OMB's Unified Agenda

About the Unified Agenda from

The Regulatory Information Service Center, a component of the U.S. General Services Administration, compiles the semiannual Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions with the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the 60 Cabinet, Executive, and Independent agencies Governmentwide. The Center provides information about Federal regulatory and deregulatory activities to the President and his Executive Office, the Congress, agency managers, and the public. It also maintains the website, a public resource for information about Federal regulation.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for overseeing the Federal Government's regulatory, paperwork, and information resource management activities, including implementation of Executive Order 12866, entitled "Regulatory Planning and Review, " and Executive Order 13563 entitled "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review," signed January 18, 2011, which supplements and reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing contemporary regulatory review that were established in Executive Order 12866.

The Unified Agenda provides uniform reporting of data on regulatory and deregulatory activities under development throughout the Federal Government, covering approximately 60 departments, agencies, and commissions. Each edition of the Unified Agenda includes regulatory agendas from all Federal entities that currently have regulations under development or review. Agencies of the United States Congress are not included. Fall editions of the Unified Agenda include The The Regulatory Plan, which presents agency statements of regulatory priorities and additional information about the most significant regulatory activities planned for the coming year.

The activities included in individual agency agendas are primarily those currently planned to have an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), or a Final Rule issued within the next 12 months. However, to keep users better informed of opportunities for participation in the rulemaking process, an agency may list in the "Long-Term Actions" section of its agenda those rules it expects will have the next regulatory action more than 12 months after publication of the agenda. When an agency subsequently schedules a regulatory action on one of these rules within a 12-month timeframe, the item will reappear in the appropriate section of the agency's next agenda. Agencies may also report "Completed Actions, which are rulemakings that are being Withdrawn or ending their lifecycle with a regulatory action that completes the rulemaking." The agency agendas generally do not include regulations concerning military or foreign affairs functions and regulations related solely to agency organization, management, or personnel matters.


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Related GW Regulatory Studies Center Publications:

The Fall 2021 Unified Agenda

By: Daniel R. Pérez | December 14, 2021

Most agencies echo the Biden administration’s desire to focus on equity concerns in rulemaking in their statements of regulatory priorities. Aside from routine rulemakings, most of the large rules published for the first time in the Fall 2021 Unified Agenda are regulatory actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic or environmental policy.


The Biden Administration’s First Unified Agenda



By: Daniel R. Pérez | June 16, 2021

This marks the first comprehensive look at the actions regulatory agencies are planning under the Biden Administration. The Agenda’s contents suggest that the administration’s priorities to date include withdrawing numerous proposed rules that were never finalized by the Trump administration and shifting regulatory policy approaches for higher education, immigration, labor, health, and the environment.


2020 Spring Agenda: More Regulation than Deregulation for Big Rules



By: Daniel R. Pérez | July 1, 2020

The entries listed in the Agenda illustrate that multiple agencies plan to issue more regulatory actions than deregulatory actions in the coming months with substantive rulemakings involving immigration, energy efficiency standards, the regulation of tobacco, and changes to various transfer programs. For those rules expected to have the largest effect on society, agencies are on track to issue twice as many regulatory actions as deregulatory actions.


Unified Agenda Released without FY 2019 Regulatory Reform Report



By: Daniel R. Pérez | November 20, 2019

Notably absent is the Regulatory Reform Status Report, which tracks executive agency performance in complying with the deregulatory requirements of Executive Order (EO) 13771. With regards to actions listed as active in the Agenda, agencies plan to issue an average of approximately 2.5 significant deregulatory actions for every 1 regulatory action. However, our analysis of economically significant actions suggests a potential shift in agency rulemaking.


2019 Spring Unified Agenda



By: Daniel R. Pérez | May 22, 2019

The Agenda provides summaries of the actions underway at federal regulatory agencies and identifies whether these actions are regulatory or deregulatory. Publication of the Agenda is recognized as a good regulatory practice—providing advanced notice of future regulatory activity to allow for valuable public input and transparency in the rulemaking process. Notably, under the Trump administration, the Agenda also serves as a performance management tool to track agency progress in implementing regulatory reform as directed by Executive Order 13771.

