The Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) today publicly released its report to Governor Rick Snyder containing 18 recommendations for improving Michigan’s rulemaking processes, while maintaining government transparency. Gov. Snyder has reviewed the ORR recommendations and believes the ORR report is an important step in the process of reinventing Michigan government. This report is the result of a thorough review of the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, relevant case law, and a discussion of how the rulemaking process has evolved, or not evolved, in recent history.
The report is part of the ORR’s ongoing effort to make state government more efficient by eliminating burdensome rules and modernizing regulatory systems, while ensuring health, safety and consumer protections remain. To date, the office has rescinded more than 1,500 burdensome and duplicative rules and fully implemented 120 of its recommendations.
“Utilizing technology, making information more accessible, and engaging the general public and interested stakeholders will result in more effective rules for all Michiganders,” said Steve Arwood, Chief Regulatory Officer and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director. “These changes will encourage business growth and job creation by enhancing the efficiency and predictability of the process.”
The ORR developed the recommendations after a comprehensive review process by an Advisory Rules Committee (ARC), made up of 12 stakeholders, including representatives from trade associations and the regulated community, attorneys experienced in the practice of administrative and regulatory law, and senior staff from several state departments.
The ARC identified several characteristics that Michigan’s rulemaking processes should contain moving forward, including the expediting of the rulemaking process to match current practices in technology and communication, and an increase in transparency and accessibility for Michigan residents.
“Key to the development of a healthy administrative rules process is one that contains transparency and meaningful participation from the regulated community and the public. This report reflects several opportunities to expand where the public and job providers can participate in the rulemaking process,” said ARC member Jason Geer, Director of Energy & Environmental Policy, Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “It also provides opportunities to improve transparency through increased clarity and access. These critical changes will help promote more favorable conditions for job creation and business growth.”
The ORR’s rulemaking recommendations generally fall into one of four categories:
Example: Recommendation #2 – Identify and encourage best practices in rulemaking.
Example: Recommendation #3 – Limit the practice of incorporating a pool of standards that may be considered for incorporation.
Example: Recommendation #9 – Use technology to increase public access to the rulemaking process.
4) Updating and Clarification
Example: Recommendation #14: Clarify the status of implied rulemaking authority.
“By codifying long standing case law on the validity of rules promulgated according to the Administrative Procedures Act, those involved in the thorough process of rulemaking can be assured that the rules will be less likely to be challenged on non-substantive grounds,” said ARC member Bill Perrone, Office Managing Member, Dykema.
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