Difference between revisions of "Paperwork Reduction Act"

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[https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-regulatory-affairs/ Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs]
 
[https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-regulatory-affairs/ Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs]
 
==Overview==
 
==Overview==
One of the main purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) is to “minimize the paperwork burden for individuals, small businesses, educational and nonprofit institutions, Federal contractors, State, local and tribal governments, and other persons . . . ; ensure the greatest possible public benefit . . . of information collected . . . ; [and] and minimize the cost to the Federal Government of the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination, and disposition of information . . . .” 44 U.S.C. § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3501&num=0&edition=prelim 3501]. The PRA statutorily established the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned it responsibility for coordinating government information policies, including approving agency collections of information. The PRA applies to all agencies in the executive branch, as well as to the independent regulatory agencies. Only very narrow functions are exempted from its coverage: (1) federal criminal matters or actions; (2) civil and administrative actions and investigations of specified individuals or entities; (3) compulsory process issued in connection with antitrust proceedings; and (4) federal intelligence activities carried out under presidential executive order. 44 U.S.C. § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3518&num=0&edition=prelim 3518].
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One of the main purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) is to “minimize the paperwork burden for individuals, small businesses, educational and nonprofit institutions, Federal contractors, State, local and tribal governments, and other persons . . . ; ensure the greatest possible public benefit . . . of information collected . . . ; [and] and minimize the cost to the Federal Government of the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination, and disposition of information” (44 U.S.C. [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3501&num=0&edition=prelim § 3501]). The PRA statutorily established the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned it responsibility for coordinating government information policies, including approving agency collections of information. The PRA applies to all agencies in the executive branch, as well as to the independent regulatory agencies. Only very narrow functions are exempted from its coverage: (1) federal criminal matters or actions; (2) civil and administrative actions and investigations of specified individuals or entities; (3) compulsory process issued in connection with antitrust proceedings; and (4) federal intelligence activities carried out under presidential executive order (44 U.S.C. [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3518&num=0&edition=prelim § 3518]).
  
 
===Basic Clearance Requirement===
 
===Basic Clearance Requirement===
The PRA assigns to OIRA the function of approving information collections. It provides that agencies “shall not conduct or sponsor the collection of information” without first obtaining the actual or inferred approval of the OMB Director, who will determine whether the information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency’s functions. § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim 3507(a)(2)]. The PRA (§ [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3502&num=0&edition=prelim 3502(3)]) defines “collection of information” as: <blockquote>The obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or opinions by or for an agency, regardless of form or format, calling for either—answers to identical questions posed to, or identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on, ten or more persons, other than agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States; or answers to questions posed to agencies instrumentalities, or employees of the United States which are to be used for general statistical purposes.</blockquote>The 1995 Amendments amended the definition of “collection of information” in § 3502(3) explicitly to include requiring persons to collect information for the purpose of disclosing it to the public or third parties as opposed to federal agencies only, thereby overruling the outcome in ''Dole v. United Steelworkers of America'', 494 U.S. 26 (1990).
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The PRA assigns to OIRA the function of approving information collections. It provides that agencies “shall not conduct or sponsor the collection of information” without first obtaining the actual or inferred approval of the Director of OMB, who will determine whether the information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency’s functions ([http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim § 3507(a)(2)]). The PRA (§ [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3502&num=0&edition=prelim 3502(3)]) defines “collection of information” as: <blockquote>The obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or opinions by or for an agency, regardless of form or format, calling it either—answers to identical questions posed to, or identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on, ten or more persons, other than agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States; or answers to questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States which are to be used for general statistical purposes.</blockquote>The 1995 amendments amended the definition of “collection of information” in § 3502(3) explicitly to include requiring persons to collect information for the purpose of disclosing it to the public or third parties as opposed to federal agencies only, thereby overruling [https://cdn.loc.gov/service/ll/usrep/usrep494/usrep494026/usrep494026.pdf Dole v. United Steelworkers of America], 494 U.S. 26 (1990).
  
The PRA forbids OMB from approving any information collection for a period of more than three years. § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim 3507(g)]. Failure to obtain OMB approval of a collection of information triggers operation of the PRA’s “public protection provision,” § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3512&num=0&edition=prelim 3512], which provides that “no person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that is subject to this subchapter if—(1) the collection of information does not display a valid control number assigned by the Director [of OMB] . . . ; or (2) the agency fails to inform the person who is to respond to the collection of information that such person is not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a valid control number.” Although there have been numerous attempts to utilize the public protection provision to challenge agency collections of information or as a defense to actions for the failure to file required documents or for filing false information, they have been unsuccessful almost without exception. Indeed, the only exceptions appear to be two cases prosecuting persons for mining on Forest Service land without having filed the required plan of operations, a requirement that did not contain a valid control number. ''See United States v. Hatch'', 919 F.2d 1394 (9th Cir. 1990); ''United States v. Smith'', 866 F.2d 1092 (9th Cir. 1989).
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The PRA forbids OMB from approving any information collection for a period of more than three years. § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim 3507(g)]. Failure to obtain OMB approval of a collection of information triggers operation of the PRA’s “public protection provision” ([http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3512&num=0&edition=prelim § 3512]), which provides that “no person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that is subject to this subchapter if—(1) the collection of information does not display a valid control number assigned by the Director [of OMB] . . . ; or (2) the agency fails to inform the person who is to respond to the collection of information that such person is not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a valid control number.” Although there have been numerous attempts to utilize the public protection provision to challenge agency collections of information or as a defense to actions for the failure to file required documents or for filing false information, they have been unsuccessful almost without exception. Indeed, the only exceptions appear to be two cases prosecuting persons for mining on Forest Service land without having filed the required plan of operations, a requirement that did not contain a valid control number. ''See United States v. Hatch'', 919 F.2d 1394 (9th Cir. 1990); ''United States v. Smith'', 866 F.2d 1092 (9th Cir. 1989).
  
 
===Clearance Procedure===
 
===Clearance Procedure===
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[http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim Section 3507(d)] prescribes the following procedure for information collections contained in rules promulgated following notice and comment:
 
[http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim Section 3507(d)] prescribes the following procedure for information collections contained in rules promulgated following notice and comment:
#Each agency shall forward to OMB a copy of any proposed rule which contains a collection of information, and any information that OMB deems necessary to make the determination. This information must be transmitted no later than publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register.
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#Within 60 days after the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, OMB may file public comments on the collection of information contained in the proposed rule.
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#Each agency shall forward to OMB a copy of any proposed rule which contains a collection of information, and any information that OMB deems necessary to make the determination. This information must be transmitted no later than publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the ''Federal Register''.
#When a final rule is published in the Federal Register, the agency shall explain how any collection of information contained in the final rule responds to the comments filed by OMB or the public, or the reason the comments were rejected.
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#Within 60 days after the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the ''Federal Register'', OMB may file public comments on the collection of information contained in the proposed rule.
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#When a final rule is published in the ''Federal Register'', the agency shall explain how any collection of information contained in the final rule responds to the comments filed by OMB or the public, or the reason the comments were rejected.
 
#If OMB has received notice and failed to comment on an agency rule within 60 days after the notice of proposed rulemaking, OMB may not disapprove any collection of information specifically contained in that rule.
 
#If OMB has received notice and failed to comment on an agency rule within 60 days after the notice of proposed rulemaking, OMB may not disapprove any collection of information specifically contained in that rule.
#However, OMB may disapprove a collection of information where (A) the collection of information was not specifically required by an agency rule; (B) the agency failed to comply with the submission requirements; (C) OMB finds within 60 days after publication of the final rule that the agency’s response to OMB’s comments were unreasonable; or (D) OMB determines the agency has substantially modified the collection of information in the final rule without giving OMB 60 days to review the modified requirement.
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#However, OMB may disapprove a collection of information if (A) the collection of information was not specifically required by an agency rule; (B) the agency failed to comply with the submission requirements; (C) OMB finds within 60 days after publication of the final rule that the agency’s response to OMB’s comments were unreasonable; or (D) OMB determines the agency has substantially modified the collection of information in the final rule without giving OMB 60 days to review the modified requirement.
 
#OMB’s decision to disapprove the collection of information in the rule, and its reasons for that decision, must be made publicly available and include an explanation of the reasons for such decision. But OMB’s decision to approve or not act upon a rule is not subject to judicial review.
 
#OMB’s decision to disapprove the collection of information in the rule, and its reasons for that decision, must be made publicly available and include an explanation of the reasons for such decision. But OMB’s decision to approve or not act upon a rule is not subject to judicial review.
  
