Electronic Government: Selected Agency Plans for Implementing the Government Paperwork Elimination Act Page: 2 of 13
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Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to participate in the
Committee's hearing on implementation of the Government Paperwork
Elimination Act (GPEA).1 The act requires that by 2003 federal agencies
provide the public, when practicable, the option of submitting,
maintaining, and disclosing required information-such as employment
records, tax forms, and loan applications-electronically, instead of on
paper. In October 2000, federal agencies submitted GPEA implementation
plans to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is
responsible for executive branch oversight of GPEA.
As you know, we are currently conducting a review of agency GPEA
implementation plans at the request of the Chairman of the Senate
Committee on Governmental Affairs. For this hearing, you asked us to
report specifically on the efforts of three agencies to meet the
requirements of GPEA, as reflected in the plans they submitted to OMB.
The three agencies are the Department of the Treasury, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Defense (DOD). After
describing the framework of OMB's GPEA guidance, I will discuss each
agency's plan, including its overall strategy for complying with GPEA, as
well as the data on information-collection activities provided as
attachments to each of their plans.
To prepare for this hearing, we obtained and analyzed the plans submitted
by each of the three agencies and held discussions with cognizant officials
on their progress and challenges in meeting GPEA's October 2003
deadline. Because of time constraints, we did not attempt to verify the
data reported in the plans regarding planned electronic conversions for
specific systems and processes.
Results in Brief The plans submitted by Treasury and EPA generally provide the kind of
information that was specified in OMB's July 2000 guidance. However,
DOD's plan did not include a description of the department's overall GPEA
strategy and, in some cases, the data provided for specific information
collections may be inaccurate, incomplete, or duplicative.
Officials of all three agencies said that they faced challenges in complying
with GPEA, particularly with regard to implementing adequate security
assurances for sensitive electronic transactions and in planning for and
1 P.L. No. 105-277, Div. C, tit. XVII.
GAO-01-861T GPEA Implementation Plans
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United States. General Accounting Office. Electronic Government: Selected Agency Plans for Implementing the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, text, June 21, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289896/m1/2/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.