Report finds sequester barely affecting regulators

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It tracked 75 agencies, and found that combined employee levels are scheduled to rise by 1.6 percent in 2013 and 0.7 percent in 2014.

In fiscal 2013, expenditures “do not appear to be hard hit by the sequester, and are estimated to [be] 0.9 percent higher than in 2012, suggesting that regulatory agencies were able to expend prior year obligations in 2013,” the report added.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for instance, is planning on adding more than 2,000 new employees and spend almost $700 million more through 2014.

The agency uses fees to fund its activities, and a spokesperson said that its hiring and information technology upgrades had been restricted.

Last week, acting Director Teresa Stanek Rea said that efforts to create three permanent satellite offices were being delayed by sequestration.

Economic regulatory agencies are increasing their expenditures at a faster rate than others are, which the study attributes to regulations stemming from the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Healthcare regulations were not included in the analysis, since the scholars could not differentiate between new regulatory spending and those associated with traditional entitlements.