The U.S. Department of Labor yesterday announced a one-month period for public comment on a preliminary plan to revise department regulations. The Department has established a special webpage for members of the public to provide feedback on its "Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules".  This online tool is part of the Department’s compliance with Executive Order 13563, which called for federal agencies to detail how they will review existing significant regulations to identify whether they may be made more effective or less burdensome.

As explained by the DOL’s website:

Executive Order 13563 provides several guiding principles for achieving that balance and urges that regulations:

  • take into account costs and benefits to society;

  • are developed in a manner that allows public participation;

  • are coordinated among agencies and simplified;

  • use the least burdensome methods to achieve regulatory goals; and

  • are based on the best available science.

The Executive Order also requires agencies to develop protocols for periodic review of significant regulations to determine whether they are outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome.

The comment area set up by DOL seeks public input before July 1, 2011 on the following categories:

  • Rules currently under consideration for retrospective analysis
  • Development of a strong, ongoing culture of retrospective analysis and strengthening internal review expertise Factors and processes that will be used in setting priorities
  • Plans for retrospective analysis, revisiting and revising rules and coordinating with other federal agencies
  • Metrics used to evaluate regulations, ensuring availability of data, and incorporation of experimental designs into retrospective

Comments may also be logged with the White House via a SlideShare page.