OMB’s regulations implementing the PRA ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=9c7267808cc04a73fb3d3f41b1180d02&mc=true&node=pt5.3.1320&rgn=div5 5 C.F.R. Part 1320]) have added certain requirements to the clearance process for collections of information contained in proposed agency rules ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_111&rgn=div8 5 C.F.R. § 1320.11]), current agency rules ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_112&rgn=div8 5 C.F.R. § 1320.12]), and clearance of collections other than in proposed or current rules. ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_110&rgn=div8 5 C.F.R. § 1320.10]).
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OMB’s regulations implementing the PRA ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=9c7267808cc04a73fb3d3f41b1180d02&mc=true&node=pt5.3.1320&rgn=div5 5 C.F.R. Part 1320]) have added certain requirements to the clearance process for collections of information contained in proposed agency rules ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_111&rgn=div8 5 C.F.R. § 1320.11]), current agency rules ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_112&rgn=div8 5 C.F.R. § 1320.12]), and clearance of collections other than in proposed or current rules ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_110&rgn=div8 5 C.F.R. § 1320.10]).
*Agencies should submit collections of information contained in proposed rules to the Federal Register for public comment. The preamble to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking shall state that the collection of information has been submitted for OMB review and direct that comments be filed with the desk officer for the agency in OIRA/OMB. (5 C.F.R. § 1320.11(a)). OMB will provide at least 30 days for public comment. 5 C.F.R. § 1320.11(e).
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*Upon publication of the final rule, the agency shall explain how the collection of information in the final rule responds to comments, and identify and explain modifications made to the rule. 5 C.F.R. § 1320.11(f).
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*Agencies should submit collections of information contained in proposed rules to the ''Federal Register'' for public comment. The preamble to the NPRM shall state that the collection of information has been submitted for OMB review and direct that comments be filed with the desk officer for the agency in OIRA/OMB (§ 1320.11(a)). OMB will provide at least 30 days for public comment (§ 1320.11(e)).
*On or before the date of publication of the final rule, the agency will submit the final rule to OMB (Unless the approved proposed rule was not materially changed). OMB then has 60 days to approve, disapprove, or order a change in the final rule. (5 C.F.R. § 1320.11(h)). If OMB approves, it will assign an OMB control number. 5 C.F.R. § 1320.11(i).
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*Upon publication of the final rule, the agency shall explain how the collection of information in the final rule responds to comments and identify and explain modifications made to the rule (§ 1320.11(f)).
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*On or before the date of publication of the final rule, the agency will submit the final rule to OMB, unless the approved proposed rule was not materially changed. OMB then has 60 days to approve, disapprove, or order a change in the final rule (§ 1320.11(h)). If OMB approves, it will assign an OMB control number (§ 1320.11(i)).
  
 
For information collections that are not contained in new rules promulgated after notice and comment, there is a different process:
 
For information collections that are not contained in new rules promulgated after notice and comment, there is a different process:
*On or before the day an information collection proposal is submitted to OMB for clearance, the agency must send a notice to the Federal Register, in which the agency advises the public that OMB approval has been requested and that the public has 30 to submit comments on the proposal to the OIRA/OMB desk officer for the agency. 5 C.F.R. § 1320.10(a).
 
*Within 60 days after receipt of the agency’s submission, OMB will notify the agency of its decision to approve or disapprove, in whole or in part, the information collection. OMB will provide at least 30 days for public comment before making a decision. 5 C.F.R. § 1320.10(b).
 
*If OMB does not act within the 60-day period, the agency can ask OMB to assign the required control number (valid for one year in these circumstances), and OMB must do so without delay. 5 C.F.R. § 1320.10(c).
 
  
OMB has also developed procedures that govern clearance for information collections in existing rules. 5 C.F.R. § [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_112&rgn=div8 1320.12]. The procedures are intended to prevent expiration of OMB approval for an information collection before the agency has undertaken the necessary administrative procedure to extend OMB’s three-year approval or effect a repeal or amendment of the rule containing the collection provision. The agency is required to seek public comment on the requirement and initiate the OMB review process not later than 60 days before the existing OMB approval expires. If OMB indicates disapproval of the existing information collection provision, OMB must publish an explanation in the Federal Register and instruct the agency to initiate a rulemaking to amend or rescind the provision, consistent with the APA or other applicable requirements.
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*On or before the day an information collection proposal is submitted to OMB for clearance, the agency must send a notice to the ''Federal Registe''r, in which the agency advises the public that OMB approval has been requested and that the public has 30 to submit comments on the proposal to the OIRA/OMB desk officer for the agency (§ 1320.10(a)).
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*Within 60 days after receipt of the agency’s submission, OMB will notify the agency of its decision to approve or disapprove, in whole or in part, the information collection. OMB will provide at least 30 days for public comment before making a decision (§ 1320.10(b)).
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*If OMB does not act within the 60-day period, the agency can ask OMB to assign the required control number (valid for one year in these circumstances), and OMB must do so without delay (§ 1320.10(c)).
  
Finally, OMB regulations (§ [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_16&rgn=div8 1320.6(e)]) make clear that the public protection provision in § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3512&num=0&edition=prelim 3512] of the PRA does not preclude the government from imposing a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that is mandated by statute, even in the absence of a valid OMB control number. Several courts have so held: ''[http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2007/D11-14/C:06-3635:J:Easterbrook:aut:T:op:N:0:S:0 United States v. Patridge]'', 507 F.3d 1092 (7th Cir. 2007), ''reh’g and reh’g en banc denied, cert. denied'', 552 U.S. 1280, ''reh’g denied'', 553 U.S. 1062, ''cert. denied'', 555 U.S. 909, ''post-conviction relief denied'', 2010 WL 3025043; ''Salberg v. United States'', 969 F.2d 379, 384 (7th Cir. 1992); ''United States v. Neff'', 954 F.2d 698, 699–700, (11th Cir. 1992); ''United States v. Hicks'', 947 F.2d 1356, 1359 (9th Cir. 1991); ''United States v. Kerwin'', 945 F.2d 92 (5th Cir. 1991); ''United States v. Wunder'', 919 F.2d 34, 38 (6th Cir. 1990).
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OMB has also developed procedures that govern clearance for information collections in existing rules ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_112&rgn=div8 § 1320.12]). The procedures are intended to prevent expiration of OMB approval for an information collection before the agency has undertaken the necessary administrative procedure to extend OMB’s three-year approval or effect a repeal or amendment of the rule containing the collection provision. The agency is required to seek public comment on the requirement and initiate the OMB review process not later than 60 days before the existing OMB approval expires. If OMB indicates disapproval of the existing information collection provision, OMB must publish an explanation in the ''Federal Register'' and instruct the agency to initiate a rulemaking to amend or rescind the provision, consistent with the [[Administrative Procedure Act]] (APA) or other applicable requirements.
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Finally, OMB regulations ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_16&rgn=div8 § 1320.6(e)]) make clear that the public protection provision in § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3512&num=0&edition=prelim 3512] of the PRA does not preclude the government from imposing a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that is mandated by statute, even in the absence of a valid OMB control number. Several courts have so held: [http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2007/D11-14/C:06-3635:J:Easterbrook:aut:T:op:N:0:S:0 United States v. Patridge], 507 F.3d 1092 (7th Cir. 2007), ''reh’g and reh’g en banc denied, cert. denied'', 552 U.S. 1280, ''reh’g denied'', 553 U.S. 1062, ''cert. denied'', 555 U.S. 909, ''post-conviction relief denied'', 2010 WL 3025043; ''Salberg v. United States'', 969 F.2d 379, 384 (7th Cir. 1992); ''United States v. Neff'', 954 F.2d 698, 699–700, (11th Cir. 1992); ''United States v. Hicks'', 947 F.2d 1356, 1359 (9th Cir. 1991); ''United States v. Kerwin'', 945 F.2d 92 (5th Cir. 1991); ''United States v. Wunder'', 919 F.2d 34, 38 (6th Cir. 1990).
  
 
===Alternative Procedures===
 
===Alternative Procedures===
The PRA contains several variations from the general review procedures for review of agency information collections. [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim Section 3507(j)] establishes a “fast-track” review procedure for emergency situations, which is available on request by agency heads. OMB regulations provided a stringent test for granting such requests. ''See'' 5 C.F.R. § [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_113&rgn=div8 1320.13].
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The PRA contains several variations from the general review procedures for review of agency information collections. [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim Section 3507(j)] establishes a “fast-track” review procedure for emergency situations, which is available on request by agency heads. OMB regulations provided a stringent test for granting such requests ([https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_113&rgn=div8 § 1320.13]).
The PRA also authorizes the OMB director to delegate his authority to approve proposed collections of information to the senior official an agency designates as its Chief Information Officer, § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3506&num=0&edition=prelim 3506(a)(2)], if that person “is sufficiently independent of program responsibility to evaluate fairly whether proposed information collection requests should be approved and has sufficient resources to carry out this responsibility effectively.” § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim 3507(i)]. Such an official must comply with OMB’s regulations in reviewing his or her agency’s information collection provisions. 5 C.F.R. § [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_17&rgn=div8 1320.7].
 
