Paperwork Reduction Act:
Burden Estimates Continue to Increase
GAO-01-648T, Apr 24, 2001
This testimony discusses the implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The data indicate that federal paperwork increased by nearly 180 million burden hours during fiscal year 2000--the second-largest one-year increase since the act was passed. This increase is largely attributed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which raised its paperwork estimate by about 240 million burden hours. The rest of the government decreased its burden estimate by about 70 million burden hours during the fiscal year. Within that non-IRS grouping, some agencies were more successful than others in reducing their paperwork estimates and some increased their estimates. In addition, federal agencies identified a total of 487 violations of the PRA during fiscal year 2000--fewer than the 710 they identified during fiscal year 1999. These 487 violations, however, represent substantial opportunity costs and many have persisted for years. GAO believes that the Office of Management and Budget can do more to ensure that agencies do not use information collections without proper clearance.