Earlier this spring, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued additional guidance for agencies on implementing Executive Order (EO) 13771, entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” EO 13771 established the expectation that for every new regulatory action an agency issues, it must offset the cost of the regulatory action with two deregulatory actions. OMB’s guidance supplements the interim guidance the agency issued on February 2, 2017.

Like the previous guidance, OMB’s most recent guidance addresses how agencies should implement Section 2 of EO 13771, which concerns agency actions during fiscal year (FY) 2017. However, it also addresses Section 3(d), which established that for FY 2018 and subsequent years, the White House will set for each agency a total amount of incremental costs that will be allowed when it issues new regulations and repeals regulations for the next fiscal year. The new guidance defines key terms such as an “EO 13771 regulatory action” and “EO 13771 deregulatory action” and provides further clarification of the scope of the EO, how agencies should calculate cost, and addresses how the requirements apply in particular circumstances.

OMB also recently issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies that lays out the next steps agencies must take as a part of the comprehensive plan to reform the federal government and reducing the federal civilian workforce. OMB’s memorandum officially ends the federal hiring freeze implemented shortly after the Trump administration took office; however, the memorandum directs each agency to develop a long-term workforce reduction plan, in addition to making near-term workforce reductions and other measures to implement the government-wide reform plan, as discussed further below. We summarize the topics covered in OMB’s guidance and memorandum of most relevance to food and agriculture companies.