Budget and Spending:

Recurring Reports to Congress--Efforts To Eliminate or Modify Certain Reporting Requirements

AFMD-85-49: Published: Apr 1, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 1985.

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After an Office of Management and Budget survey to identify unneeded executive reports to Congress, GAO identified several reporting requirements which it believes that Congress should consider in legislative proposals designed to achieve cost savings and eliminate or modify unneeded reporting requirements.

GAO found that the original purpose for the Secretary of the Interior's report on oil well shutdowns and the flaring of natural gas which is required by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 has been superseded by full decontrol of oil prices in 1981 and a current phaseout of controls over natural gas prices; therefore, GAO review and evaluation of this report is unnecessary. Furthermore, since Interior is responsible for monitoring offshore oil and gas well production, the Secretary's annual reporting requirement of production is unnecessary. In addition, GAO found that a separate annual report to Congress on Office of Personnel Management and Merit Systems Protection Board activities is unnecessary and, by eliminating the requirement, GAO would have more flexibility in planning and scheduling work at these agencies and avoid possible duplication. Further, GAO found that the Congressional Budget Act's requirement for an annual GAO report on progress to improve program and budget information is no longer needed since periodic GAO reports and testimony keep Congress aware of this progress. Finally, GAO found that the Amtrak Improvement Act could be revised to make the performance and audit report function discretionary rather than mandatory, which would give GAO more flexibility in planning and scheduling Amtrak work.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation was included in H.R. 2519 and H.R. 5992, bills to discontinue or amend certain agency reports to Congress. The bills were reported out of the Senate and the House. The bills were passed into law as the Congressional Reports Elimination Act, P.L. 99-386. An accomplishment report will be prepared.

    Matter: Congress should repeal section 601(b) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 to eliminate the requirement for the Comptroller General's review and evaluation.

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation was incorporated into H.R. 2519 and H.R. 5992, bills to discontinue or amend certain agency reports to Congress. The bills were reported out of the Senate and the House. The bills were passed into law as the Congressional Reports Elimination Act, P.L. 99-386. An accomplishment report will be prepared.

    Matter: Congress should amend the Civil Service Reform Act to eliminate the requirement for a GAO annual report.

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation was incorporated into H.R. 2519, a bill to discontinue or amend certain agency reports to Congress. The bill was reported out of the Senate but was not acted on in the House.

    Matter: Congress should amend the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to eliminate the GAO annual report on progress to improve program and budget information for Congress.

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation was included in H.R. 2519, a bill to discontinue or amend certain agency reports to Congress. The bill was reported out of the Senate but was not acted on in the House.

    Matter: Section 11(1) of the Amtrak Improvement Act of 1974, 45 U.S.C. 644(2), should be amended by: (1) striking from paragraph (A) "The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct annually a performance audit" and inserting in lieu thereof "The Comptroller General of the United States may conduct audits;" and (2) repealing paragraph (C).

 

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