Blum Starts Report Reduction Campaign at EPA

[EPA press release - July 22, 1977]

Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Barbara Blum today announced an intensive campaign to do away with excessive reporting requirements that Agency programs generate, thus easing a burden that falls especially hard on State and local governments. The campaign is part of EPA's commitment to regulatory reform.

Blum will be forming a steering group consisting of senior representatives from State governments and regional and headquarters offices to address overall reporting requirements throughout the Agency.

The thrust of the campaign against excessive reporting and related paperwork will include an examination of the standards and regulations published by EPA, internal and interagency reporting, and reports prepared in support of the Agency's data processing systems.

A special group will examine problem reporting requirements as defined by selected State and regional offices. Since much of the data States collect and report is collected from local governments for private industry, any reporting reduction at the State level could potentially be felt by local government officials and business leaders.

Blum has notified EPA's regional and headquarters management that she is "deeply interested and concerned about our total EPA reporting burden placed on the private citizen, State and local governments, and regional officials."

"From my experience in dealing with State and local governments, I know how the Federal reporting and paperwork requirements can build up," Blum said. "Reports are often required on many different facets of the same program. I want to eliminate the duplication and the excesses. We need to ask the basic questions: Are these reports really necessary? and What are the alternatives? and Does the cost justify the requirements in relation to sound program management needs?."

Earlier this year, Blum appointed a task force to determine whether reporting requirements of EPA's Formal Planning and Reporting System could be cut down. As a result of the task force recommendations, Blum has ordered a reduction of at least 30 percent below last year's level in the aggregate internal reporting requirements authorized for FY 78.

"Our success in identifying reporting reductions in the planning system leads me to believe that other parts of the Agency can make similar reductions," Blum said.