Paperwork Reduction Act review coming soon

Policies that make it difficult for federal agencies to use social media also may soon be modified, White House official says.

Proposed revisions to policies such as the Paperwork Reduction Act could be coming soon, according to a White House official.

Under the Open Government Directive, officials at the Office of Management Budget must review existing policies, such as privacy guidance, to identify roadblocks to open government and to using new technologies. The deadline for the review is April 7, but officials are working to publish it sooner, said Robynn Sturm, assistant deputy chief technology officer for open government at the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Federal agencies also have the same deadline, April 7, to publish their open-government plans.

Here’s what Sturm had to say at a discussion sponsored in part by Federal Computer Week on Feb. 18.

“We're actually hoping can get the guidance out before the agencies’ open government plans are due on April 7,” she said. “You should make your plans doing the things you think are most important to be able to really implement the directive in the most meaningful way and know the changes that are coming out on April 7 will make it all the easier for you to do so,” Sturm added.

The review will hopefully clean up ambiguity and conflicts related to policies such as the Paperwork Reduction Act and using social media tools, she said.

“We want to provide clarity and guidance and also, wherever possible, reduce that friction to make it as easy as possible for agencies to take on these types of activities while still being true to the current law,” she said.