Oversight

A push for less paperwork

Shelf of Reports

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wants to stop spending staff time and money on congressionally mandated reports that "are sitting on a shelf collecting dust."

Agencies may have a few less reports to produce, if one senator can gather enough support in Congress.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) promised on Jan. 9 to eliminate, or at least consolidate, the 376 reports the Obama administration considers out of date.

"If these reports are sitting on a shelf collecting dust, then it's time for them to go," Warner said in a statement.

The Office of Management and Budget recently released a list of outdated or duplicative reports, some of which are costly, have no new information, or are useless.

For instance, officials suggested eliminating the report to Congress on the benefits of the e-government initiatives. Dozens of agencies work through an annual process to develop the report. Yet, the report does not provide lawmakers with enough information to justify the cost of producing it, according to OMB.

Meanwhile, "much of the data accumulated in the report is available on the IT Dashboard and at the time of publication the data is more current on the IT Dashboard than in the report," OMB officials wrote.

Defense officials, meanwhile, want to do away with the report on Technology and Industrial Base Policy Guidance, among several others. The Defense Department issues policies, performs analyses and takes action to sustain the capabilities for future defense needs, then reports on that work annually. However, officials say it contains no original information, and that the law requires DOD to continue similar analyses.

And all, the 376 reports listed come from 29 different agencies.

The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act, which became law in 2011, requires a report from OMB on the list of reports it recommends eliminating.

"Over the years, federal agencies have been instructed to expend considerable staff time and other resources producing thousands of reports, yet we never look back to see if these reporting requirements might be outdated, duplicative, or even relevant," Warner said.

He said he intends to work with officials to develop legislation to rid agencies of the unnecessary work.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.