Congress is moving forward with a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) that would do away with hundreds of useless government reports such as the infamous Federal “Report on Reports Provided By Other Federal Agencies.”
If passed, the “Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014” would put in place provisions to streamline Congressional reporting guidelines and eliminate a total of 118 reports while consolidating 200 others.
Reports affected by the measure include an annual review on “Dog and Cat Fur” reportedly conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, the Agriculture Department’s “Listing of Areas Rural in Character” and the Corporation for National and Community Service’s “Report on Reports Provided by Other Federal Agencies.”
“All too frequently Congress adds more reporting requirements without checking to see if they overlap with existing ones. If these unnecessary but required reports are wasting staff time and resources and are sitting on a shelf collecting dust, then it’s long past time for them to be eliminated or consolidated,” Warner said. “In the GPRA Modernization Act, we asked federal agencies to identify duplicative reporting and our legislation reflects their recommendations. Eliminating a handful of reports won’t solve our fiscal challenges, but we should take every opportunity to ensure every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely. I will continue to work with Sen. Ayotte and our other Task Force members on identifying other ways to create a more effective and efficient government.”
Government Oversight and Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has introduced companion legislation in the House.
“The preparation of these reports diverts agency resources better spent on more relevant activities, and for little gain,” Issa said. “For example, a biannual report required of the State Department on ‘Kosovo Peacekeeping’ dates back to 1997 and has clearly been made irrelevant by the current foreign policy landscape.”
Each of the useless reports that will disappear if the bills are approved, supporters of the legislation say, costs the Federal government countless man hours and anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands in taxpayer funding to complete.