The OMB Efforts To Develop and Augment the Federal Information Locator System Have Not Met Congressional Expectations

GGD-82-76: Published: Jun 17, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) efforts to develop the Federal Information Locator System (FILS).

OMB did not develop and have the FILS operational by the April 1, 1982, deadline. The factors contributing to the deadline's not being met included: (1) Congress not appropriating the funds needed to develop and operate the FILS in fiscal year (FY) 1982, and (2) an unexpected delay in filling the FILS project manager position. OMB has not allocated funds for the FILS in FY 1982 and has not requested funds for the FILS in its FY 1983 budget request. It is considering requesting that the Department of Defense (DOD) provide the funding needed to develop the FILS in FY 1983. GAO knows of no authority which would permit OMB to use DOD funds for this purpose. Despite this, OMB believes that it will have the FILS operational by October 1983. GAO believes that OMB did not provide adequate guidance and direction to its task force which was to develop specifications and functional requirements for the FILS. Because only an FILS manager has been appointed for FILS work, GAO believes it unlikely that OMB will be able to provide the necessary guidance to ensure the success of a new, larger task force being considered. Since the FILS is the basic building block upon which other provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 depend, the OMB failure to complete the FILS on time is delaying successful implementation of the act. GAO believes that OMB could have made more resources available for FILS development and that it could have taken a more aggressive leadership role in developing functional requirements for the system and in resolving the policy issues affecting FILS development.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In 1984, the House passed legislation to implement this recommendation, but the measure did not pass in the Senate during the last Congress.

    Matter: Congress should amend the OMB appropriation to provide specific funding for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs paperwork reduction and related information management activities.


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