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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-781

======================================================================



 
                        PAPERWORK ASSISTANCE ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 28, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Waxman, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 6113]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 6113) to amend title 44, United 
States Code, to require each agency to include a contact 
telephone number in its collection of information, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Legislative History..............................................     3
Section-by-Section...............................................     3
Explanation of Amendments........................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Rollcall Votes...................................................     4
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     4
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     4
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     4
Unfunded Mandates Statement......................................     5
Earmark Identification...........................................     5
Committee Estimate...............................................     5
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

    The amendments are as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Paperwork Assistance Act''.

SEC. 2. AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION REQUIREMENT.

  Section 3506(c)(1)(B)(iii) of title 44, United States Code, is 
amended--
          (1) in subclause (IV) by striking ``and'' at the end; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following:
                                  ``(VI) contact information for the 
                                agency, including a website and a 
                                telephone number, by which a person may 
                                obtain a specific contact person 
                                responsible for answering questions 
                                about the information collection and 
                                other information to assist in 
                                responding to the information 
                                collection; and''.

SEC. 3. REPORT BY THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET.

  The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall include in 
the report required by section 3514(a)(1)(B) of title 44, United States 
Code, covering fiscal year 2010 the following:
          (1) The status of implementation by agencies of the 
        requirement in section 3506(c)(1)(B)(iii)(VI) of such title 44, 
        as added by section 2 of this Act.
          (2) A description of how each agency has responded to 
        complaints made to the agency related to the agency's 
        compliance with such requirement.

SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.

  The amendment made by section 2 shall apply to new or revised 
collections of information approved by the Director of the Office of 
Management and Budget beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act.

  Amend the title so as to read:

      A bill to amend title 44, United States Code, to require 
each agency to include contact information for the agency in 
its collection of information.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 6113, the Paperwork Assistance Act, was introduced by 
Rep. Nancy Boyda on May 21, 2008. H.R. 6113 would help members 
of the public with filling out government forms by requiring 
each agency to include contact information for the agency on 
its information collections.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Collecting information through paperwork is necessary in 
order for the government to collect taxes, administer programs, 
and enforce laws. It is also important that businesses and 
members of the public have access to the information they need 
to fill out government forms.
    Providing contact information that a person filling out a 
form can use to get answers to questions about the form is one 
way agencies can reduce the burden of government paperwork. 
Agencies are not currently required to provide contact 
information on information collections. The National Federation 
for Independent Business released a survey of its members in 
June 2007 in which 85% of respondents said Congress should 
mandate that all federally required paperwork include the 
contact information of the agent or agency requesting the 
information.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Where Small Business Stands, MyBusiness Magazine (June/July 
2007)(online at www.mybusinessmag.com).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Paperwork Reduction Act is the primary tool for 
measuring and controlling paperwork requirements imposed by the 
federal government.\2\ The Paperwork Reduction Act requires 
agencies to get approval from the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) when information is being obtained from ten or 
more people and agencies must include certain information on 
their information collections.\3\ H.R. 6113 amends the 
Paperwork Reduction Act to require agencies to provide contact 
information for the agency on information collections.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ 44 U.S.C. Sec.  3501 et seq.
    \3\ 44 U.S.C. Sec.  3506(c)(1)(B)(iii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 6113 was introduced by Rep. Nancy Boyda on May 21, 
2008, and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform.
    The full Committee held a business meeting to consider H.R. 
6113 on July 16, 2008, and ordered the bill to be reported 
favorably by a voice vote.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    The short title of the bill is the ``Paperwork Assistance 
Act.''

Section 2. Agency contact information requirement

    This section requires each agency that is subject to the 
Paperwork Reduction Act to include contact information, 
including a website and a telephone number, for the agency on 
its information collections. Under this section, agencies must 
provide contact information that a person can use to obtain a 
specific contact person responsible for answering questions 
about the information collection as well as to obtain any other 
information the agency wishes to make available to assist in 
responding to an information collection. Under this section, an 
agency may list general contact information for the agency but 
the agency must then provide a way for a member of the public 
to use that information to reach a contact person who can 
answer specific questions about a form.

