GAO: Agencies Risk Missing Paperwork Elimination Deadline

Many federal agencies are at risk of missing the 2003 deadline for complying with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, according to a report released Sept. 28 by the General Accounting Office.

The report, "Electronic Government: Better Information Needed on Agencies' Implementation of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act," found that many of the 24 major departments and agencies studied didn't plan to implement the electronic solutions until 2003, or in some cases still have no plans for implementation.

Moreover, the report, commissioned in April by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, found the October 2000 implementation plans agencies submitted to the Office of Management and Budget "did not provide sufficient information regarding agencies' strategic actions, such as prioritizing planned conversions based on achievability and net benefit."

The report recommended OMB refine the reporting requirements to provide continuous feedback on completeness and quality of implementation plans, and to hold agencies accountable for achieving results.

The 1998 Government Paperwork Elimination Act requires federal agencies allow the public, when practicable, to submit, maintain and disclose required information electronically, rather than on paper. Agencies must comply by Oct. 21, 2003. OMB has oversight.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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