President Signs Executive Order for Regulatory Overhaul
In January, President Obama signed an executive order aimed at eliminating administrative obstacles to business and industry, saying he wanted to balance the need for regulation (to protect the public, for example) against the interests of economic growth. This review clearly includes regulations that affect clinical laboratories so when I first read this, I was very optimistic.
The executive order requires federal agencies to revisit their regulations to make sure
- The benefits justify the cost of ensuring compliance
- The least burden is imposed on society
- Regulations specify goals and objectives when possible, versus actual behavior (there is more than one way of getting to a goal and a company might find a more cost-effective way)
- Alternatives have been considered e.g. is it better to offer economic incentives to get desired behavior rather than issue a regulatory mandate?
- Regulations are not redundant or in conflict with other regulations. One example cited is that there is an ongoing dispute over the artificial sweetener saccharin. The Environmental Protection Agency listed saccharin as a hazardous material while the Food and Drug Administration considered it absolutely safe for human consumption
This list sounded almost too logical to be true, especially coming from the government. However, in my head I still I went down a list of lab regulations I would gladly say goodbye to. Sure enough word from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is that this mandate will be applied to the most archaic and conflicting regulations. So while it will address some doozies, it will not touch more recent regulations or mandates such as those formulated in the last 5 years.
If you could give input on redundant or onerous laboratory regulations, which ones would you eliminate?