What if Wall Street, Big Pharma, and BP wrote all the rules?
Would you want to live in world a where Big Pharma wrote all the rules? What about Wall Street? Or BP? It might be a great place for those special interests—but for the public? Probably not so hot.
Sadly, that world isn't too far away from reality. In part, it's because a key White House office isn't following the President's orders on crafting government regulations. In fact, this office is providing cover that often lets special interests swoop in and influence the rulemaking process without the public knowing about it.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is the White House office responsible for reviewing regulations drafted by government agencies. OIRA is supposed to publicly disclose all correspondence with these agencies during the review process. However, OIRA regularly flouts this transparency requirement.
This practice is harmful to everyday people.
Last year, for example, OIRA apparently watered down a rule that would have required more transparency surrounding the conflicts of interest held by researchers whose work is funded by taxpayers. The result is that it's harder for you to find out if pharmaceutical industry dollars are tainting research on medication that you and your family are taking.
Why did this happen? We can't say for sure because OIRA blocked POGO from getting the facts, and the public was left in the dark.
Please help us put an end to the secrecy by signing on to our letter demanding that OIRA follow the President’s own rules and write regulations with the utmost transparency. POGO will deliver a list of the letter’s signatories to President Obama and the head of OIRA.
With your signature, we can make sure that the message is loud and clear: the public doesn’t want a rulemaking process that favors special interests.