Obama names OMB official to lead paperwork-reduction group


President Obama named OMB official Lisa Brown to head a paperwork-reducing working group. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

The federal government is taking steps (perhaps they’re baby ones, but still) toward reducing the amount of tree-killing paperwork that presidential nominees must submit to be considered for such positions. We hear the White House has named Lisa Brown, who is the acting chief performance officer at the Office of Management and Budget, to chair the new working group established in the nomination-streamlining bill that President Obama signed into law this month. Brown will head up the group tasked with writing a report (hmmm ... sounds like some more paper will be involved) on how to reduce filing burdens for executive nominees.

That’s always been a headache for nominees, who are saddled with multiple questionnaires and disclosure forms for the Senate and the White House to peruse — some of which are redundant and often require hours with one’s accountant and lawyer to fill out. The goals of the working group include coming up with a single “smart form” for nominees and pooling more of the records electronically.

Sounds like Brown knows a thing or two about cutting through clutter: at OMB, she heads up the presidential initiative to “reorganize government functions and agencies to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness.”

Unclear whether the group’s efforts — which have support on the Hill — will take effect in time for the inevitable influx of nominees that accompanies a new presidential administration — no matter who is in the White House.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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