Becauce of a typographical error in a story on regulatory changes, the name of Rep. J. William Stanton (R-Ohio) was incorrect in yesterday's editions.
President Carter yesterday issued an executive order designed to simplify and improve government regulation by providing more information to the public before final decisions are made.
But Carter's order does not yet include the independent agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Instead, the President's proposed order - which permits additional public comment through Dec. 18 before going into effect - is limited to such agencies as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (in the Labor Department).
These agencies will have to publish semiannual agendas of forthcoming actions, supply more information in advance of final decisions and prepare an analysis of the economic impact of their decisions as well as possible alternate solutions.
The decision by Carter to issue a proposed executive order rather than a final document was described by White House and other government officials as an unprecedented step, in keeping with the spirit" of new rules designed to increase public participation in the regulatory process.
Simon Lazarus of the White House Domestic Council staff conceded yesterday that "many people outside government" want the independent agencies covered by the proposed executive order.
Moreover, the Justice Department has concluded that the resident has authority to order changes in the "management processes" of the independent agencies, despite congressional oversight, Lazarus said.
Even if the final decision is to exclude these agencies from the order, chairmen of the commissions appointed by Carter have pledged their cooperation in implementing the proposals on their own, he added.
A spokesman for Federal Trade Commission Chairman Michael Pertschuk said there are "a lot of doubts" inside the FTC about including independent agencies and whether it would be appropriate to follow a presidential order that runs counter to what the agency believes to be its responsibility, mandated by Congress.
But the official said many parts of the executive order are "useful" and reflect the general direction of agency policy, even if the final order excludes independent commissions.
ICC chairman Dan O'Neal said last night that he couldn't say if it would be legal to apply the President's order to his agency, but he added: "In my judgment . . . some of the proposals are the kind of thing that should be done on the basis of good management, such as an agenda (for future action) and planning . . . things we're working on here."
Whether or not the final order applies to independent agencies, the proposal "is basically a good thing" for the ICC to follow, O'Neal said.
Although much criticism about government regulation in recent years has been addressed to such independent agencies as the FTC, ICC and CAB, Lazarus and other White House aides emphasized yesterday their view that most regulations affecting small business and consumers on a direct basis come from Executive Branch agencies and departments that would come under the order.
The full code of federal regulations now contains more than 73,100 pages in books have a total thickness of up 15 feet, and 9,000 pages are being added a year, according to Fred J. mery, director of the Federal Register.
At least 75 per cent of the new regulations come from Executive Branch agencies and Cabinet departments, he added.
The proposed executive order yesterday reflected some changes from an earlier draft sent to members of Congress and agency heads last month for their comments - again, an unprecedented procedure in writing such orders, according to Rep. J. William Atanton (R-Ohio).
Included in the order are the following requirements for affected agencies:
Publication of a semiannual agenda listing future regulatory actions in order to allow interested parties an early opportunity to express their views.
Development of a plan for all "significant" regulations that assures consideration of public viewpoints on decisions, lack of conflict between the proposed regulations and rules of other agencies, use of "clear English;" and listing the individual as accountable for the regulation.
Preparation of a "regulatory analysis" for all major decisions explaining how the most effective and least burdensome approach has been chosen.
A review of existing regulations on a continuous basis, with at least one major regulation selected for a detailed assessment each year.
In addition, the new order would require the head of an agency to approve personally all signficant regulations before publication in the Federal Register. This is a revised version of Carter's directive earlier this year for all government department heads to read every document their office turns out - which Lazarus admitted proved to be impossible.
The proposed regulatory analysis would be somewhat different from an economic impact statement requested by former President Ford. For example, the analysis would be prepared before a final decision is made so that public comment could be solicited.
Under the previous order, many agencies came up with economic analysis only to justify what had been decided, White House officials said.
In responses to the earlier Carter proposals, some agency heads said the order may created unnecessary delays and a new workload. Lazarus agreed that the proposals would "run the risk of delay" by seeking more public participation and better management review, but he expressed the hope these would be "minimal."
Another unresolved issue is what criteria will be used to determine the regulations subject to the order - the so-called "significant" regulatory decisions.
As written originally, regulations with a cost of $25 million a year or more would be involved. But many agency officials and members of Congress suggested this "trigger's for the analysis process was inadequate in addressing the problem of rules with a small dollar impact on their own, but with a potentially greater impact when added to other regulations.
The White House invited interested consumers, business spokesmen and others to mail comments on yesterday's proposed order to Granquist at OMB, Washington, D.C. 20503, before Dec. 18. The comments will be open for public scrutiny at the Federal Register, 1100 L St. N.W.