By Justin Sink
Congress is asking the Obama administration to produce too many reports about what it's up to, the White House argued Wednesday.
"While these reports and plans often provide useful information for legislative decision-making, oversight, and public transparency, some reports and plans that were once useful have become outdated or duplicative, and needlessly divert time and resources away from critical agency mission activities," Cobert said.
In one instance, the Department of Homeland Security is forced to create an annual report on violations of the Dog and Cat Fur Protection Act, which bans the importation of products containing those animals' fur. According to the administration, only one violation has occurred during the president's tenure.
The Department of the Interior has also been required to prepare an annual report on a program that allowed natural gas companies to provide the government energy directly instead of cash royalty payments. The only problem: The program was discontinued in 2009.
In total, the administration has identified 74 congressional requirements it said are unnecessary, on top of 350 reports and plans it said were excessive in 2012.
"From the day the President [took] office, he has been committed to improving the openness and transparency of government, and increasing the amount and quality of information made available to the public and to Congress," Cobert said, citing administration efforts to modernize access to government data. "We can continue that openness and transparency while eliminating unnecessary reporting requirements that waste limited taxpayer resources."