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OMB, COMPETITIVENESS COUNCIL "SUNSHINE ACT" PASSED

Executive Summary

OMB, COMPETITIVENESS COUNCIL "SUNSHINE ACT" PASSED the House Government Operations Committee Aug. 6 by a 23-15 vote. Introduced July 28 by committee Chairman Conyers (D-Mich.), the legislation (HR 5702) would require the Office of Management & Budget, the Council on Competitiveness or any White House regulation-reviewing body to make available to the public all records of meetings with lobbyists and government agencies regarding regulations. The bill was passed by the committee's Government Information Subcommittee earlier on Aug. 6. It now goes to the House floor for consideration. Vice President Quayle, who heads the council, has said he strives to leave no "fingerprints" when the council influences agencies' regulatory decisionmaking. Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry participated in several closed meetings of the Competitiveness Council before last November, when the council formulated and persuaded FDA to go along with, a proposed series of reforms of the agency's drug approval process ("The Pink Sheet" Nov. 18, 1991, p. 3). Conyers declared that "secret activities" to provide regulatory relief at industry's request "violate the principle of open government." Former OMB Director James Miller testified at a July 29 subcommittee hearing on Conyers' bill that its recordkeeping requirements would "compromise the executive branch's capability to monitor" regulatory burdens on society ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 3, T&G-3).
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