The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Info from Reg Affairs Hearing Now Live and Available

The House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs has put up the info on last week's hearing, including my testimony. I've been wanting to post my oral testimony, but haven't had it handy.

The link to the webpage is here:

My testimony is here:

In lieu of my oral testimony, I'll post the press release:

NFIB Recommends Improvements to Paperwork Reduction Act
03/ 08/ 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Federation of Independent Business testified today before a congressional committee in support of improvements to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980.

In testimony before a subcommittee of the House of Representatives' Government Reform Committee, NFIB made the case to update, strengthen and improve the 25-year-old law. Manager of Regulatory Policy Andrew Langer represented NFIB, demonstrating the ongoing paperwork burden small businesses face and offering several recommendations for improvement.

"NFIB members want to be in compliance with the law. They want to keep their workers and their communities safe and secure, and the last thing they want is for a government inspector to show up at their business and fine them for some transgression. Unfortunately, the current regulatory state is so complex that it is next to impossible for any small business to be in compliance with 100 percent of the law 100 percent of the time. The system is broken and needs to be fixed," said Langer.

The NFIB Research Foundation's most recent member poll on the subject of paperwork was in December of 2003. It found that the cost of paperwork averages nearly $50 per hour, with tax and accounting costs at nearly $75 per hour, maintenance and repair paperwork at about $36 per hour, and other costs such as licenses, permits and personnel in between.

Regarding tax paperwork in particular, Langer said, "Tax paperwork accounts for a staggering 80 percent of the paperwork burden. Congress must revise the conditions upon which the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs approves information collection requests associated with the collection of taxes."

Other recommendations for improvement include:

- Full funding for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is a gatekeeper for new regulations.
- Development of the "Business Gateway" system proposed by the Small Business Administration, which would allow businesses to access, via computer, a single site containing all of the forms they must fill out based on their size, type of business, etc.
- Limit the number of "Information Collection Requests" an agency can make in any year. This would force all agencies to prioritize use of ICRs.
- Regulatory sunsetting. NFIB testified that "every federal regulation be reviewed for its impact and effectiveness within 10 years of its implementation and for a regulation to remain in place, its existence would have to be justified."

- Andrew Langer


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