Press Release

Catching Up With the National Paperwork “Budget”

For the first time in roughly two and a half years, the federal government published its supposedly annual report on government-wide paperwork burdens. In a new insight, Director of Regulatory Policy Dan Goldbeck breaks down the report’s trends and discusses the need for reform.

Key points:

  • The report found that paperwork burdens have fluctuated between roughly 10–11.6 billion hours in recent years.
  • Although it initially seemed as if there has been a downward trend in paperwork burdens in recent years, a deeper examination of the data reveals that the paperwork requirements attached to actual policy changes have increased the cumulative burden by approximately 460 million hours.
  • Such a trend highlights the need for deeper, more structural reforms such as a “paperwork budget” that, even with relatively modest goals in mind, could yield billions of dollars in savings.

Read the analysis