WASHINGTON, D.C.—Legal Director and Securities Specialist Stephen Hall issued the following statement on the filing of Better Markets’ comment letter with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) on its draft guidance to improve the process governing meetings with members of the public affected by executive branch federal rules:
“The rules issued by federal agencies help protect the health, safety, and financial well-being of all Americans, but the rulemaking process often unfolds without much public engagement. The draft guidance will help solve this problem by expanding the input that OIRA, which is tasked with reviewing agency proposals, receives through its meetings with members of the public.
“The reality is that the rulemaking process has long been dominated by industry interests seeking to impede, dilute, or defeat regulatory reforms in the financial arena and elsewhere. In short, the public interest has been woefully underrepresented in this critically important part of the policymaking process. The draft guidance will help correct this imbalance. One of its core purposes is to make the process more inclusive by facilitating meetings with individuals and groups that have not historically requested such meetings, including those from underserved communities. The draft guidance is also intended to increase transparency around OIRA meetings, ‘while treating all members of the public—no matter their resources or viewpoints—consistently and fairly.’ The additional input from more diverse stakeholders, especially those who are underserved and underrepresented in government, will improve the quality of the final rules under review, mitigate the influence of anti-regulation voices, promote the public interest, and increase the public’s confidence in the rulemaking process.
“Better Markets strongly supports these reforms and in its comment letter urges OIRA to enhance the process even further. For example, OIRA should conduct more outreach to community leaders to provide training on the importance of the regulatory review process, how to submit meeting requests, and how to prepare for and participate effectively in meetings with OIRA. It should also enhance transparency by making substantive summaries of meeting discussions publicly available and by requiring more information about industry participants, including their lobbying status. We commend OIRA for pursuing this effort to expand public participation in the rulemaking process, and with these enhancements, it promises to significantly improve the quality and transparency of agency rules.”
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.