New Trump Administration Executive Order Creates a Regulatory Reform Officer in Each Federal Agency

On Friday, February 24, President Donald J. Trump issued the second of his Executive Orders on regulatory reform issues, this time calling on each federal agency to designate an agency official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO).  Each RRO will oversee the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies to ensure that agencies effectively carry out regulatory reforms.  


In addition, each agency will establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force (composed of senior agency officials) to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification.  They are charged with identifying regulations that:

  • Eliminate jobs, 
  • Inhibit job creation, 
  • Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective, 
  • Impose costs that exceed benefits, 
  • Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;  
  • Derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.  


Task Forces are to seek input and other assistance from entities significantly affected by federal regulations, including State, local, and tribal governments, small businesses, consumers, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations.  


Within 90 days and then regularly thereafter, each Regulatory Reform Task Force will provide a report to the agency head detailing the agency's progress toward improving implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies as well as identifying regulations for repeal, replacement, or modification.  


Before the publication of the Executive Order on February 24, President Trump’s most recent announcement on his regulatory reform agenda came on Thursday, February 2, when the Trump Administration provided an Official Memorandum with more details around its January 30th Executive Order entitled, Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.  


The Administration clarified that the January 30th Executive Order applies only to significant regulatory actions and that federal spending rules that primarily cause income transfers from taxpayers to program beneficiaries (e.g., rules associated with Pell grants and Medicare spending) are considered “transfer rules” and are not covered by the Executive Order. However, in cases where these rules impose requirements on non-Federal entities, such as reporting or recordkeeping, agencies would need to account for these costs.