AAMA Requests Openness and Transparency in Regulatory Process

March 22nd, 2012 by DWM Magazine

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) issued a statement announcing it is recommending timely and significant government intervention to promote openness and transparency in the regulatory process by requiring early disclosure of proposed agency settlement agreements and consent decrees. AAMA recently sent a letter to Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee requesting their approval of the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2012 (H.R. 3862).

H.R. 3862, introduced by Ben Quayle (R-Arizona) on February 1, would require early disclosure of proposed consent decrees and regulatory settlements, providing affected parties with proper notice. The bill would also make it possible for affected parties to participate in settlement negotiations by requiring federal agencies to take public comment prior to entry of the consent decree with the court.

AAMA notes that currently, federal agencies are able to settle lawsuits behind closed doors with no notice to, or input from, parties affected by the rulemaking, leaving no opportunity for recourse until after a settlement has been reached.

“In April 2010, the EPA reached a settlement with environmental groups that removed the ‘Opt-Out’ Provision from the LRRP rule, which has negatively impacted the building industry,” says Rich Walker, AAMA CEO and president. “The Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2012 will allow industry members to voice their opinions on potential settlements that could affect business operations.”

The bill markup is expected to begin in late March.

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