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What Makes OIRA Work: A Commentary on Jim Tozzi’s “Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Past, Present, and Future”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 March 2020

Howard Shelanski*
Georgetown Law, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA, e-mail:


Jim Tozzi has for several decades been among the most dedicated and perceptive commentators on the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Indeed, Tozzi is arguably better suited than anyone to be the keeper of the OIRA flame: from his position in charge of the Office of Regulatory and Information Policy, OIRA’s predecessor organization, Tozzi contributed to the development of Executive Order (EO) 12291 and then stepped in as OIRA’s first Deputy Administrator. Since that time, he has been a steadfast defender of OIRA’s critical role in bringing rigorous analysis, quality control, and policy discipline to Executive Branch regulation. I share Tozzi’s view, and indeed that of all former OIRA officials I have spoken with, of OIRA’s importance to the regulatory state. Preservation of the strength and independence of the office is to me the principal criterion by which policy proposals that effect OIRA should be judged.

© Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis, 2020

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Tozzi, J. 2019. “Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Past, Present, and Future.” Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, 11 (1), doi: Scholar