Information-Gathering Activities of the Federal Maritime Commission

B-180233: Published: Oct 21, 1976. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 1976.

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The Federal Maritime Commission's (FMC) regulatory role and the impact of its reporting requirements on industry require that an effective information gathering process exist. FMC does not have an effective forms management program because the necessary management controls are not being applied uniformly. FMC's forms management program does not comply with the guidelines prescribed by the National Archives and Records Service, which incorporate the management controls GAO believes to be essential; specify procedures for the responsible offices to follow in implementing and reviewing reporting requirements; have methods for determining the need for the information or for estimating the compliance burden imposed on prospective respondents; or have guidelines to objectively reassess FMC's information-gathering activities. FMC should have a forms management program which defines reporting requirement initiation, development, and reassessment procedures, as well as the critical management actions necessary for an effective program. The FMC forms control officer is developing a forms management program which should assure that necessary controls are implemented. The Chairman of the FMC should: implement a forms management program that prescribes specific management procedures and responsibilities, as well as necessary management controls, give greater emphasis to the forms management program, and periodically review the forms management process.

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