Not with a Bang, But with More Rules

Clinton administration slathering on the regs

WASHINGTON  (BUSINESS WIRE)  Dec. 27, 2000  Like the comely assistant that distracts you while David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty disappear, the election debacle has helped cloud the public's awareness that there's a world of new regulations being churned out by the outgoing administration. The Federal Government has officially confirmed that regulatory activity has increased in the waning days of the Clinton administration, according to an analysis of that activity available on the Web site of NetCompliance (, a Washington, DC-based Internet company that provides paperless compliance solutions and online worker training programs. I pity the worker who had to plow through the paper storm to divine these numbers.

Government regulations that were proposed, under review, near completion, or completed increased by 431 rules, or 9.7 percent over the past six months, and now total 4,872 regulations, NetCompliance said in a news release posted on its Internet site. This compares with 4,441 similar regulations in the government pipeline through April of 2000, the company added.

The regulations, which come directly from the Federal Government's Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda, cover activity in 61 Federal departments and agencies and identify rules that may have a significant economic impact.

Ironically, in a foreword to the government's Regulatory Plan, Vice President Al Gore is quoted as saying the Clinton Administration's regulatory policy is a success in part because government agencies have made great strides in streamlining and simplifying regulations and eliminating unnecessary regulations. The statement adds that in Mr. Gore's opinion, Agencies now conceive and review regulations that maximize net benefits and impose the smallest possible economic and paperwork burden on the public. I'll let you insert your own I'm from the government and I'm here to help you joke.

As new laws and regulations are passed, the compliance environment continues to be increasingly complex and constantly changing, said Krish R. Krishnan, NetCompliance CEO. NetCompliance's unique eComply technology engine provides companies with a better, cheaper and faster way to determine compliance needs, meet training requirements, obtain specialized products and services and manage regulatory-related information to government agencies, he said.

Examples abound that compliance regulations will be a growth industry worldwide, and if the Clinton administration's activities are any indication, that's as sure a bet as Dick Clark hosting a New Year's Eve party. The Rochester Institute of Technology has estimated that Americans will spend over $750 billion in 2000 to comply with various rules and regulations. A World Bank study has found that businessmen in industrialized countries perceive the greatest obstacles to doing business to be tax regulations and high taxes, labor regulations, safety or environmental regulations, financing, regulations for starting new business operations, and general uncertainty about the cost of regulations.

The press release regarding the US Government's Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda can be found at the NetCompliance home page, Information on obtaining the Government's Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda, as well as Vice President Gore's foreword, can be accessed at the web site, by clicking on the link Regulatory Information Service Center and following the prompts to the desired data. The Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda were also printed in the Federal Register on Thursday, November 30, 2000, Volume 65, Number 231, starting on page 73301.