WHEREAS, government regulations protect essential public health, safety, environmental and welfare functions and protect citizens from the unwarranted exercise of power by public officials;
WHEREAS, many state agencies have legislative authority to adopt regulations, so it is necessary for the executive branch to coordinate rulemaking activities centrally;
WHEREAS, because regulations often affect the Commonwealth's fiscal condition and administrative abilities, it is also important for the Secretary of Administration and Finance to review them before adoption;
WHEREAS, it is essential that regulations be drafted simply and concisely, so that citizens, regulated industries, legislators and courts can understand them clearly; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order 384, superseded by this Order, imposed requirements that were unduly burdensome and complex for state agencies.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2. § I, Art. I, hereby order as follows:
Section 1. Each agency subject to my authority shall ensure that every regulation that it proposes for adoption:
(a) is clear, concise and drafted in plain and readily understandable language;
(b) does not conflict with other agencies' regulations;
(c) is consistent with the policies established by the Governor and the General Court;
(d) is consistent with the fiscal needs and administrative abilities of the Commonwealth, as determined by the Secretary of Administration and Finance.
Section 2. To ensure that the standards of this Order are met, before proposing to adopt a new regulation, each such agency shall submit it electronically for review by the Secretary of Administration and Finance. The agency may proceed if the Secretary or her designee does not comment in writing within 10 days.
Section 3. Each such agency head shall appoint a senior official who shall be the contact person for all reviews under this Order. The agency head may, but need not, designate herself or himself as the contact person.
Section 4. The Secretary of Administration and Finance shall, consistent with law, establish standards, terms and schedules to accomplish reviews of proposed regulations under this Order. The Secretary may also provide for waivers or exceptions essential for the public health, safety, environment or welfare.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 25th day of May in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-one.
DEVAL L. PATRICK, GOVERNOR
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth