Fighting Regulation: The Regulatory Review

by Fred Thompson, Larry Jones



The article evaluates the probable contributions of the proposed regulatory review mechanisms identified above in terms of decision facilitation and decision influencing, primarily the latter. How decisions are made in government and the motivations of government decision makers are examined. It is likely that federal regulatory decisions are worse, perhaps much worse, than other kinds of government decisions. This is because the cost of regulation is a cost of government, but it is not treated as a cost to government. Consequently, the internal checks that work to promote efficiency and effectiveness in government are not fully operative where regulation is concerned. In some cases, they may exacerbate the problem. To improve governmental decision making in this area, a number of institutional changes have been proposed. An ex ante review of major regulatory proposals is necessary to improve both agency decision making and executive branch coordination. If review is to be more than an uncritical check on regulatory initiatives, regulatory agencies must have the analytical resources required to do quality analysis.

California Management Review

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