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2.2. Regulatory Analyses

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President Carter issued Executive Order 12044 in March 1978 requiring executive agencies to conduct Regulatory Analyses (RA) that assessed the economic impacts of the proposed regulatory actions as well as the economic consequences of the principal alternatives under consideration. Regulations having an impact on the economy of $100 million or more annually or resulting in significant cost or price increases, as well as regulations selected by agency administrators, were subject to the requirements.

The RA had to contain a "statement of the problem; a description of the major alternative ways of dealing with the problem that were considered by the agency; an analysis of the economic consequences of each of these alternatives and a detailed explanation of the reasons for choosing one alternative over the others." In conducting the analyses, agencies were required to evaluate the direct and indirect effects of the regulation but did not have to quantify benefits. In selecting among alternatives, agencies were instructed to choose what was "least burdensome." EO 12044 imposed new requirements not seen earlier such as publishing a semiannual regulatory agenda of regulations under development and review, providing for public comment, and conducting a periodic "sunset" review of existing regulations.

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