Press Release

Reducing Administrative Burdens: Prospects and Challenges Ahead

The Biden Administration’s Office of Management and Budget recently released a memo directing agencies to reassess, and hopefully reform, the level of paperwork burdens involved in applying for and receiving social benefits programs. In a new insight, Senior Regulatory Policy Analyst Dan Goldbeck examines the memo’s goals and limitations, and considers the broader challenges to reform in this area.

Key points:

  • Over the past decade, the total cumulative paperwork burden imposed by the federal government has ranged from 8.7–11.7 billion hours; it currently stands at roughly 10.5 billion hours.
  • For all the memo’s conceptual merits, it represents a limited policy action that mostly serves to highlight how intransigent the issue of administrative burdens can be.
  • Given the difficulties involved in addressing this issue, the administration will need to bring more resources to bear or help set up a legislative framework—preferably on a bipartisan basis—if it wants to truly effect substantive change.

Read the analysis