Tag Archives: bureaucracy

Federal Register hits 30,000 Pages

With a notice from the Defense Department that it is selling $122 million of equipment to Great Britain, the 2010 Federal Register passed 30,000 pages.

After 103 working days, the total page count is 30,265. Assuming 250 working days in a year, this year’s Federal Register is on pace for 73,459 pages.

The average count during the Bush administration was 73,416 pages.

Like most of President Obama’s policies, this represents less than a one percent change from the Bush years.

Sometimes I Think They’re Just Messing with Us

Here’s an excerpt from an early 1980s Office of Management and Budget report:

An agency subject to the provisions of the Federal Reports Act may enter into an arrangement with an organization not subject to the Act whereby the organization not subject to the Act collects information on behalf of the agency subject to the Act. The reverse also occurs.

Department of Redundancy Department

Fun fact: the federal government has both an International Trade Administration and an International Trade Commission.

Regulation of the Day 136: Off the Record

If you work for the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a regulation requires you to keep records of your off-the-record communications.

Which means off-the-record communications aren’t really off the record.

In fact, 18 CFR 385.2201(b) requires FERC to post a notice in the Federal Register whenever this happens. There was one today, for example. It’s public!

Which brings up the following conundrum: if FERC policy is that off-the-record communications are actually on the record, then there are no off-the-record communications. Therefore, regulations applying to off-the-record communications are at best redundant , because there are no off-the-record comments.

Oh, never mind.

Federal Register Reaches 10,000 Pages

The 2010 Federal Register passed the 10,000 page mark this morning. It hit the milestone with a State Department request for grant proposals for a “One-time Competitive Grants Program – Competition A – Academic Programs.” $8,000,000 of grants are available if you’re interested.

I noted earlier that it only took 4 working days to top 1,000 pages. Now, after 42 working days, the grand total is 10,158. That’s an average of 242 new pages of rules and notices every working day.

Assuming 250 working days this year, the 2010 Federal Register is on pace to reach 60,464 pages. This would be substantially lower than last year’s figure of 68,598. Part of the slowdown is likely due to the four-day federal shutdown from last month’s snow storms. Another factor is a relative lack of major legislation (so far), as often happens in election years.

Regulation of the Day 98: Gastrointestinal Drugs

Did you know that the federal government has a Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee? It’s true. If you don’t believe me, you can attend their upcoming meeting on February 23. The topic of the day will be a new drug application to treat hepatic encephalopathy.

Hopefully some hepatic encephalopathy sufferers will be there. They can ask the Committee why the FDA takes as long as a decade (and as much as $800 million!) to approve medications that could be helping people and saving lives right now.

Oyster Ban Update: Partial Victory!

Remember the raw oyster ban from a recent Regulation of the Day? I am happy to report a partial victory (hat tip to Jacob Grier).

The ban, due to take effect in 2011, has not been repealed outright. But, in response to public outcry, it has been delayed:

The FDA announced it would commission a study to explore alternatives to reducing the illness vibrio vulnificus, and also do an economic analysis of how the ban would impact the oyster industry.

“Before proceeding, we will conduct an independent study to assess how post-harvest processing or other equivalent controls can be feasibly implemented in the Gulf Coast in the fastest, safest and most economical way,” according to an FDA news release.