Thursday, August 25, 2011

White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Local Update

Welcome to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs local update. In this week's issue we hear about new regulatory reforms to reduce red tape and FEMA reminds us of the importance of preparedness in case of natural disasters.

Keep an eye on your inbox and check out the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Website for more information.

Regulatory Reforms to Save Money, Reduce Waste
In January of this year, the President emphasized that our regulatory system “must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements.” With this point in mind, he ordered an unprecedentedly ambitious government-wide review of existing federal regulations. He directed agencies and departments to produce plans to eliminate red tape and to streamline current requirements.
This week the Administration announced that agencies are releasing their final regulatory reform plans, including hundreds of initiatives that will reduce costs, simplify the system, and eliminate redundancy and inconsistency.
The reforms span a wide range. Consider just a few examples:
  • The Department of Health and Human Services will soon propose to remove unnecessary regulatory and reporting requirements now imposed on hospitals and other healthcare providers, potentially saving an anticipated $4 billion over the next five years.
  • The Department of Labor is finalizing a rule to simplify and improve hazard warnings for workers, likely saving employers over $2.5 billion over the next five years without compromising safety.
  • The Department of Transportation is proposing a rule, announced just today, that will eliminate unnecessary regulation of the railroad industry, saving up to $340 million in the near future, and avoiding the risk that regulatory costs will be passed onto consumers.
  • By the end of this year, the Internal Revenue Service will eliminate 55 million hours in annual paperwork burdens by consolidating reporting requirements and streamlining various tax forms.
Over the next five years, the monetized savings from just a fraction of the reforms announced today are likely to exceed $10 billion. Perhaps more important, these plans explicitly recognize that the regulatory lookback is not a one-time endeavor. Agencies will continue to revisit existing rules, asking whether they should be updated, streamlined, or repealed. And they will do so in close consultation with the public.
If you have ideas on additional regulations that should be reformed, email us at
Recent Events Serve as Reminder to Get Prepared
This week's 5.8 magnitude earthquake in the Mid-Atlantic and Hurricane Irene approaching the East Coast are good reminders that communities should ensure that their disaster plans are up-to-date.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages everyone to take steps to make sure their families, homes and businesses are prepared for a possible emergency. The month of September is designated as National Preparedness Month (NPM), an opportunity to encourage Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.
Find out more about National Preparedness Month and FEMA resources to assist community preparedness. In addition, check out the links below for the latest information on Hurricane Irene:
Department of Homeland Security
On Twitter @DHSJournal On Facebook
Blog Updates from FEMA On Twitter @FEMA On Facebook
Ready Campaign
On Twitter: @ReadydotGov
NOAA/National Hurricane Center
Tracking Hurricane Irene
On Twitter: @NHC Atlantic On Facebook:
American Red Cross
Latest updates On Twitter: @RedCross On Facebook: