“These are Congressionally-required reports, so Congress needs to enact legislation to eliminate or modify them,” said an administration official in an emailed statement to Federal News Radio.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who was a lead sponsor of the GPRA modernization, said he will work with fellow lawmakers to get rid of these reports.
“Over the years, federal agencies have been instructed to expend considerable staff time and other resources producing thousands of reports, yet we never look back to see if these reporting requirements might be outdated, duplicative, or even relevant,” he said in a statement. “If these reports are sitting on a shelf collecting dust, then it’s time for them to go. Congress should take every opportunity to create a more effective and efficient government, and the elimination of these outdated reports is one step in that direction. We will review this information and work with the agencies and OMB to introduce legislation that will eliminate or modify these unnecessary reporting requirements.”
Consolidating 47 reports
Eliminating 269 reports
Reducing the frequency of 31
OMB proposes to eliminate 70 Defense Department reports, 31 from the Homeland Security Department, 29 from the Office of Director of National Intelligence, 28 from the Department of Health and Human Services and 27 from the Agriculture Department.
It also wants to cut 26 reports from its own list, including eliminating the E-Government report and a report to Congress on the the performance benefits of IT programs. Additionally, OMB wants to streamline this very report to Congress by delivering it every other year in order to focus on working with lawmakers to get rid of unnecessary reports.
Agencies, independent of the GPRA Modernization Act, have been trying to reduce the number reports to Congress over the last few years. The Defense Department, for example, found it sent more than 700 reports to Congress in fiscal 2009. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made reducing and consolidating these reports a major part of his efficiency initiatives, launched in August 2010.
In DoD’s 2012 budget estimates, the Pentagon said it spends $275 million a year on creating these reports and studies, and the goal is to reduce the number by 25 percent, focusing on “all non-essential, lesser-value reports, including all reports generated by DoD Issuances that are 5 years or older.”
DoD has been working with “Congress on ways to meet their needs while working together to reduce the number of reports and non-discretionary Federal Advisory Committees requirements.”
Francis Rose is the host of In Depth, which airs weekdays from 8-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area and online everywhere. Francis has covered all three branches of the federal government as a broadcast journalist since 1998. He joined Federal News Radio in 2006, and launched In Depth in 2008 as a daily show focused on connecting federal executives to the information they need to do their jobs better.