  
OMB’s general clearance procedures are subject to the PRA’s provision that independent regulatory agencies may, by majority vote, override an OMB decision disapproving a proposed information collection. 5 U.S.C. § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim 3507(f)]; 5 C.F.R. § [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_115&rgn=div8 1320.15]. The PRA also contains the only extant statutory definition of “independent regulatory agency” in 5 U.S.C. § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3502&num=0&edition=prelim 3502(5)], which has been cross-referenced in a number of other statutes.
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The PRA also authorizes the OMB director to delegate his authority to approve proposed collections of information to the senior official an agency designates as its Chief Information Officer ([http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3506&num=0&edition=prelim § 3506(a)(2)]), if that person “is sufficiently independent of program responsibility to evaluate fairly whether proposed information collection requests should be approved and has sufficient resources to carry out this responsibility effectively” ([http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim § 3507(i)]). Such an official must comply with OMB’s regulations in reviewing his or her agency’s information collection provisions (5 C.F.R. [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_17&rgn=div8 § 1320.7]).
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OMB’s general clearance procedures are subject to the PRA’s provision that independent regulatory agencies may, by majority vote, override an OMB decision disapproving a proposed information collection (5 U.S.C.[http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3507&num=0&edition=prelim § 3507(f)]; 5 C.F.R. [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_115&rgn=div8 § 1320.15]). The PRA also contains the only extant statutory definition of “independent regulatory agency” in 5 U.S.C. § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3502&num=0&edition=prelim 3502(5)], which has been cross-referenced in a number of other statutes.
  
 
===Agency Certifications===
 
===Agency Certifications===
The regulations (5 C.F.R. § [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=502d3fc456f2ea6fe5ea737ddd44990b&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_15&rgn=div8 1320.5(d)(1)]) further describe the standard: an agency must show that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the collection of information is the least burdensome necessary, that it is not duplicative of information otherwise accessible to the agency, and that the collection of information has practical utility.
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The regulations (5 C.F.R. [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=502d3fc456f2ea6fe5ea737ddd44990b&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_15&rgn=div8 § 1320.5(d)(1)]) further describe the standard: an agency must show that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the collection of information is the least burdensome necessary, that it is not duplicative of information otherwise accessible to the agency, and that the collection of information has practical utility.
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 +
In addition, OMB has established general guidelines (5 C.F.R. [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_15&rgn=div8 § 1320.5(d)(2)]) that will be applied unless the agency can demonstrate the need for an exception to them. Among other things, OMB will generally not approve a collection of information
  
In addition, OMB has established general guidelines (5 C.F.R. § [https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=b6590f23848222fab6317f1c1c11b185&mc=true&node=se5.3.1320_15&rgn=div8 1320.5(d)(2)]) that will be applied unless the agency can demonstrate the need for an exception to them. Among other things, OMB will generally not approve a collection of information that requires reporting more often than quarterly; that requires a written response in fewer than 30 days; that requires respondents to submit more than one original and two copies of a document; that requires persons to retain records (other than health, medical, contract, grant, or tax records) for more than three years; that is not a statistical survey designed to produce valid and reliable statistical results or requires the use of a statistical data classification that has not been reviewed and approved by OMB; that includes a pledge of confidentiality that is not supported by authority established in statute or regulation, that is not supported by disclosure and data security policies that are consistent with the pledge, that unnecessarily impedes sharing of data with other agencies for compatible confidential use; or that requires respondents to submit proprietary, trade secret, or other confidential information, unless the agency can demonstrate that it has instituted procedures to protect the information’s confidentiality to the extent permitted by law.
+
#that requires reporting more often than quarterly;
 +
#that requires a written response in fewer than 30 days after receipt;
 +
#that requires respondents to submit more than one original and two copies of a document;
 +
#that requires persons to retain records (other than health, medical, contract, grant, or tax records) for more than three years;
 +
#that is not a statistical survey designed to produce valid and reliable statistical results;
 +
#requires the use of a statistical data classification that has not been reviewed and approved by OMB;
 +
#that includes a pledge of confidentiality that is not supported by authority established in statute or regulation, that is not supported by disclosure and data security policies that are consistent with the pledge, or which unnecessarily impedes sharing of data with other agencies for compatible confidential use; or
 +
#that requires respondents to submit proprietary, trade secret, or other confidential information, unless the agency can demonstrate that it has instituted procedures to protect the information’s confidentiality to the extent permitted by law.
  
 
Also pertinent to OMB’s authority is § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3518&num=0&edition=prelim 3518(e)] of the PRA, which states:<blockquote>Nothing in [the PRA] shall be interpreted as increasing or decreasing the authority of the President, the Office of Management and Budget or the Director thereof, under the laws of the United States, with respect to the substantive policies and programs of departments, agencies, and offices, including the substantive authority of any Federal agency to enforce the civil rights laws.</blockquote>
 
Also pertinent to OMB’s authority is § [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title44-section3518&num=0&edition=prelim 3518(e)] of the PRA, which states:<blockquote>Nothing in [the PRA] shall be interpreted as increasing or decreasing the authority of the President, the Office of Management and Budget or the Director thereof, under the laws of the United States, with respect to the substantive policies and programs of departments, agencies, and offices, including the substantive authority of any Federal agency to enforce the civil rights laws.</blockquote>
  
 
===Information Management===
 
===Information Management===
The Paperwork Reduction Act also authorizes OMB to develop and implement uniform policies on information resources management by federal agencies. OMB has done this through [https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/circulars/A130/a130revised.pdf Circular A-130], which sets out various policies agencies are to use in managing government information. Circular A-130, originally issued in 1985, 50 Fed. Reg. 52,730 (Dec. 24, 1985), has been revised and amended over the years.
+
The PRA also authorizes OMB to develop and implement uniform policies on information resources management by federal agencies. OMB has done this through [https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/circulars/A130/a130revised.pdf Circular A-130], which sets out various policies agencies are to use in managing government information.
  
 
==Legislative History==
 
==Legislative History==
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 replaced the Federal Reports Act of 1942 as the basic statute controlling paperwork requirements imposed on the public by the federal government. The PRA was amended significantly in 1986 and in minor ways in ensuing years, and then amended and completely recodified in 1995.
+
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 replaced the Federal Reports Act of 1942 ([http://uscode.house.gov/statviewer.htm?volume=56&page=1078# Pub. L. No. 77-831]) as the basic statute controlling paperwork requirements imposed on the public by the federal government. The PRA was amended significantly in 1986 and in minor ways in ensuing years, and then amended and completely recodified in 1995.
The Paperwork Reduction Act was originally enacted as part of the regulatory reform movement of the 1970s. Reacting to growing public concern over the burden imposed by federal information collections, Congress established the Commission on Federal Paperwork in late 1974. The Commission, in its report in 1977, made 770 recommendations for reducing the federal paperwork burden. Legislation implementing some of the Recommendations was introduced in both the 95th and 96th Congresses. The Paperwork Reduction Act was passed in November 1980 and signed by President Carter on December 11, 1980. (The legislative history of the 1980 Act was recounted by William Funk in ''The Paperwork Reduction Act: Paperwork Reduction Meets Administrative Law'', 24 Harv. J. on Legis. 1 (1987).)
+
 
 +
The PRA was originally enacted as part of the regulatory reform movement of the 1970s. Reacting to growing public concern over the burden imposed by federal information collections, Congress established the Commission on Federal Paperwork in late 1974. The Commission, in its report in 1977, made 770 recommendations for reducing the federal paperwork burden. Legislation implementing some of the Recommendations was introduced in both the 95th and 96th Congresses. The PRA was passed in November 1980 and signed by President Carter on December 11, 1980. ''See'' William Funk, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act: Paperwork Reduction Meets Administrative Law'', 24 Harv. J. on Legis. 1 (1987).
  
 
Conflicts over the interpretations of certain provisions of the PRA resulted in amendments enacted in 1986. Among the amendments was language clarifying the relationship between the procedures required for clearance of information collections in proposed rules and other proposed information collections.
 
Conflicts over the interpretations of certain provisions of the PRA resulted in amendments enacted in 1986. Among the amendments was language clarifying the relationship between the procedures required for clearance of information collections in proposed rules and other proposed information collections.
Line 66: Line 80:
 
In 2000, Congress changed references from “chapter” to “subchapter.”
 
In 2000, Congress changed references from “chapter” to “subchapter.”
  
In 2002, Congress made a number of minor amendments. One eliminated references to the Computer Security Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-235) and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 (40 U.S.C. § 1401) and substituted references to sections 11332 and 11103 of title 40.
+
In 2002, Congress made a number of minor amendments. One eliminated references to the Computer Security Act of 1987 ([http://uscode.house.gov/statutes/pl/100/235.pdf Pub. L. No. 100-235]) and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 (40 U.S.C. § 1401) and substituted references to sections 11332 and 11103 of title 40.
  
