United States federal regulatory requirements such as Executive Order 12866 lead federal agencies to perform benefit–cost analysis for large rulemaking and regulatory changes. Many of these costs and benefits come in the form of time saved. These are routinely treated in benefit–cost analysis by other departments such as the Department of Transportation. Given that the Department of Homeland Security would still be regarded as a relatively new regulatory agency, the effort to impose rational methods of resource allocation faces challenges in assessing benefits and costs not confronted elsewhere. Some of the services provided involve reductions in risks to human life and domestic threats to national security, which will take analysts into relatively new territory. Costs are often more mundane, such as minor reductions in the amount of time for various travel-related tasks. Given the serious nature of Homeland Security’s mandate, careful measurement of all costs and benefits is essential. The newness of the agency and the relatively high value of services provided present an opportunity for significant gains in resource allocation.
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