "concerning all significant regulatory actions underway or planned," according to the new executive order. After an interagency review, omb will publish in May the Administration's planned list of regulations for the year beginning April 1, 1985.

President Reagan said in a statement that the new order "will enable agency heads to manage agency regulatory actions more effectively, at the same time that it enables the President to hold agency heads more accountable for implementing Administration policy."

Shannon B. Ferguson, technical director of omb Watch, a Washington-based group, criticized the new policy, saying that the preliminary omb review of regulatory plans may inhibit agencies from obtaining a wide range of views in the initial stages of writing regulations and could result in inadequately designed and poorly thought-out rules.

Vol. 04, Issue 17

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