Paperwork Reduction:

Information on OMB's and Agencies' Actions

GGD-97-143R: Published: Jun 25, 1997. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO answered questions on the implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

GAO noted that: (1) by setting a goal of 25 percent reduction in paperwork burden by the end of fiscal year 1998, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has taken some steps to achieve the goals described in the Paperwork Reduction Act; (2) however, because OMB has not informed Congress of agencies' lack of progress toward those goals, it has not met the act's requirement to keep Congress fully and currently informed of major activities under the act; (3) also, OMB did not set governmentwide or agency-specific goals for fiscal year 1996 until more than three-quarters of the year had passed-too late for agencies to plan and implement measures to achieve the goals; (4) for fiscal year 1997, OMB again will not set goals until late in the year; (5) ultimately, though, possible major fluctuations in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) burden-hour estimate suggest that governmentwide figures may not accurately reflect the paperwork burden felt by the public; and (6) a strong case can be made that it is OMB's job to ensure that valid and consistent measures of paperwork are made.

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