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75 Food & Drug L.J. 278 (2020)
The Information Quality Act: Is There a There, There?

handle is hein.journals/foodlj75 and id is 288 raw text is: 









  The Information Quality Act: Is There a There,

                                  There?


                          JAMES T. O'REILLY*



   The famous  novelist Gertrude Stein once insulted Oakland, California, with the
aphorism that There is no there, there!l
   In the same vein, as a longtime teacher and student of administrative processes in
the federal government, I was asked to assess the Information Quality Act of 2000
(IQA), which is an impressive title for just a few lines tucked into a late addition to an
appropriations bill.2 I conclude that there is no there, no effective check upon the
federal agencies, in the IQA. Its correction system is systemically flawed. And at a
deeper level, I doubt that correcting the policy nuances within the content of agency
documents  by the Office of Management  and Budget (OMB)   Guidance is worth the
exercise.
   OMB   once had a vigorous oversight role of agencies with an aggressive manager
of its Information and Regulatory Affairs Office, but Cass Sunstein has long departed
for academia, and the OMB Director now sweeps up the clouds of dust left by Donald
Trump's  bizarre tweetstorms. The OMB   brand is trashed by the subservience
which we  all see in the Trump alignment.
   All students of the bureaucracy can agree that the 1946 Administrative Procedure
Act' has  had a profound  impact on  governance, and  that the 1966 Freedom  of
Information Act  has had a major contribution to accountability.4 Both laws were
copied extensively at the state level. Both models have resonated in other nations, as I
found during a term advising the European Commission's managers of the EU Better
Regulation project in Brussels.5 But if scholars and practitioners were asked, has this
IQA  made a difference in federal law, the resounding answer would be no.
   The IQA  has failed; it allows nuances of agency policies to be critiqued, but with
no effective mechanism  for lively challenges. You already know that we live in a
period where bizarre presidential behavior-without objectivity and accuracy-has
become  the new  normal, and if the IQA had applied to the head of the Executive
Branch, we can wish that quality and objectivity will someday be returned to federal
administrative processes.





       James O'Reilly teaches at the College of Medicine of the University of Cincinnati. He also co-
chairs the FDA committee of the American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory
Practice.
    i  GERTRUDE STEIN, EVERYBODY'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY 298 (1937) (emphasis added).
    2  Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 106-554 § 515, 114 Stat. 2763 (2000).
    3  5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A) (2016).
    ^  5 U.S.C. § 552; see 1 JAMES O'REILLY, FEDERAL INFORMATION DISCLOSURE (2019).
    s  GEORGE BERMANN, CHARLES KOCH  &  JAMES O'REILLY, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW OF THE
EUROPEAN UNION (Am. Bar Assoc. Press 2009).


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