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Bush executive order places White House watchdogs in federal agencies

[JURIST] US President Bush has signed an executive order [text] that places a White House-appointed policy administrator in all federal agencies responsible for developing and enforcing public health and safety, environmental, and civil rights policy. Under the order, which will affect groups such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration [official websites], a regulatory policy office will be placed in each agency to supervise and report to the White House the development of regulations. Jeffrey Rosen, General Counsel of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) [official website], told the New York Times that the measures are a "classic good-government measure" designed to increase transparency and accountability. Critics of the order accuse the President of overreaching, and say that the measure will only slow the implementation of rules that protect the public.

Bush issued the order in light of his nomination of Susan Dudley [George Mason University profile], whose initiatives are written into the directive, to the position of administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the OMB. The Senate failed to confirm Dudley earlier this month, but Bush may push the nomination through while the Senate is in recess. The New York Times has more.

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