Bonamici Introduces Bill Targeting Wasteful Government Reports

May 9, 2014 Issues: Consumer Protection

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici introduced a bill today to reduce the number of unnecessary government reports issued each year. 

The Government Reporting Efficiency Act addresses the thousands of reports that are researched, written, printed, and delivered to Capitol Hill based on long-standing laws, some of which were passed by Congress decades ago.

“This is a common sense bill to address a problem that has mushroomed,” Congresswoman Bonamici said. “Although many reports provide useful information, a significant number pertain to issues that don’t exist anymore - yet they continue to be produced and delivered because there is no mechanism to stop them.”

Bonamici’s bill would require commissioned reports to sunset after five years. For a report to continue beyond five years, Congress would have to explicitly exempt it from the provisions of Bonamici’s bill. Currently, the only way for an unnecessary report to be discontinued is to repeal the law that requires it.

“Lawmakers often commission these studies to ensure greater accountability over a program or policy,” Bonamici said. “Although this is valuable, there are still far too many reports that aren’t being used. That’s a waste of time and a waste of taxpayer money.”

The number of reports required by Congress has grown exponentially over the last 20 years. The House of Representatives is expected to receive more than 4,000 reports during its current two-year session.

“These reports play an important role in the governmental process. They help lawmakers and other agencies make decisions and hold agencies accountable, but the cost and time associated with unnecessary reports has grown out of control,” Bonamici said. “My bill is an efficient way to cut down on needless reports and free up resources.”
 

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