In this episode Matt Kelly and myself take a deep dive into the weeds of the recent remarks by Neomi Rao, head of the Office for Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the Administration’s top regulatory review office outlining ambitious plans for more deregulation in 2018 — including efforts to sweep independent federal agencies into her purview and to crack down on the “sub-regulatory” guidance that corporate compliance professionals consume all the time. The talk was given before the Brookings Institute and she touted the 2 for 1 kill order for new regulations the Administration heralded last year and claimed that over 1500 planned regulations had been pulled from review.

For the compliance practitioner, this may all be much ado about nothing or more simply Rao and the Administration is simply Waiting for Godot to arrive as both the SEC and regulations relevant to military, national security, or foreign policy are exempt. New regulations required by statute are exempt from the guillotine of which Rao speaks. However, it does cause one to ponder if the 2012 FCPA Guidance and 2017 Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs would have been released under this new system of hari-kari.

Matt and I explore the differences be proposing to repeal two rules but not actually repeal them as those proposed repeals must go through the usual public comment and review process. We also discuss how the Administration approach hurts businesses by removing a source of practical guidance from the general public. Think about how the business community clamored prior to 2012 for specific guidance from both the SEC and Justice Department on what constituted a best practices compliance program. Finally, we consider if there is a positive effect at all for business and the American public not be given guidance by the government.


For more information see Matt Kelly’s post Regulatory Czar Eyes Agency Guidance