About the Unified Agenda
The Regulatory Information Service Center, a component of the U.S. General Services Administration, compiles the semiannual Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions with the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the 60 Cabinet, Executive, and Independent agencies Governmentwide. The Center provides information about Federal regulatory and deregulatory activities to the President and his Executive Office, the Congress, agency managers, and the public. It also maintains the Reginfo.gov website, a public resource for information about Federal regulation.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for overseeing the Federal Government's regulatory, paperwork, and information resource management activities, including implementation of Executive Order 12866, entitled "Regulatory Planning and Review, " and Executive Order 13563 entitled "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review," signed January 18, 2011, which supplements and reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing contemporary regulatory review that were established in Executive Order 12866.
The Unified Agenda provides uniform reporting of data on regulatory and deregulatory activities under development throughout the Federal Government, covering approximately 60 departments, agencies, and commissions. Each edition of the Unified Agenda includes regulatory agendas from all Federal entities that currently have regulations under development or review. Agencies of the United States Congress are not included. Fall editions of the Unified Agenda include The The Regulatory Plan, which presents agency statements of regulatory priorities and additional information about the most significant regulatory activities planned for the coming year.
The activities included in individual agency agendas are primarily those currently planned to have an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), or a Final Rule issued within the next 12 months. However, to keep users better informed of opportunities for participation in the rulemaking process, an agency may list in the "Long-Term Actions" section of its agenda those rules it expects will have the next regulatory action more than 12 months after publication of the agenda. When an agency subsequently schedules a regulatory action on one of these rules within a 12-month timeframe, the item will reappear in the appropriate section of the agency's next agenda. Agencies may also report "Completed Actions, which are rulemakings that are being Withdrawn or ending their lifecycle with a regulatory action that completes the rulemaking." The agency agendas generally do not include regulations concerning military or foreign affairs functions and regulations related solely to agency organization, management, or personnel matters.
The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that agencies publish semiannual regulatory flexibility agendas in the Federal Register identifying those rules that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Agencies meet that requirement by including the information in their submissions for the Unified Agenda. Beginning with the fall 2007 edition of the Unified Agenda, the Agenda published in the Federal Register has been limited, in general, to agency regulatory flexibility agendas and The Regulatory Plan.
Executive Order 12866 and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) direct agencies to assess the effects of Federal regulations on State, local, and tribal governments. Executive Order 13132 entitled "Federalism" directs agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have "federalism implications." This term refers to actions "that have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government."
To further these efforts, agencies include in their submissions for the Unified Agenda information on whether their regulatory actions have an effect on various levels of government. In addition, agencies other than independent regulatory agencies include information on whether their regulatory actions have federalism implications or are subject to the Unfunded Mandates Act.