 
In 2006, Congress substituted “Postal Regulatory Commission” for “Postal Rate Commission” and in 2008 “Federal Housing Finance Agency” for “Federal Housing Finance Board.”
 
In 2006, Congress substituted “Postal Regulatory Commission” for “Postal Rate Commission” and in 2008 “Federal Housing Finance Agency” for “Federal Housing Finance Board.”
  
In 2010, as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, changes were made to the Paperwork Reduction Act to take account of the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Finance Protection and new responsibilities of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
+
In 2010, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ([https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-111publ203/pdf/PLAW-111publ203.pdf Pub. L. No. 111-203]), changes were made to the PRA to take account of the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Finance Protection and new responsibilities of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
  
 
==Bibliography==
 
==Bibliography==
 
===Legislative History and Congressional Documents===
 
===Legislative History and Congressional Documents===
 
<div style="column-count:2;-moz-column-count:2;-webkit-column-count:2">
 
<div style="column-count:2;-moz-column-count:2;-webkit-column-count:2">
*''Paperwork and Redtape Reduction Act of 1979'', Hearings Before Subcomm. on Federal Spending Practices and Open Gov’t of the S. Comm. on Gov'tal Affairs, 96th Cong. (1979).
+
*''Paperwork and Redtape Reduction Act of 1979'', Hearings Before Subcomm. on Federal Spending Practices and Open Gov’t of the S. Comm. on Gov’tal Affairs, 96th Cong. (1979).
 
*''Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Hearings on H.R.6410 Before Subcomm. of the H. Comm. on Gov’t Operations, 96th Cong. (1980).
 
*''Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Hearings on H.R.6410 Before Subcomm. of the H. Comm. on Gov’t Operations, 96th Cong. (1980).
*''Report on the Paperwork Reduction Act'', House Comm. on Government Operations, H.R. Rep. No. 835, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. (1980).
+
*Report on the Paperwork Reduction Act, H.R. Rep. No. 835 (1980).
*''Report on the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Senate Comm. on Governmental Affairs, S. Rep. No. 930, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. (1980), reprinted in 1980 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News 6241.
+
*Report on the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, S. Rep. No. 930 (1980).
*''The Federal Paperwork Burden: Identifying the Major Problems'', Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Fed. Expenditures, Research and Rules of the S. Comm. on Gov'tal Affairs, 97th Cong. (1981).
+
*''The Federal Paperwork Burden: Identifying the Major Problems'', Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Fed. Expenditures, Research and Rules of the S. Comm. on Gov’tal Affairs, 97th Cong. (1981).
 
*''Implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Legislation and Nat’l Sec. of the H. Comm. on Gov’t Operations, 97th Cong. (1981).
 
*''Implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Legislation and Nat’l Sec. of the H. Comm. on Gov’t Operations, 97th Cong. (1981).
*''Implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Fed. Expenditures, Research, and Rules of the S. Comm. on Gov'tal Affairs, 97th Cong. (1982).
+
*''Implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Fed. Expenditures, Research, and Rules of the S. Comm. on Gov’tal Affairs, 97th Cong. (1982).
*''Oversight of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Info. Management and Regulatory Affairs of the S. Comm. on Gov'tal Affairs, 98th Cong. (1983).
+
*''Oversight of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980'', Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Info. Mgmt. and Regulatory Affairs of the S. Comm. on Gov’tal Affairs, 98th Cong. (1983).
*''Report to Accompany S.2230'', Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. (1986).
+
*''Report to Accompany S.2230'', S. Comm. on Gov’tal Affairs, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. (1986).
*''132 Cong. Rec. H 10896'' (daily ed. Oct. 15, 1986).
+
*''Reauthorization of the Paperwork Reduction Act'', Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Gov’t Info. and Regulations, S. Comm. on Gov’tal Affairs, 101st Cong. (1989).
*''132 Cong. Rec. S 16739'' (daily ed. Oct. 16, 1986) (remarks of Sen. Chiles).
+
*''Reauthorization of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs'': Hearings Before the S. Comm. on Gov’tal Affairs, 101st Cong. (1990).
*''132 Cong. Rec. S 16876'' (daily ed. Oct. 17, 1986) (remarks of Sen. Roth).
+
*Federal Information Resources Management Act, S. Rep. No. 101-487 (1990).
*''Reauthorization of the Paperwork Reduction Act'', Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Gov't Info. and Regulations, S. Comm. on Gov'tal Affairs, 101st Cong. (1989).
+
*Paperwork Reduction and Federal Information Resources Management Act of 1990, H. Rep. No. 101-927 (1990).
*''Reauthorization of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs'': Hearings Before the S. Comm. on Gov'tal Affairs, 101st Cong. (1990).
+
*''Restraining Paperwork Burdens on Small Business: Implementation of the “Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980” and Recommendations to Make It More Effective'', Hearings Before the H. Comm. on Small Bus., 102nd Cong. (1991).
*S. 1742, Federal Information Resources Management Act, Senate Comm. on Governmental Affairs, ''S. Rep. No. 101-487'', 101st Cong., 2d Sess. (Oct. 2, 1990).
+
*''The Paperwork Reduction Act and Its Impact on Small Business'', Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Bus., 103d Cong. (1993).
*H.R. 3695, Paperwork Reduction and Federal Information Resources Management Act of 1990, House Comm. on Government Operations, ''H. Rep. No. 101-927'', 101st Cong., 2d Sess. (Oct. 23, 1990).
+
*Paperwork Reduction Act of 1994, [https://www.congress.gov/103/bills/s560/BILLS-103s560rs.pdf S. Rep. No. 103-392] (1994).
*''Restraining Paperwork Burdens on Small Business: Implementation of the “Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980” and Recommendations to Make It More Effective'', Hearings Before the H. Comm. on Small Business, 102nd Cong. (1991).
+
*''The Paperwork Reduction Act'', Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Bus., 104th Cong. (1995).
*''The Paperwork Reduction Act and Its Impact on Small Business'', Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Business, 103d Cong. (1993).
+
*H.R. 830, ''Paperwork Reduction Act and Risk Assessment and Cost/Benefit Analysis for New Regulations'', Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Nat’l Econ. Growth, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Gov’t Reform and Oversight Comm., 108th Cong. (1995).
*S. 560, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1994, Senate Comm. on Governmental Affairs, [https://www.congress.gov/103/bills/s560/BILLS-103s560rs.pdf S. Rep. No. 103-392], 103d Cong., 2d Sess. (Sept. 30, 1994).
+
*Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, [https://www.congress.gov/104/crpt/srpt8/CRPT-104srpt8.pdf S. Rep. No. 104-8] (1995).
*''The Paperwork Reduction Act'', Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Business, 104th Cong. (1995).
+
*Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, [https://www.congress.gov/104/crpt/hrpt37/CRPT-104hrpt37.pdf H. R. Rep. No. 104-37] (1995).
*H.R. 830, ''Paperwork Reduction Act and Risk Assessment and Cost/Benefit Analysis for New Regulations'', Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Nat’l Econ. Growth, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Gov't Reform and Oversight Comm., 108th Cong. (1995).
+
*Conference Report on S.244, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, [https://www.congress.gov/104/crpt/hrpt99/CRPT-104hrpt99.pdf H. R. Rep. No. 104-99] (1995).
*S. 244, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Senate Comm. on Governmental Affairs, [https://www.congress.gov/104/crpt/srpt8/CRPT-104srpt8.pdf S. Rep. No. 104-8], 104th Cong., 1st Sess. (Feb. 14, 1995).
+
*Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act Amendments of 1998, [https://www.congress.gov/105/crpt/hrpt462/CRPT-105hrpt462-pt1.pdf H.R. Rep. No. 105-462] (1998).
*H.R. 830, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, House Comm. on Government Reform and Oversight, [https://www.congress.gov/104/crpt/hrpt37/CRPT-104hrpt37.pdf H. R. Rep. No. 104-37], 104th Cong., 1st Sess. (Feb. 15, 1995).
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-106hhrg70435/pdf/CHRG-106hhrg70435.pdf Reinventing Paperwork?: The Clinton-Gore Administration’s Record on Paperwork Reduction], Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Nat’l Econ. Growth, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 106th Cong. (2000).
*Conference Report on S.244, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, [https://www.congress.gov/104/crpt/hrpt99/CRPT-104hrpt99.pdf H. R. Rep. No. 104-99], 104th Cong., 1st Sess. (Apr. 3 1995).
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-107hhrg79868/pdf/CHRG-107hhrg79868.pdf Paperwork Inflation—Past Failures and Future Plans]: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Energy Policy, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 107th Cong. (2001).
*Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act Amendments of 1998: Report to Accompany H.R. 3310, [https://www.congress.gov/105/crpt/hrpt462/CRPT-105hrpt462-pt1.pdf H.R. Rep. No. 105-462], 105th Cong. (1998).
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-107hhrg85610/pdf/CHRG-107hhrg85610.pdf Paperwork Inflation—the Growing Burden on America]: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Energy, Policy, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 107th Cong. (2002).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-106hhrg70435/pdf/CHRG-106hhrg70435.pdf Reinventing Paperwork?: The Clinton-Gore Administration’s Record on Paperwork Reduction], Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Nat’l Econ. Growth, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov't Reform, 106th Cong. (2000).  
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-108hhrg87418/pdf/CHRG-108hhrg87418.pdf Mid-Term Report Card: Is the Bush Administration Doing Enough on Paperwork Reduction?], Hearing Before the H. Subcomm. on Energy Policy, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs of the Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 108th Cong. (2003).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-107hhrg79868/pdf/CHRG-107hhrg79868.pdf Paperwork Inflation—Past Failures and Future Plans]: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Energy Policy, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov't Reform, 107th Cong. (2001).  
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-108hhrg90015/pdf/CHRG-108hhrg90015.pdf Paperwork and Regulatory Improvements Act of 2003], Hearing Before the H. Gov’t Reform Comm., 108th Cong. (2003).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-107hhrg85610/pdf/CHRG-107hhrg85610.pdf Paperwork Inflation—the Growing Burden on America]: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Energy, Policy, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov't Reform, 107th Cong. (2002).  
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-108hhrg95798/pdf/CHRG-108hhrg95798.pdf What Is the Bush Administration’s Economic Growth Plan Component for Paperwork Reduction?], Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Energy Policy, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 108th Cong. (2004).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-108hhrg87418/pdf/CHRG-108hhrg87418.pdf Mid-Term Report Card: Is the Bush Administration Doing Enough on Paperwork Reduction?], Hearing Before the H. Subcomm. on Energy Policy, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs of the Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 108th Cong. (2003).  
+
*Paperwork and Regulatory Improvements Act of 2004, [https://www.congress.gov/108/crpt/hrpt490/CRPT-108hrpt490-pt1.pdf H.R. Rep. No. 108-490] (2004).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-108hhrg90015/pdf/CHRG-108hhrg90015.pdf Paperwork and Regulatory Improvements Act of 2003], Hearing Before the H. Gov’t Reform Comm., 108th Cong. (2003).  
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg22202/pdf/CHRG-109hhrg22202.pdf Less Is More: The Increasing Burden of Taxpayer Paperwork], Hearing Before the H. Subcomm. on Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 109th Cong. (2005).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-108hhrg95798/pdf/CHRG-108hhrg95798.pdf What Is the Bush Administration’s Economic Growth Plan Component for Paperwork Reduction?], Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Energy Policy, Nat. Res., and Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 108th Cong. (2004).  
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg22572/pdf/CHRG-109hhrg22572.pdf Reducing the Paperwork Burden on the Public: Are Agencies Doing All They Can?], Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Regulatory Affairs of the H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 109th Cong. (2005).
*Paperwork and Regulatory Improvements Act of 2004 (to accompany H.R. 2432) (including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office), H. Comm. on Government Reform, [https://www.congress.gov/108/crpt/hrpt490/CRPT-108hrpt490-pt1.pdf H.R. Rep. No. 108-490]., 108th Cong., 2d Sess. (May 14, 2004).
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg29707/pdf/CHRG-109hhrg29707.pdf The Paperwork Reduction Act at 25: Opportunities to Strengthen and Improve the Law], Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 109th Cong. (2006).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg22202/pdf/CHRG-109hhrg22202.pdf Less Is More: The Increasing Burden of Taxpayer Paperwork], Hearing Before the H. Subcomm. on Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 109th Cong. (2005).  
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-110hhrg40601/pdf/CHRG-110hhrg40601.pdf Full Committee Hearing on Improving the Paperwork Reduction Act for Small Businesses], H. Comm. on Small Bus., 110th Cong. (2008).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg22572/pdf/CHRG-109hhrg22572.pdf Reducing the Paperwork Burden on the Public: Are Agencies Doing All They Can?], Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Regulatory Affairs of the H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 109th Cong. (2005).  
+
*[https://www.congress.gov/111/crpt/hrpt517/CRPT-111hrpt517.pdf Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 4173], H. Comm. on Fin. Services 111th Cong. (2010).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg29707/pdf/CHRG-109hhrg29707.pdf The Paperwork Reduction Act at 25: Opportunities to Strengthen and Improve the Law], Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Regulatory Affairs, H. Comm. on Gov’t Reform, 109th Cong. (2006).  
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-115hhrg24759/pdf/CHRG-115hhrg24759.pdf Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act: Are Burdens Being Reduced?], Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Bus., 115th Cong. (2017) ([https://smallbusiness.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=399797 video]).
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-110hhrg40601/pdf/CHRG-110hhrg40601.pdf Full Committee Hearing on Improving the Paperwork Reduction Act for Small Businesses], H. Comm. on Small Business, 110th Cong. (2008).
+
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-115hhrg27068/pdf/CHRG-115hhrg27068.pdf Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act Part II: Are Burdens Being Reduced?], Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Bus., 115th Cong. (2017).
*[https://www.congress.gov/111/crpt/hrpt517/CRPT-111hrpt517.pdf Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 4173], Comm. on Fin. Services, House of Representatives, 111th Cong., 2d Sess., at 874–75 (June 29, 2010).
 
