Alert November 22, 2011

GAO Study Recommends Additional Coordination Among Regulators Implementing the Dodd-Frank Act

The Government Accountability Office (the “GAO”) released a study assessing the coordination among federal financial regulators when preparing rules implementing the Dodd-Frank Act.  The GAO found that the Dodd-Frank Act, while requiring interagency coordination when designing certain regulations, grants regulators discretion as to the extent and scope of coordination with other agencies when preparing other rules required by the Dodd-Frank Act.  The GAO study found that financial regulators do not have formal protocols in place for interagency cooperation on Dodd-Frank rulemaking.  While acknowledging that federal financial regulators have begun taking measures “to address challenges associated with promulgating hundreds of new rules required under the Dodd-Frank Act,” the GAO provided four recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of such efforts.  Specifically, the GAO recommended that:

  • federal financial regulators should take steps to better ensure that the specific practices in the Office of Management and Budget’s regulatory analysis guidance are more fully incorporated into their rulemaking policies and consistently applied;
  • the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”) should work with the federal financial regulatory agencies to establish formal coordination policies that clarify issues such as when coordination should occur, the process that will be used to solicit and address comments, and what role FSOC should play in facilitating coordination;
  • federal financial regulatory agencies should develop plans that determine how they will measure the impact of Dodd-Frank Act regulations; and
  • the FSOC should direct the Office of Financial Research to work with regulators to identify and collect data necessary to analyze the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act regulations on, among other things, the stability, efficiency and competitiveness of US financial markets.