I AM pleased to have signed H.R. 16424, a bill creating a temporary Commission on Federal Paperwork to study paperwork generated by various Government reporting requirements. To the public, the burden of filling out Government applications, reports, and other forms of various kinds is not pleasant, frequently annoying, sometimes overwhelming, and often costly and time-consuming. To the Government, adequate information is vital if it is to have responsible policy-making and effective operation of agency activities.
For over 30 years, we have had a public policy of holding Government reporting and recordkeeping requirements to a minimum. These efforts have achieved substantial results, but have not stemmed the increasing tide of Government reporting requirements.
Two main features set the new Commission on Federal Paperwork apart from earlier attacks on the paperwork problem.
It has a broader scope. It will look at laws, regulations, rules, policies, procedures, and practices relating to the gathering, processing, and dissemination of information as well as at the management and control of these activities.
No less important is the composition of the Commission. It brings together representatives of the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government, representatives from State and local governments, and members from industry and the public. All are involved in the paperwork problem in one way or another. It is fitting that we all share the opportunity and responsibility of reexamining our present policies and procedures and recommending new ways to obtain more effectively the information the Government needs without unreasonably burdening the public.
I look forward to seeing the results of the Commission's work.