Watching Government: Illuminating a shady process

To settle or not to settle, that is the question. Whether it's practical or simply expedient for a federal agency facing legal action to negotiate a compromise so it can use increasingly scarce resources elsewhere is hardly a Shakespearean dilemma. It is a growing problem. The US Chamber of Commerce called this "sue-and-settle" process "regulating behind closed doors" in a new report. The process also excludes industries and other affected parties until the settlement is final. "We did this report because it shuts the business community out of the regulatory process," Chamber Senior Vice-Pres. William L. Kovacs said on May 20. "Agencies do not maintain a...

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