Bipartisan legislation would end unnecessary agency reports


Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite).
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A new bipartisan Senate bill would scrap hundreds reporting requirements for federal agencies, including an annual review involving dog and cat fur protections.

The measure, introduced this week by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), would eliminate, combine or modify more than 320 reports that agencies have identified as unnecessary, duplicative or outdated.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) have introduced companion legislation in the House. That measure is awaiting floor action.

Among the requirements that would disappear under the Senate bill, one mandates that U.S. Customs and Border Protection produce annual reports on violations of the Dog and Cat Fur Protection Act of 2000. Only one recorded infraction has occurred in the past five years, according to a joint statement from Warner and Ayotte, who head the Senate Budget Committee’s Government Performance Task Force.

The Senate bill would also eliminate an annual report the Social Security Administration is required to file on its printing activities. No lawmaker has ever taken action on the findings from those reviews, the statement said.

“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.

MORE: Agencies identify hundreds of unnecessary reports

The Senate bill would build on a 2010 law that requires federal agencies to identify unnecessary reporting requirements. Warner led the effort to push that measure through Congress. The statement noted that Warner was also governor of Virginia when it earned the top spot as the best-managed state in the Pew Charitable Trust’s Government Performance Project.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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