By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA

The Trump administration has unveiled three executive orders aimed at reforming the way federal agencies develop and enforce guidance, as well as how they pay for the costs of the rules they promulgate.

Two of the orders deal with how agencies issue guidance documents. Guidance refers to an agencies’ interpretation of the regulations that it enforces.  However, agencies often enforce guidance documents as if they were actual regulations.

The first order explicitly states that all agency guidance is non-binding and requires public comment. It further directs all agencies to review existing guidance and rescind any documents that are outdated or unnecessary, as process the U.S. Department of Transportation underwent earlier this year. Agencies are also directed to post all guidance on their websites.

The second order is aimed at establishing that agencies enforce their guidance consistently in all district offices. ARTBA’s Project 2019 Reauthorization Task Force also emphasized the importance of regulatory (and guidance) consistency.

The third order places agencies on the “pay as you go” (PAYGO) system, which requires them to offset the cost of any administrative actions.

ARTBA will continue to work with the Trump administration as it pursues regulatory reform.