Modification Through the Cyclical Relationship Between Rulemaking and Operation

An important aspect of policy modification within the implementation phase of the process is represented by the feedback loop in Figure 9.1 between rulemaking and operation. As discussed in Chapters 7 and 8, there is a cyclical relationship between rulemaking and the operational activities involved with a public law's implementation. Although rulemaking precedes operation in the sequence of these activities, the experiences gained in operations feed back into rulemaking.

This cyclical relationship is important. It means that experience gained with the operation of policies can influence the modification of rules or regulations subsequently used in their operation. The Real World ofHealth Policy:

OSHA Proposes and then Withdraws a Rule Based on Operation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act illustrates this situation: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a rule on occupational exposure to tuberculosis (TB) only to subsequently withdraw it based on the fact that the occupational risk of acquiring TB declined as the incidence of TB in the population as a whole declined. Practically, the cyclical relationship between rulemaking and operation means that rules promulgated to implement policies undergo revision—sometimes the revision is extensive and continual—and that new rules can be adopted or existing ones changed or dropped as experience dictates. This feature of policymaking is an important aspect of the continual modification of policy.

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