OIRA Letters

Return Letters
During the course of OIRA's review of a draft regulation, the Administrator may decide to send a letter to the agency that returns the rule for reconsideration. Such a return may occur if the quality of the agency's analyses is inadequate, if the regulatory standards adopted are not justified by the analyses, if the rule is not consistent with the regulatory principles stated in EO 12866 or with the President's policies and priorities, or if the rule is not compatible with other Executive Orders or statutes. Such a return does not necessarily imply that either OIRA or OMB is opposed to the draft rule. Rather, the return letter explains why OIRA believes that the rulemaking would benefit from further consideration by the agency.

Prompt Letters
The purpose of the prompt letter is to suggest an issue that OMB believes is worthy of agency priority. Rather than being sent in response to the agency's submission of a draft rule for OIRA review, a "prompt" letter is sent on OMB's initiative and contains a suggestion for how the agency could improve its regulations.

Review Letters
The OIRA Administrator issues "review" letters at various stages of the rulemaking process. A "review" letter following the issuance of a proposed rule may urge the agency to perform additional regulatory analysis or consider other alternatives prior to finalizing the rule. A "review" letter following the issuance of a final rule may offer implementation advice or explain OMB's dispute resolution process. These letters are issued in the Administrator's discretion.