More Can Be Done on Unneeded Reports, Says GAO

OMB and agencies could be doing more to call attention to reports that consume more effort to produce than they are worth, GAO has said.

The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 requires OMB to coordinate an annual review of agencies’ plans and reports for Congress and publish proposals to eliminate or modify reports that may be outdated or duplicative, a report said, but OMB has done so only in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Those lists contained a total of 523 reports, of which 34 were eliminated in 2014.

OMB officials told GAO that the lists change little year to year but that they do plan to release them annually in the future.

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GAO also said that although the GPRAMA requires publishing the lists in the annual White House budget proposal, OMB has been posting them on performance.gov instead because that site hosts other materials information under that law. Including them in the budget “may increase their visibility and usefulness to congressional decision makers and others,” GAO said.

Further, OMB’s guidance to agencies did not comply with GPRAMA directives for agencies to review a complete list of reports, “which could have resulted in a missed opportunity to identify additional report modification proposals.”

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