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-115hhrg24759/pdf/CHRG-115hhrg24759.pdf Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act: Are Burdens Being Reduced?], Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Business, 115th Cong. (2017) ([https://smallbusiness.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=399797 video]).
 
*[https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-115hhrg27068/pdf/CHRG-115hhrg27068.pdf Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act Part II: Are Burdens Being Reduced?], Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Small Business, 115th Cong. (2017).  
 
 
</div>
 
</div>
  
 
===OMB/OIRA Documents===
 
===OMB/OIRA Documents===
 
<div style="column-count:2;-moz-column-count:2;-webkit-column-count:2">
 
<div style="column-count:2;-moz-column-count:2;-webkit-column-count:2">
*OIRA Memoranda for the Heads of Executive Departments and Independent Regulatory Agencies
+
====OIRA Memoranda for the Heads of Executive Departments and Independent Regulatory Agencies====
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/inforeg/SocialMediaGuidance_04072010.pdf Social Media, Web-Based Interactive Technologies, and the Paperwork Reduction Act] (April 7, 2010).
+
 
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/inforeg/PRAPrimer_04072010.pdf Information Collection Under the Paperwork Reduction Act] (April 7, 2010).
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/inforeg/SocialMediaGuidance_04072010.pdf Social Media, Web-Based Interactive Technologies, and the Paperwork Reduction Act] (April 7, 2010).
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/inforeg/PRA_Gen_ICRs_5-28-2010.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act–Generic Clearances] (May 28, 2010).
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/inforeg/PRAPrimer_04072010.pdf Information Collection Under the Paperwork Reduction Act] (April 7, 2010).
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/memoranda/2011/m11-26.pdf New Fast-Track Process for Collecting Service Delivery Feedback Under the Paperwork Reduction Act] (June 15, 2011).
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/inforeg/PRA_Gen_ICRs_5-28-2010.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act–Generic Clearances] (May 28, 2010).
**[https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/oira-reducing-rep-paperwork-burdens-2012.pdf Reducing Reporting and Paperwork Burdens] (June 22, 2012).
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/memoranda/2011/m11-26.pdf New Fast-Track Process for Collecting Service Delivery Feedback Under the Paperwork Reduction Act] (June 15, 2011).
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/inforeg/inforeg/memos/2014/web-based-interactive-technologies-data-search-tools-calculators-paperwork-reduction-act.pdf Web-based Interactive Technologies: Data Search Tools, Calculators, and the Paperwork Reduction Act] (Sept. 5, 2014).
+
*[https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/oira-reducing-rep-paperwork-burdens-2012.pdf Reducing Reporting and Paperwork Burdens] (June 22, 2012).
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/inforeg/inforeg/pra_flexibilities_memo_7_22_16_finalI.pdf Flexibilities under the Paperwork Reduction Act for Compliance with Information Collection Requirements] (July 22, 2016)
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/inforeg/inforeg/memos/2014/web-based-interactive-technologies-data-search-tools-calculators-paperwork-reduction-act.pdf Web-based Interactive Technologies: Data Search Tools, Calculators, and the Paperwork Reduction Act] (Sept. 5, 2014).
*Other OMB/OIRA Documents
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/inforeg/inforeg/pra_flexibilities_memo_7_22_16_finalI.pdf Flexibilities under the Paperwork Reduction Act for Compliance with Information Collection Requirements] (July 22, 2016)
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/circulars/A130/a130revised.pdf Circular No. A-130: Managing Information as a Strategic Resource]
+
</div>
**''Information Collection Review Handbook'' (Jan. 1989); superseded by OMB/OIRA, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act, of 1995: Implementing Guidance'' (Preliminary Draft, Feb. 3, 1997).
+
====Other OMB/OIRA Documents====
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/1998_OMB_Bulletin_No_98_03.pdf Bulletin 97-03, Fiscal Year 1996 Information Streamlining Plan and Information Collection Budget].
+
<div style="column-count:2;-moz-column-count:2;-webkit-column-count:2">
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/OMB/inforeg/icb/2005_icb_final.pdf Managing Information Collection: Information Collection Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005] (May 2005).
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/circulars/A130/a130revised.pdf Circular No. A-130: Managing Information as a Strategic Resource]
**[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/OMB/inforeg/icb/fy2006_icb_revised.pdf Managing Information Collection: Information Collection Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2006 (revised version)] (Dec. 2006).  
+
*''Information Collection Review Handbook'' (1989); superseded by OMB/OIRA, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act, of 1995: Implementing Guidance'' (preliminary draft, Feb. 3, 1997).
**''Questions and Answers When Designing Surveys for Information Collections'' (Jan. 2006).
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/1998_OMB_Bulletin_No_98_03.pdf Bulletin 97-03, Fiscal Year 1996 Information Streamlining Plan and Information Collection Budget].
**''Information Collection Budgets'' (Fiscal Years 1998–2014).
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/OMB/inforeg/icb/2005_icb_final.pdf Managing Information Collection: Information Collection Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005] (May 2005).
**''OMB Form 83-1'' (rev’d Feb. 2004).  
+
*[https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/OMB/inforeg/icb/fy2006_icb_revised.pdf Managing Information Collection: Information Collection Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2006 (revised version)] (Dec. 2006).
 +
*[https://www.cio.noaa.gov/itmanagement/pdfs/OMBSurveyGuidance_0106.pdf Questions and Answers When Designing Surveys for Information Collections] (Jan. 2006).
 +
*''Information Collection Budgets'' (fiscal years 1998–2014).
 +
*[https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/OMB%2083-I%20(Paperwork%20Reduction%20Act%20Submission).pdf OMB Form 83-I] (rev’d Feb. 2004).
 
