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First Gov  

November 6, 1998



FROM: Jacob J. Lew
SUBJECT: New Statutory Language on Paperwork Reduction FY 1999 ICB

Last month, I issued OMB Bulletin 98-09, "Fiscal Year 1999 Information Collection Budget," asking you to submit, by December 15, 1998, the information necessary for OMB to develop the FY 1999 Information Collection Budget (ICB). Since then, in the FY 99 omnibus appropriations bill, Congress directed OMB to submit by March 31, 1999, a report that "identifies specific paperwork reduction accomplishments expected, constituting annual five percent reductions in paperwork expected in fiscal year 1999 and fiscal year 2000."

I am writing to emphasize the need for you to make a concerted effort, during your ongoing work on the FY 1999 ICB submission, to identify paperwork reductions that can be accomplished in FY 1999 and in FY 2000. As you know, there has been continued Congressional interest in this area, and it is likely that progress towards meeting these requirements will receive particular scrutiny in the future.

Specifically, as part of your response to Bulletin 98-09, I am asking you to do the following:

  • Set an agency goal of reducing paperwork by at least 5% in both FY 1999 and FY 2000 (in Bulletin 98-09, OMB set a government-wide goal of 5% for FY 1999).

  • Describe in detail, in the section of your FY 1999 ICB submission entitled Burden Reduction Effort and Goals, what program actions your agency – in planning for the "maximum practicable" paperwork reduction – will take to reduce paperwork by 5% in FY 1999 and in FY 2000.

  • Add to your FY 1999 ICB submission a new section entitled Significant Changes in Information Collection Burden Planned for FY 2000, describing specific program changes planned for FY 2000 that will contribute to paperwork reduction.

Finally, to ensure that OMB can complete its report to Congress by March 31, 1999, I want to stress the importance of submitting to OMB the information required by OMB Bulletin 98-09 and this memorandum by December 15, 1998.

Should your staff have any questions regarding this memorandum, they may contact David Rostker in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget at (202) 395-3897.