2018 Fall Unified Agenda



By: Daniel R. Pérez | October 17, 2018

In her introduction to the Fall 2018 Regulatory Plan, OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao states that the administration’s regulatory reform efforts will continue to prioritize reforms that target economic growth and foster technological innovation and consumer choice. The Fall 2018 Unified Agenda includes a total of 3,534 regulatory actions—174 of which are economically significant. Of these, 257 are classified as regulatory, 671 as deregulatory, with the remainder exempt or classified as “other.” Compared to the Spring 2018 Agenda, the total number of actions increased from 3,352 to 3,534. The number of active rulemakings in this Agenda increased slightly (2,399 compared to 2,226 last spring). Of those, the number of economically significant actions increased from 88 in the Spring 2018 Agenda to 118 in the Fall 2018 Agenda. Interestingly, of the 118 economically significant actions listed, 26 are deregulatory, 41 are regulatory, 15 are exempt, and the rest are classified as “other.”


Fall Unified Agenda outlines Progress of "Two-for-One" Reforms



By: Sofie E. Miller | December 15, 2017

The biannual Unified Agenda provides the public with a look at agency priorities and regulations for the next year. The newest Agenda, released Thursday, includes both regulatory and deregulatory actions that agencies are planning to comply with Executive Order 13771, which requires agencies to offset the costs of new rules by eliminating existing rules. The administration expects that regulatory reforms in the next year will reduce regulatory burdens by $9.8 billion.


Spring Unified Agenda Sustains Deregulatory Focus



By: Daniel R. Pérez | May 10, 2018

The Spring 2018 Unified Agenda includes a total of 3,352 regulatory actions, 234 of which are classified as regulatory, 611 as deregulatory, with the remainder exempt or classified as “other.” Of the total number of actions, 139 are economically significant. The Agenda distinguishes between active regulations (those with milestones within the next 12 months), long-term actions, and completed actions. Of the 2,226 actions listed as active approximately 24% are published for the first time in this Spring Agenda. Altogether, for active actions in the Agenda, executive agencies under the Trump administration plan to take an average of approximately 4 deregulatory actions for every 1 regulatory action.


A Glimpse of President Trump’s Deregulatory "Agenda"



By: Sofie E. Miller | July 21, 2017

On Thursday, OMB released its biannual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which outlines the regulatory activity that agencies are planning to undertake in the next year. In comparison to previous Agendas, the 2017 Agenda contains about 31% fewer active regulatory actions in all rulemaking stages combined. Although the new Agenda does not clearly track which regulatory activities are meant to offset new rules per Executive Order 13771, it indicates that agencies are withdrawing a large number of rules.

Regulatory Action Holding Steady in Spring 2015 Unified Agenda



By: Sofie E. Miller | May 22, 2015

On the Thursday before the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released its semiannual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which provides the public with a first glimpse at upcoming regulations. The Spring 2015 Agenda lists 1,054 final rules and 1,171 proposed rules on which agencies will take action within the coming year. Of these active regulatory actions, 140 are "economically significant."


What's New in the Fall 2014 Regulatory Agenda?



By: Sofie E. Miller | November 24, 2014

The Fall 2014 Unified Agenda identifies 3,415 regulatory actions at different stages of development. Of these, 629 have recently been completed, and 465 are long-term. The Agenda classifies the remaining 2,321 as active regulatory actions. Interestingly, of the 599 regulatory actions listed in the Agenda for the very first time, over 40 percent are listed as Final or Completed rules, of which 11 were economically significant. This means the public didn't get notice of the rules in the Unified Agenda until it was too late to participate in the rulemaking process, even for rules that would incur more than $100 million annually in costs or benefits. This finding is consistent with our analysis of the Spring 2013 Unified Agenda, indicating a troubling pattern of lack of agency notice that could inhibit public participation. The fact that more than 40 percent of all first-time listed regulatory actions were already finalized or completed means that the public wasn't given appropriate notice of regulators' intentions, and likely had little chance to participate in the rulemaking process.


Spring 2014 Unified Agenda



By: Sofie E. Miller | May 29, 2014

OMB recently released its semiannual Unified Agenda listing the ongoing and upcoming regulations planned by agencies. The Spring 2014 Unified Agenda includes 3,348 total regulatory actions, 524 of which are appearing in the Agenda for the first time, and 197 of which are “economically significant.” The majority (71%) of the regulatory actions in the Spring Agenda are listed as “active,” of which 17% are published for the first time in this Agenda. The Spring 2014 Unified Agenda does not differ significantly from the number of total actions listed in the previous Unified Agenda, published in Fall 2013. While there was a very slight decrease in active regulatory actions between Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, the count of total regulatory actions (including “long-term” and “completed”) increased from 3,305 to 3,348, and the number of economically significant actions and regulatory actions published for the first time also increased. However, the increase in total regulatory actions listed in the spring Agenda is entirely a result of an increase in the number of “completed” regulatory actions, which does not have any effect on regulations that the public can expect in the coming year.