</div>
 
</div>
  
 
===ACUS Recommendations===
 
===ACUS Recommendations===
 +
 
*2012-4 [https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Final-Recommendation-2012-4-Paperwork-Reduction-Act.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act]
 
*2012-4 [https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Final-Recommendation-2012-4-Paperwork-Reduction-Act.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act]
 
*2018-1 [https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/documents/recommendation-2018-1-paperwork-reduction-act-efficiencies_1.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act Efficiencies]
 
*2018-1 [https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/documents/recommendation-2018-1-paperwork-reduction-act-efficiencies_1.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act Efficiencies]
Line 158: Line 173:
 
*Comm’n on Fed. Paperwork, ''Final Summary Report'' (1977).
 
*Comm’n on Fed. Paperwork, ''Final Summary Report'' (1977).
 
*Comm’n on Fed. Paperwork, ''The Reports Clearance Process'' (1977).
 
*Comm’n on Fed. Paperwork, ''The Reports Clearance Process'' (1977).
*Harold C. Relyea, Cong. Research Serv., RL30590, [https://fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/RL30590.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act Reauthorization and Government Information Management Issues] (2007).
+
*Harold C. Relyea, Cong. Research Serv., RL30590, ''Paperwork Reduction Act Reauthorization and Government Information Management Issues'' (2007).
*Curtis Copeland & Vanessa K. Burrows, Cong. Research Serv., R40636, [http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/2009/records/paperworkreductionreportbycrs.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act: OMB and Agency Responsibilities and Burden Estimates] (2009).
+
*Curtis Copeland & Vanessa K. Burrows, Cong. Research Serv., R40636, ''Paperwork Reduction Act: OMB and Agency Responsibilities and Burden Estimates'' (2009).
 
*Small Bus. Admin., Office of Advocacy, ''Small Business Paperwork: Problems and Progress'' (1983).
 
*Small Bus. Admin., Office of Advocacy, ''Small Business Paperwork: Problems and Progress'' (1983).
*Office of Personnel Mgmt., [https://www.opm.gov/about-us/open-government/digital-government-strategy/fitara/paperwork-reduction-act-guide.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Guide] (Apr. 27, 2011).  
+
*Office of Pers. Mgmt., [https://www.opm.gov/about-us/open-government/digital-government-strategy/fitara/paperwork-reduction-act-guide.pdf Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Guide] (2011).
 
</div>
 
</div>
  
 
===Books and Articles===
 
===Books and Articles===
 
<div style="column-count:2;-moz-column-count:2;-webkit-column-count:2">
 
<div style="column-count:2;-moz-column-count:2;-webkit-column-count:2">
*Eugene Bardach, ''Self-Regulation and Regulatory Paperwork, in Social Regulation: Strategies for Reform'', ed. E. Bardach and R. Kagan (San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1982).
+
*Eugene Bardach, ''Self-Regulation and Regulatory Paperwork, in Social Regulation: Strategies for Reform'' (E. Bardach and R. Kagan eds., Inst. for Contemporary Studies 1982).
 
*Pamela M. Foster, Comment, ''A Limit to OMB’s Authority Under the Paperwork Reduction Act in Dole v. United Steelworkers of America: A Step in the Right Direction'', 6 Admin. L. J. Am. U. 153 (1992).
 
*Pamela M. Foster, Comment, ''A Limit to OMB’s Authority Under the Paperwork Reduction Act in Dole v. United Steelworkers of America: A Step in the Right Direction'', 6 Admin. L. J. Am. U. 153 (1992).
 
*William F. Funk, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act: Paperwork Reduction Meets Administrative Law'', 24 Harv. J. on Legis. 1 (1987).
 
*William F. Funk, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act: Paperwork Reduction Meets Administrative Law'', 24 Harv. J. on Legis. 1 (1987).
Line 172: Line 187:
 
*Andrew L. Levy, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980: Unnecessary Burdens and Unrealized Efficiency'', 14 J. L. & Com. 99 (1994).
 
*Andrew L. Levy, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980: Unnecessary Burdens and Unrealized Efficiency'', 14 J. L. & Com. 99 (1994).
 
*Jeffrey Lubbers, ''Paperwork Redux: The (Stronger) Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995'', 49 Admin. L. Rev. 111 (1997).
 
*Jeffrey Lubbers, ''Paperwork Redux: The (Stronger) Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995'', 49 Admin. L. Rev. 111 (1997).
*Richard M. Neustadt, ''Taming the Paperwork Tiger: An Experiment in Regulatory Management'', Regulation 28 (Jan./Feb. 1981).
+
*Richard M. Neustadt, ''Taming the Paperwork Tiger: An Experiment in Regulatory Management'', Regulation 28, Jan./Feb. 1981.
 
*James T. O’Reilly, ''Who’s on First?: The Role of the Office of Management and Budget in Federal Information Policy'', 10 J. Legis. 95 (1983).
 
*James T. O’Reilly, ''Who’s on First?: The Role of the Office of Management and Budget in Federal Information Policy'', 10 J. Legis. 95 (1983).
*Henry H. Perritt, Jr., ''Electronic Acquisition and Release of Federal Agency Information,'' (report to ACUS), reprinted in 41 Admin. L. Rev. 253 (1989).
+
*Henry H. Perritt, Jr., [https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/documents/D4%201988-10%20PERRITT%20Elec%20Acqu%20%2B%20Release%20of%20Info%201988%20ACUS%20601.pdf Electronic Acquisition and Release of Federal Agency Information] (Oct. 1, 1988) (report to ACUS).
*Henry H. Perritt, Jr., ''Federal Agency Electronic Records Management and Archives'', (1990) (report to ACUS). ''See also Electronic Records Management and Archives'', 53 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 963 (1992).
+
*Henry H. Perritt, Jr., [https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/documents/D4%201990-05%20PERRITT%20ELec%20Records%20Mgmt%20%2B%20Archives%201990%20ACUS%20389.pdf Federal Agency Electronic Records Management and Archives] (1990) (report to ACUS).
 
*David Plocher, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995: A Second Chance for Information Resources Management (Reauthorization of the 1980 Act)'', Gov’t Info. Q. 271 (1997).
 
*David Plocher, ''The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995: A Second Chance for Information Resources Management (Reauthorization of the 1980 Act)'', Gov’t Info. Q. 271 (1997).
 
*Robert Rosacher & Thomas Davies, ''An Analysis of Federal Income Tax Complexity Utilizing Internal Revenue Service Estimates for Taxpayer Paperwork Burden'', 45 Oil & Gas Tax Q. 791 (1997).
 
*Robert Rosacher & Thomas Davies, ''An Analysis of Federal Income Tax Complexity Utilizing Internal Revenue Service Estimates for Taxpayer Paperwork Burden'', 45 Oil & Gas Tax Q. 791 (1997).

