On February 2, the OCC requested comment on proposed revisions to an existing information collection entitled “Company-Run Annual Stress Test Reporting Template and Documentation for Covered Institutions with Total Consolidated Assets of $50 Billion or More Under the [Dodd-Frank Act].” The agency is also giving notice that it has sent the collection to the OMB for review. This information collection is related to the conduct of annual stress tests that the Dodd-Frank Act requires of certain financial companies, including national banks and federal savings associations. Comments on the current notice must be received by March 6, 2017.
On February 8, three organizations—Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Communications Workers of America—sued the Trump administration over the President’s recent Executive Order (as clarified by the OMB’s interim guidance issued on February 2), which directs agencies to identify two regulations for repeal for every rule written (covered in InfoBytes here). The action seeks to have the Executive Order declared unconstitutional and enforcement thereby stayed. Among other things, the complaint asserts that the President’s Executive Order unlawfully forces agencies to make decisions based on an “impermissible and arbitrary choice—whether to issue a new standard at the cost of the loss of benefits of two existing standards.” To repeal “two regulations for the purpose of adopting one new one, based solely on a directive to impose zero net costs and without any consideration of benefits,” Plaintiffs argue, “is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law.” The case has been assigned to Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for D.C.
On January 23, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum implementing “a freeze on the hiring of Federal civilian employees to be applied across the board in the executive branch.” As explained in the memorandum, “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances.” The freeze does not include or apply to military personnel. The memorandum also instructs, among other things, that “[w]ithin 90 days of the date of this memorandum, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Director of OPM, shall recommend a long-term plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government’s workforce through attrition. This order shall expire upon implementation of the OMB plan.” On January 24, the OMB issued guidance directed at agency heads on how to implement the new administration’s hiring freeze.