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OMB Urges Agencies to Reduce Paperwork Burdens on Citizens; Sabeel Rahman Quoted

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The Office of Management and Budget has released guidance directing federal agencies to reduce administrative burdens that U.S. citizens experience when accessing social welfare programs.

The guidance orders agencies to identify time, financial and psychological costs imposed on people when applying for a benefits program and instructs them to design reforms to solve these challenges, Sabeel Rahman, senior counselor to the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote in a blog post published Wednesday.

“Long forms, long lines, and lots of documents – these are the hurdles that can make it difficult and frustrating for individuals and communities to access government programs and services,” Rahman said.

The memo, signed by Shalanda Young, director of OMB, and Dominic Mancini, deputy administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, cites the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, which mandates agencies to reduce paperwork burdens when the government collects information from the public. 

Rahman said the memo aligns with the Biden administration’s effort to broaden access to public benefits programs and ensure that government services are delivered more equitably.

“As part of this effort, last year OMB submitted a report to the President that made clear how administrative burdens make it harder for communities in need to access critical services and programs – and agencies can do more to fix the problem,” Rahman explained.

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