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OIRA Open government guidance
- PRA “Primer”: This memorandum provides a primer to agencies and the public with respect to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), in order to specify its central requirements and to increase transparency and openness. The memorandum answers questions such as: What does and does not count as information under the PRA? What are the public notice and comment requirements for information collection requests? What does OMB evaluate during its review of proposed collections?
- Social Media and the PRA: To advance the goal of promoting greater openness in government, this memorandum explains that agencies can, consistent with the PRA, use social media and web-based interactive technologies to engage with the public in multiple ways. Among other things, it explains that the PRA does not apply to general solicitations of public views and feedback; that certain types of contests and prizes are not subject to PRA; and that the PRA does not apply to ratings and rankings of posts and comments by website users. This guidance addresses questions frequently asked both by the public and by agencies seeking to use social media to promote participation and collaboration.
- Increasing Openness in the Rulemaking Process: Use of the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN): Regulatory information online is currently difficult to access and navigate, in part because several websites publish portions of that information at different stages in the rulemaking process. To promote transparency and to help aggregate information, this memorandum provides that agencies should use the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) on all relevant documents throughout the entire “lifecycle” of a rule. We expect that this requirement will help members of the public to find regulatory information at each stage of the process and will promote informed participation.
- Generic Clearances under the PRA: To clarify the availability of a helpful tool for making it easier for agencies to collect certain types of information, OMB has issued guidance on how to conduct customer satisfaction surveys, focus groups, and contests.
- Increasing Openness in Rulemaking: Improving Electronic Dockets: To promote greater openness in the regulatory process, OMB has provided guidance to agencies in compiling and maintaining comprehensive electronic regulatory dockets on Regulations.gov. The goal is to give members of the public improved access to information on which agencies rely in making decisions relevant to rulemaking.
- Pursuant to OMB’s December 2009 Open Government Directive and Executive Order 12866 on “Regulatory Planning and Review” the OIRA Administrator recently issued a memorandum on Disclosure and Simplification as Regulatory Tools, which provides guidance on the use of disclosure and simplification in the regulatory process. The guidance is meant to assist agencies in their efforts to use information disclosure and simplification to achieve regulatory objectives. It distinguishes between i) summary disclosure, as (for example) in nutritional and MPG labels, and ii) full disclosure, as in comprehensive website disclosures (which can be adapted and repackaged by those in the private sector). The guidance sets out specific principles to inform disclosure policies and separate principles to inform measures (including default rules and automatic enrollment) designed to reduce complexity, ambiguity, and paperwork burdens.