Latest revision as of 16:22, 16 July 2020

44 U.S.C. §§ 3501–3521 (2012); enacted by Pub. L. No. 96-511, 94 Stat. 2812, Dec. 11, 1980; amended by Pub. L. No. 99-591, Title I, § 101(m), 100 Stat. 3341-308, 3341-335, Oct. 18, 1986; amended and re-codified by Pub. L. No. 104-13, § 2, 109 Stat. 163, May 22, 1995; amended by Pub. L. 106-398, Sec. 1 [[div. A], title X, §§ 1064(a)-(b)], 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A-275, Oct. 30, 2000; amended by Pub. L. No. 107-198, §§ 2–3, 116 Stat. 732, June 28, 2002; amended by Pub. L. No. 107-217, § 3(1), 116 Stat. 1301, Aug. 21, 2002; amended by Pub. L. No. 107-296, § 1005(c), 116 Stat. 2273, Nov. 25, 2002; amended by Pub. L. No. 107-347, title III, § 305(c)(3), 116 Stat. 2961, Dec. 17, 2002; amended by Pub. L. No. 109-435, Title VI, § 604(e), 120 Stat. 3242, Dec. 20, 2006; amended by Pub. L. No. 110-289, Div. A, Title II, § 1216(e), 122 Stat. 2792, July 30, 2008; amended by Pub. L. No. 111-203, Title III, Subtitle A, § 315, Title X, Subtitle H, § 1100D, 124 Stat. 1524, 124 Stat. 2111, July 21, 2010; by Pub. L. No. 113-235, 128 Stat. 2537, Dec. 16, 2014.

Lead Agency:

Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Overview

One of the main purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) is to “minimize the paperwork burden for individuals, small businesses, educational and nonprofit institutions, Federal contractors, State, local and tribal governments, and other persons . . . ; ensure the greatest possible public benefit . . . of information collected . . . ; [and] and minimize the cost to the Federal Government of the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination, and disposition of information” (44 U.S.C. § 3501). The PRA statutorily established the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned it responsibility for coordinating government information policies, including approving agency collections of information. The PRA applies to all agencies in the executive branch, as well as to the independent regulatory agencies. Only very narrow functions are exempted from its coverage: (1) federal criminal matters or actions; (2) civil and administrative actions and investigations of specified individuals or entities; (3) compulsory process issued in connection with antitrust proceedings; and (4) federal intelligence activities carried out under presidential executive order (44 U.S.C. § 3518).

Basic Clearance Requirement

The PRA assigns to OIRA the function of approving information collections. It provides that agencies “shall not conduct or sponsor the collection of information” without first obtaining the actual or inferred approval of the Director of OMB, who will determine whether the information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency’s functions (§ 3507(a)(2)). The PRA (§ 3502(3)) defines “collection of information” as:

The obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or opinions by or for an agency, regardless of form or format, calling it either—answers to identical questions posed to, or identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on, ten or more persons, other than agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States; or answers to questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States which are to be used for general statistical purposes.

The 1995 amendments amended the definition of “collection of information” in § 3502(3) explicitly to include requiring persons to collect information for the purpose of disclosing it to the public or third parties as opposed to federal agencies only, thereby overruling Dole v. United Steelworkers of America, 494 U.S. 26 (1990).

The PRA forbids OMB from approving any information collection for a period of more than three years. § 3507(g). Failure to obtain OMB approval of a collection of information triggers operation of the PRA’s “public protection provision” (§ 3512), which provides that “no person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that is subject to this subchapter if—(1) the collection of information does not display a valid control number assigned by the Director [of OMB] . . . ; or (2) the agency fails to inform the person who is to respond to the collection of information that such person is not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a valid control number.” Although there have been numerous attempts to utilize the public protection provision to challenge agency collections of information or as a defense to actions for the failure to file required documents or for filing false information, they have been unsuccessful almost without exception. Indeed, the only exceptions appear to be two cases prosecuting persons for mining on Forest Service land without having filed the required plan of operations, a requirement that did not contain a valid control number. See United States v. Hatch, 919 F.2d 1394 (9th Cir. 1990); United States v. Smith, 866 F.2d 1092 (9th Cir. 1989).

Clearance Procedure

The PRA provides a general set of clearance procedures for approving agency information collections, with more specific procedures prescribed for information collections imposed through notice-and-comment rulemakings.

Section 3507(d) prescribes the following procedure for information collections contained in rules promulgated following notice and comment:

  1. Each agency shall forward to OMB a copy of any proposed rule which contains a collection of information, and any information that OMB deems necessary to make the determination. This information must be transmitted no later than publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register.
  2. Within 60 days after the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, OMB may file public comments on the collection of information contained in the proposed rule.
  3. When a final rule is published in the Federal Register, the agency shall explain how any collection of information contained in the final rule responds to the comments filed by OMB or the public, or the reason the comments were rejected.
  4. If OMB has received notice and failed to comment on an agency rule within 60 days after the notice of proposed rulemaking, OMB may not disapprove any collection of information specifically contained in that rule.
  5. However, OMB may disapprove a collection of information if (A) the collection of information was not specifically required by an agency rule; (B) the agency failed to comply with the submission requirements; (C) OMB finds within 60 days after publication of the final rule that the agency’s response to OMB’s comments were unreasonable; or (D) OMB determines the agency has substantially modified the collection of information in the final rule without giving OMB 60 days to review the modified requirement.
  6. OMB’s decision to disapprove the collection of information in the rule, and its reasons for that decision, must be made publicly available and include an explanation of the reasons for such decision. But OMB’s decision to approve or not act upon a rule is not subject to judicial review.

OMB’s regulations implementing the PRA (5 C.F.R. Part 1320) have added certain requirements to the clearance process for collections of information contained in proposed agency rules (5 C.F.R. § 1320.11), current agency rules (5 C.F.R. § 1320.12), and clearance of collections other than in proposed or current rules (5 C.F.R. § 1320.10).

  • Agencies should submit collections of information contained in proposed rules to the Federal Register for public comment. The preamble to the NPRM shall state that the collection of information has been submitted for OMB review and direct that comments be filed with the desk officer for the agency in OIRA/OMB (§ 1320.11(a)). OMB will provide at least 30 days for public comment (§ 1320.11(e)).
  • Upon publication of the final rule, the agency shall explain how the collection of information in the final rule responds to comments and identify and explain modifications made to the rule (§ 1320.11(f)).
  • On or before the date of publication of the final rule, the agency will submit the final rule to OMB, unless the approved proposed rule was not materially changed. OMB then has 60 days to approve, disapprove, or order a change in the final rule (§ 1320.11(h)). If OMB approves, it will assign an OMB control number (§ 1320.11(i)).

For information collections that are not contained in new rules promulgated after notice and comment, there is a different process:

  • On or before the day an information collection proposal is submitted to OMB for clearance, the agency must send a notice to the Federal Register, in which the agency advises the public that OMB approval has been requested and that the public has 30 to submit comments on the proposal to the OIRA/OMB desk officer for the agency (§ 1320.10(a)).
  • Within 60 days after receipt of the agency’s submission, OMB will notify the agency of its decision to approve or disapprove, in whole or in part, the information collection. OMB will provide at least 30 days for public comment before making a decision (§ 1320.10(b)).
  • If OMB does not act within the 60-day period, the agency can ask OMB to assign the required control number (valid for one year in these circumstances), and OMB must do so without delay (§ 1320.10(c)).

OMB has also developed procedures that govern clearance for information collections in existing rules (§ 1320.12). The procedures are intended to prevent expiration of OMB approval for an information collection before the agency has undertaken the necessary administrative procedure to extend OMB’s three-year approval or effect a repeal or amendment of the rule containing the collection provision. The agency is required to seek public comment on the requirement and initiate the OMB review process not later than 60 days before the existing OMB approval expires. If OMB indicates disapproval of the existing information collection provision, OMB must publish an explanation in the Federal Register and instruct the agency to initiate a rulemaking to amend or rescind the provision, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) or other applicable requirements.

Finally, OMB regulations (§ 1320.6(e)) make clear that the public protection provision in § 3512 of the PRA does not preclude the government from imposing a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that is mandated by statute, even in the absence of a valid OMB control number. Several courts have so held: United States v. Patridge, 507 F.3d 1092 (7th Cir. 2007), reh’g and reh’g en banc denied, cert. denied, 552 U.S. 1280, reh’g denied, 553 U.S. 1062, cert. denied, 555 U.S. 909, post-conviction relief denied, 2010 WL 3025043; Salberg v. United States, 969 F.2d 379, 384 (7th Cir. 1992); United States v. Neff, 954 F.2d 698, 699–700, (11th Cir. 1992); United States v. Hicks, 947 F.2d 1356, 1359 (9th Cir. 1991); United States v. Kerwin, 945 F.2d 92 (5th Cir. 1991); United States v. Wunder, 919 F.2d 34, 38 (6th Cir. 1990).

