Agencies cut paper

OMB's Fiscal 2003 Report to Congress on Implementation of The E-Government Act

By the end of last year, 57 percent of all federal agency transactions were available online, Office of Management and Budget officials said in the E-Government Act of 2002 report submitted to Congress this week.

Under the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998, agencies were required to provide electronic forms, including electronic signatures and proper security. Fifty-six percent of transactions, or about 4,000 transactions, met an October deadline for compliance, with an additional 12 percent expected to be compliant this year and beyond. OMB officials reported that 32 percent of transactions will not provide an electronic option.

GPEA lets agency officials determine whether a paper form is suitable to be filled out online, such as a customs form completed on an airplane before arrival.

"Agencies have been aggressively working to meet the GPEA deadline, focusing on those transactions that will provide the greatest benefit to the citizen," OMB's report states.

The report detailed agency GPEA compliance as of December 2003, outlining the total number of transactions, those with an electronic option and those that will not be completed. OMB will continue to monitor compliance through the E-Gov Act report and information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Compliance data includes information about transactions, forms submitted to government, as well as information dissemination, posting publications online.

The Business Gateway initiative, a Web portal that compiles relevant laws and regulations, has created an e-forms catalog to provide public access to forms that affect business and citizens.

"The development of this catalog is the first step toward providing agencies with a service to manage their forms electronically," the report states.

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