Legislation builds on earlier successful efforts to reduce wasteful reports produced by federal agencies
Apr 28 2016
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced bipartisan legislation that would eliminate or consolidate 223 additional unnecessary, duplicative or outdated reports produced by more than two dozen federal agencies and mandated by Congress. In 2014, Sens. Warner and Ayotte successfully eliminated 53 reports that were identified by federal agencies as outdated or duplicative as a result of Sen. Warner’s Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRA). This legislation is the second batch of unnecessary reports that would be consolidated or eliminated in order to allow agencies to direct resources towards more productive activities.
For example, under existing law, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is required to produce a report on the NASA Outreach Program, which was never funded by Congress and does not exist. In another instance, the U.S. Department of Commerce produces a report on the Anadromous Fish Conservation Act, a requirement which remains on the books despite the fact that the program has not been funded since 2008. And the Department of Transportation is actually required to write a report on the “Consolidation or elimination of obsolete, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary reports” – an activity that has been rendered obsolete thanks to the 2010 GPRA legislation. The result: the Transportation Department is required to generate a duplicative, obsolete report on eliminating duplicative, obsolete reports.
“Too often, Congress requires federal agencies to produce reports that overlap with existing ones, or document programs that no longer exist, aren’t funded, and even programs that have never been funded. What an incredible waste of agency resources and taxpayer dollars!” Sen. Warner said. “No business would require employees to dedicate time and resources producing irrelevant reports that sit on a shelf collecting dust, and the federal government shouldn’t, either. Eliminating unnecessary reports won’t solve all of our fiscal challenges, but I’m pleased that Sen. Ayotte and I continue to work together to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely by every federal agency.”
“I’m pleased to work with Senator Warner on another piece of bipartisan legislation to improve the efficiency of government by eliminating outdated or duplicative reports,” Sen. Ayotte said. “American taxpayers deserve a government that doesn’t waste their tax dollars, which means focusing resources on delivering results, not writing reports that are no longer necessary, and I will continue my efforts to streamline government to make it smaller and smarter.”
As Governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006, Sen. Warner worked to implement businesslike reforms that made state government more efficient and cost-effective, resulting in Virginia's designation as the nation’s best managed state in the Pew Charitable Trust’s independent 2005 Government Performance Project. In the Senate, Sen. Warner’s bipartisan Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), which standardizes federal spending data and ensures it is made available online so Americans can access information about how their tax dollars are being spent, was signed into law by the President on May 9, 2014.
A full list of the 223 unnecessary, duplicative or outdated reports recommended for elimination is available here.