Alternative Procedures

The PRA contains several variations from the general review procedures for review of agency information collections. Section 3507(j) establishes a “fast-track” review procedure for emergency situations, which is available on request by agency heads. OMB regulations provided a stringent test for granting such requests (§ 1320.13).

The PRA also authorizes the OMB director to delegate his authority to approve proposed collections of information to the senior official an agency designates as its Chief Information Officer (§ 3506(a)(2)), if that person “is sufficiently independent of program responsibility to evaluate fairly whether proposed information collection requests should be approved and has sufficient resources to carry out this responsibility effectively” (§ 3507(i)). Such an official must comply with OMB’s regulations in reviewing his or her agency’s information collection provisions (5 C.F.R. § 1320.7).

OMB’s general clearance procedures are subject to the PRA’s provision that independent regulatory agencies may, by majority vote, override an OMB decision disapproving a proposed information collection (5 U.S.C.§ 3507(f); 5 C.F.R. § 1320.15). The PRA also contains the only extant statutory definition of “independent regulatory agency” in 5 U.S.C. § 3502(5), which has been cross-referenced in a number of other statutes.

Agency Certifications

The regulations (5 C.F.R. § 1320.5(d)(1)) further describe the standard: an agency must show that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the collection of information is the least burdensome necessary, that it is not duplicative of information otherwise accessible to the agency, and that the collection of information has practical utility.

In addition, OMB has established general guidelines (5 C.F.R. § 1320.5(d)(2)) that will be applied unless the agency can demonstrate the need for an exception to them. Among other things, OMB will generally not approve a collection of information

  1. that requires reporting more often than quarterly;
  2. that requires a written response in fewer than 30 days after receipt;
  3. that requires respondents to submit more than one original and two copies of a document;
  4. that requires persons to retain records (other than health, medical, contract, grant, or tax records) for more than three years;
  5. that is not a statistical survey designed to produce valid and reliable statistical results;
  6. requires the use of a statistical data classification that has not been reviewed and approved by OMB;
  7. that includes a pledge of confidentiality that is not supported by authority established in statute or regulation, that is not supported by disclosure and data security policies that are consistent with the pledge, or which unnecessarily impedes sharing of data with other agencies for compatible confidential use; or
  8. that requires respondents to submit proprietary, trade secret, or other confidential information, unless the agency can demonstrate that it has instituted procedures to protect the information’s confidentiality to the extent permitted by law.

Also pertinent to OMB’s authority is § 3518(e) of the PRA, which states:

Nothing in [the PRA] shall be interpreted as increasing or decreasing the authority of the President, the Office of Management and Budget or the Director thereof, under the laws of the United States, with respect to the substantive policies and programs of departments, agencies, and offices, including the substantive authority of any Federal agency to enforce the civil rights laws.

Information Management

The PRA also authorizes OMB to develop and implement uniform policies on information resources management by federal agencies. OMB has done this through Circular A-130, which sets out various policies agencies are to use in managing government information.

Legislative History

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 replaced the Federal Reports Act of 1942 (Pub. L. No. 77-831) as the basic statute controlling paperwork requirements imposed on the public by the federal government. The PRA was amended significantly in 1986 and in minor ways in ensuing years, and then amended and completely recodified in 1995.

The PRA was originally enacted as part of the regulatory reform movement of the 1970s. Reacting to growing public concern over the burden imposed by federal information collections, Congress established the Commission on Federal Paperwork in late 1974. The Commission, in its report in 1977, made 770 recommendations for reducing the federal paperwork burden. Legislation implementing some of the Recommendations was introduced in both the 95th and 96th Congresses. The PRA was passed in November 1980 and signed by President Carter on December 11, 1980. See William Funk, The Paperwork Reduction Act: Paperwork Reduction Meets Administrative Law, 24 Harv. J. on Legis. 1 (1987).

Conflicts over the interpretations of certain provisions of the PRA resulted in amendments enacted in 1986. Among the amendments was language clarifying the relationship between the procedures required for clearance of information collections in proposed rules and other proposed information collections.

The 1995 amendments updated, strengthened, and completely recodified the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980. The goals were the same as in the 1980 Act—to strengthen OMB and agency paperwork reduction efforts, to improve OMB and agency information resources management, and to encourage and provide for public participation in reduction efforts and management decisions. In order to achieve these goals, the 1995 Act clarified the scope of OMB review, enhanced opportunities for public participation, expanded the PRA’s public protection provisions, and specified the agency paperwork reduction responsibilities.

It also settled the major question of whether agency rules that require businesses or individuals to maintain information for the benefit of third parties or the public were covered by the PRA. The Supreme Court had ruled in Dole v. United Steelworkers, 494 U.S. 26 (1990), that the PRA did not so require. But the 1995 amendments made clear that it does now.

In 2000, Congress changed references from “chapter” to “subchapter.”

In 2002, Congress made a number of minor amendments. One eliminated references to the Computer Security Act of 1987 (Pub. L. No. 100-235) and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 (40 U.S.C. § 1401) and substituted references to sections 11332 and 11103 of title 40.

In 2006, Congress substituted “Postal Regulatory Commission” for “Postal Rate Commission” and in 2008 “Federal Housing Finance Agency” for “Federal Housing Finance Board.”

In 2010, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub. L. No. 111-203), changes were made to the PRA to take account of the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Finance Protection and new responsibilities of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Bibliography

Legislative History and Congressional Documents

OMB/OIRA Documents

OIRA Memoranda for the Heads of Executive Departments and Independent Regulatory Agencies

Other OMB/OIRA Documents

ACUS Recommendations

GAO Documents

Other Government Documents

  • Comm’n on Fed. Paperwork, Final Summary Report (1977).
  • Comm’n on Fed. Paperwork, The Reports Clearance Process (1977).
  • Harold C. Relyea, Cong. Research Serv., RL30590, Paperwork Reduction Act Reauthorization and Government Information Management Issues (2007).
  • Curtis Copeland & Vanessa K. Burrows, Cong. Research Serv., R40636, Paperwork Reduction Act: OMB and Agency Responsibilities and Burden Estimates (2009).
  • Small Bus. Admin., Office of Advocacy, Small Business Paperwork: Problems and Progress (1983).
  • Office of Pers. Mgmt., Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Guide (2011).

Books and Articles

  • Eugene Bardach, Self-Regulation and Regulatory Paperwork, in Social Regulation: Strategies for Reform (E. Bardach and R. Kagan eds., Inst. for Contemporary Studies 1982).
  • Pamela M. Foster, Comment, A Limit to OMB’s Authority Under the Paperwork Reduction Act in Dole v. United Steelworkers of America: A Step in the Right Direction, 6 Admin. L. J. Am. U. 153 (1992).
  • William F. Funk, The Paperwork Reduction Act: Paperwork Reduction Meets Administrative Law, 24 Harv. J. on Legis. 1 (1987).
  • Murray A. Indick, Ronald J. Greene & Daniel Squire, The Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996, 114 Banking L.J. 298 (1997).
  • Andrew L. Levy, The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980: Unnecessary Burdens and Unrealized Efficiency, 14 J. L. & Com. 99 (1994).
  • Jeffrey Lubbers, Paperwork Redux: The (Stronger) Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 49 Admin. L. Rev. 111 (1997).
  • Richard M. Neustadt, Taming the Paperwork Tiger: An Experiment in Regulatory Management, Regulation 28, Jan./Feb. 1981.
  • James T. O’Reilly, Who’s on First?: The Role of the Office of Management and Budget in Federal Information Policy, 10 J. Legis. 95 (1983).
  • Henry H. Perritt, Jr., Electronic Acquisition and Release of Federal Agency Information (Oct. 1, 1988) (report to ACUS).
  • Henry H. Perritt, Jr., Federal Agency Electronic Records Management and Archives (1990) (report to ACUS).
  • David Plocher, The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995: A Second Chance for Information Resources Management (Reauthorization of the 1980 Act), Gov’t Info. Q. 271 (1997).
  • Robert Rosacher & Thomas Davies, An Analysis of Federal Income Tax Complexity Utilizing Internal Revenue Service Estimates for Taxpayer Paperwork Burden, 45 Oil & Gas Tax Q. 791 (1997).
  • Stuart Shapiro, The Paperwork Reduction Act: Benefits, Costs and Directions for Reform, Government Information Quarterly (Feb. 15, 2012) (report to ACUS).
  • Stuart Shapiro, Paperwork Reduction Act Efficiencies (May 14, 2018) (report to ACUS)
  • Stuart Shapiro & Deanna Moran, The Checkered History of Regulatory Reform Since the APA, 19 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol’y 141 (2016).

Agency Regulations

Office of Management and Budget (5 C.F.R. Part 1320)

Statutory Provisions

Paperwork Reduction Act

Title 44 U.S. Code

Chapter 35, Subchapter I—Federal Information Policy