Jim Tozzi (born 1938) is a former regulatory official of the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB). He currently is the head of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, an industry-supported organization that describes itself as a "regulatory watchdog."
Jim Tozzi got his Ph.D. in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Florida. After some time playing jazz as a self-described “bottom-tier” musician in New Orleans, Tozzi began working in Washington in 1964 at the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of the Army, where he worked on budget and strategic response issues. Tozzi served as an officer in the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Work at OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)
Tozzi was instrumental in the passage of the Paperwork Reduction Act and the establishment of the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in 1980. Under his directorship, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was the gatekeeper for virtually all proposed regulations] dealing with public health and safety. It quickly became known among watchdog groups as a bureaucratic “black hole” where proposed regulations disappeared.
Tozzi was the Deputy Administrator of OMB in charge of the OIRA (and therefore of the regulatory agencies) when he left the organization in 1983 at age 45. He had also been the head of the Federal Ad Hoc Group on Toxic Torts, and had earned the nickname 'Stealth' for his ability to sneak in quietly and bomb agency attempts at regulation.
Between 1983 and 1986 he was employed as a 'consultant economist' by Beveridge & Diamond, the law firm of William Ruckleshaus, ex-administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and now contracted to the chemical industry. The firm's key lobbyist was J Marshall Coleman (ex State Attorney General) who was counsel to Dow Chemical and working in close relationship with the Chemical Manufacturing Association's American Industrial Health Council (AIHC), along with Edison Electric Institute, and the Society of the Plastic Industry.
The National Archives Interview on Centralized Regulatory Review
The National Archives extensively interviewed Jim Tozzi as part of an oral history project documenting the Nixon Administration. The Tozzi interview focused on the history of centralized regulatory review during this transformative period. The link to the complete videotaped interview may be found in the External Links section of this page.
In 1986 Thorne Auchter (ex head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and James Tozzi founded the lobbying company Multinational Business Services (MBS), and its not-for-profit Federal Focus, Inc, (a 501(c)(3) non-profit 'foundation') which was funded largely by Philip Morris. Federal Focus successfully blocked the federal government from gathering data related to deaths from secondhand smoke.
Federal Focus spawned dozens of 'non-profit' policy institutes and business-oriented think-tanks, among them were: • Center for Epidemiological Studies (CES - after 1993) • Institute for Regulatory Policy (IRP - before 1994) • Health Policy Institute (HPI - before 1994); • Center for the Study of Environmental Endocrine Effects (CSEEE - in 1994). • Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE in 1994) which appears to be his current major organisation (although payments are still funneled through MBE).
Federal Focus was the vehicle by which the tobacco industry tried to change the rules for the science of epidemiology and the political rules behind risk-management. (See Good Epidemiological Practice (GEP) and the London Principles.)
Tozzi has been a member of the Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) since 1992 and currently serves as chairman of the International/Energy Workgroup. The EFAB provides advice to the Administrator and Program Offices of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on "how to pay" questions for environmental protection.
Role in Passage of the Data Quality Act
Tozzi was a major behind-the-scenes architect of the Data Quality Act (DQA) which he helped to become law in December 2000 as a stealth rider to the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001. Since 2001 he has lobbied for regulated industries through the use of DQA. Among his accomplishments was the successful recertification of an herbicide, atrazine, by the EPA, despite laboratory and field studies showing that the chemical is an endocrine disruptor that causes frogs to become hermaphroditic.
Tozzi's role in the DQA was analyzed as a case study in policy entrepreneurship in a National Science Foundation-funded study, "Lobbying and Policymaking: The Public Pursuit of Private Interests," by R. Kenneth Godwin, Scott Ainsworth and Erik K. Godwin. The article "Policy Entrepreneurs: The Power of Audacity" published by RegBlog, an online publication of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, discussed Tozzi's work on both the PRA and the DQA as examples of policy entrepreneurship.