Section 3. Report by the Office of Management and Budget

    This section requires the Director of OMB, for the report 
covering the year 2010, to include in the annual report OMB is 
required to submit to Congress under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act, the status of implementation by agencies and a description 
of how each agency has responded to complaints made to the 
agency related to the agency's compliance with the requirements 
of section 2.

Section 4. Effective date

    This section provides that agencies must begin including 
contact information on new or revised information collections 
that are approved by the Director of OMB beginning one year 
after the date of enactment.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    Rep. Towns offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, passed by voice vote, to require each agency to 
include the agency's website address on information 
collections; to clarify that a person must be able to use the 
contact information provided on an information collection to 
reach a person who is responsible for answering questions about 
the form; and to strike the language requiring a report by the 
Government Accountability Office. Pursuant to a request by Rep. 
Watson, language was included in the Towns amendment to require 
OMB to provide a status report on implementation of the bill.

                        Committee Consideration

    On Wednesday, July 16, 2008, the Committee met in open 
session and favorably ordered H.R. 6113 to be reported to the 
House by a voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    No rollcall votes were held.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. The 
bill requires executive branch agencies to include certain 
information on information collections and does not relate to 
employment or access to public services and accommodations in 
the legislative branch.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of Rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report, including the need for agencies to provide a way 
for members of the public to get answers to questions about 
government paperwork.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report, including ensuring that agencies provide 
contact information on information collections to make it 
easier for members of the public to fill out government 
paperwork.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Under clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee must include a statement 
citing the specific powers granted to Congress to enact the law 
proposed by H.R. 6113. Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the 
Constitution of the United States grants the Congress the power 
to enact this law.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                      Unfunded Mandates Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement on 
whether the provisions of the report include unfunded mandates. 
In compliance with this requirement the Committee has received 
a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 6113 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 6113. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 6113 from the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office:

                                                     July 23, 2008.
Hon. Henry A. Waxman,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 6113, a bill to 
amend title 44, United States Code, to require each agency to 
include contact information for the agency in its collection of 
information.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 6113--A bill to amend title 44, United States Code, to require 
        each agency to include contact information for the agency in 
        its collection of information

    H.R. 6113 would amend the Paperwork Reduction Act to 
require all federal agencies collecting new or revised 
information from the public to provide contact information, 
including a Web site and telephone number, where respondents 
can obtain a specific contact person responsible for answering 
questions about the information. CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 6113 would have no significant impact on the 
federal budget. Although the legislation could affect agencies 
not funded through annual appropriations (such as the Tennessee 
Valley Authority or the U.S. Postal Service), CBO estimates 
that any net increase in spending by those agencies would not 
be significant.
    Information from the Office of Management and Budget, the 
Internal Revenue Service, and the Social Security 
Administration indicates that most agencies already have 
telephone numbers and Web sites devoted to providing 
information pertaining to their forms, policies, and 
procedures. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing the bill 
would not significantly increase future costs of preparing 
paper or electronic documents used throughout the federal 
government or of responding to inquiries about requests for 
information.
    H.R. 6113 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 44, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER 35--COORDINATION OF FEDERAL INFORMATION POLICY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER I--FEDERAL INFORMATION POLICY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 3506. Federal agency responsibilities

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) With respect to the collection of information and the 
control of paperwork, each agency shall--
          (1) establish a process within the office headed by 
        the Chief Information Officer designated under 
        subsection (a), that is sufficiently independent of 
        program responsibility to evaluate fairly whether 
        proposed collections of information should be approved 
        under this subchapter, to--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) ensure that each information collection--
                          (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                          (iii) informs the person receiving 
                        the collection of information of--
                                  (I) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                                  (IV) whether responses to the 
                                collection of information are 
                                voluntary, required to obtain a 
                                benefit, or mandatory; [and]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                                  (VI) contact information for 
                                the agency, including a website 
                                and a telephone number, by 
                                which a person may obtain a 
                                specific contact person 
                                responsible for answering 
                                questions about the information 
                                collection and other 
                                information to assist in 
                                responding to the information 
                                collection; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *