Paperwork reduction back on the agenda

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), the newly appointed chairwoman of a new subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee, may push to reauthorize the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, which was allowed to expire in 2001.

Miller's subcommittee has jurisdiction over regulatory reform, paperwork reduction and all matters relating to the oversight of tax policy. She is expected to "play a key role in our regulatory and paperwork reform efforts this year," committee Chairman Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said.

Since the act's authorization expired in 2001, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), has received funding from the Office of Management and Budget's general fund, said Drew Crockett, a committee spokesman.

Lawmakers created the office as a statutory office within OMB to oversee implementation of the act, which is supposed to reduce the amount of paperwork that individuals, federal contractors, nonprofit institutions, and state, local and tribal governments must submit to the federal government.

But OIRA "was designed to have its own appropriations rather than come out of the general OMB budget," Crockett said. The office's "independence is curtailed if it doesn't have its own appropriation." No particular incident of curtailed independence is apparent, he said, "but could it happen? Yes."

Reauthorization legislation may include "further improvements to federal information technology and security policies and regulatory affairs," Crockett added.

Miller's appointment is part of Davis' larger reordering of the committee structure, which eliminates some subcommittees and creates at least two.

Davis also appointed Rep. Daryl Issa (R-Calif.), who dipped into his car-alarm manufacturing fortune to fund the effort to recall former California Gov. Gray Davis, as chairman of a new energy and resources subcommittee.

Miller is a second-term representative of a district near Detroit. She also serves on the House Armed Services and House Administration committees. Miller was first elected to office at age 25 as a trustee of Harrison Township in Macomb County, Mich. She was Michigan secretary of state from 1994 through 2002.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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