Week in Regulation

Snowstorm Brings 8.4 Million Paperwork Hours

Despite the snow delays from the early March storm, regulatory agencies published nearly $400 million in regulatory costs and 8.4 million paperwork burden hours. Quantified annual benefits came in at only $9.2 million, compared to $370 million in annual costs. A rulemaking from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updating its acquisition procedures led the week.


  • New Proposed Rules: 43
  • New Final Rules: 72
  • 2015 Significant Documents: 118
  • 2015 Total Pages of Regulation: 12,301
  • 2015 Proposed Rules: $3.4 Billion
  • 2015 Final Rules: $15 Billion

The HHS rulemaking on acquisition procedure claims to update and streamline certain aspects of the process. However, the proposed rule’s Paperwork Reduction Act analysis details six information collection requests that would bring more than 9 million hours of paperwork and approximately $370 million in annual costs. Although, another acquisition rule from the General Services Administration mitigates some of this by cutting annual costs by $51 million and paperwork by roughly 756,000 hours.


Since passage, based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the Affordable Care Act has imposed a cost of $43.8 billion in state and private-sector burdens and 163.5 million annual paperwork hours.


Click here to view the total estimated revised costs from Dodd-Frank; since passage, the legislation has produced more than 63.9 million paperwork burden hours and imposed $33 billion in direct compliance costs. Based on calculations from the Financial Services Roundtable, Dodd-Frank regulations would require 31,990 employees to file federal paperwork.


There were 420 notices published in the Federal Register this week.  However, there were no particularly notable actions. The Office of Management and Budget approved 125 paperwork requirements, increasing the paperwork burden hours by 1.4 million hours. There were two major changes to existing paperwork requirements (defined as an hourly burden increase or decrease of 500,000 or greater).

The largest increase in paperwork burden hours imposed by an information collection requirement (ICR) was 1.7 million hours from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The largest decrease in paperwork burden hours imposed by an ICR was 562,193 hours from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).


Since January 1, the federal government has published $18.4 billion in compliance costs and has added 13.5 million paperwork burden hours. Click here for our comprehensive database of regulations and rulemakings promulgated in 2015.


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