SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today released a list of more than 700 unnecessary bureaucratic reports currently required by law and called on the state legislature to eliminate them in order to streamline government and reduce waste.

“It wastes a lot of time and money to write, track and file these reports,” said Governor Brown. “Government should be focused on providing information that is actually helpful to taxpayers, not on checking boxes to meet outdated bureaucratic requirements.”

In December 2011 Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-14-11 which directed state agencies and departments to audit all reports that they must submit to the Legislature and identify those that are not of significant value.

Examples identified in this audit include:
• A biennial report, required by 1966 statute, by the Department of Boating and Waterways on the status of their operations.
• An annual report by the Australian Government on their annual kangaroo harvest, which the Department of Fish and Game is required to track and transmit to the legislature.
• An annual report by the Department of Transportation on the use of waste tires.
• A monthly report on response and recovery activities tied to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Of the 718 reports identified overall, 375 require legislative action to eliminate. Today Governor Brown directed the state Department of Finance (DOF) to ask the state legislature to end reporting requirements. The text of the DOF letter is below.

DOF will direct the Legislative Counsel to stop tracking of the remaining 343 reports, which will effectively end agency and department production requirements.

A list of reports which can be eliminated by the Legislative Counsel Bureau can be found here. The reports which require legislative action can be found here.

Following is the text of Director Matosantos’ letter to Secretary of the Senate Gregory Schmidt and Chief Clerk of the Assembly E. Dotson Wilson:

April 17, 2012

Mr. Gregory Schmidt
Secretary of the Senate

Mr. E. Dotson Wilson
Chief Clerk of the Assembly

As part of his ongoing effort to make government more effective, the Governor issued Executive Order B-14-11 in December 2011. Agency secretaries and department directors were instructed to prepare a list of all reports that they are required to submit to the Legislature, and identify those that may no longer be of significant value to the Legislature.

The Department of Finance (Finance) provided state agencies and departments instructions to assist them in identifying and reporting their respective lists of legislative reports to Finance. Finance provided guidelines for agencies and departments to consider in determining if their legislative reports are no longer considered of significant value, including:

• Whether the report is the result of a specific budget bill and the required information is no longer timely or relevant;
• Whether the report is still relevant or necessary given a change in law or circumstances;
• Whether other sources of information or other reports provide the same or similar information; and
• Whether interested parties continue to rely on the report, or whether there are other public interests in continuing to prepare the report.

Finance has reviewed the legislative reports submitted by agencies and departments and compiled a list identifying more than 700 legislative reports believed to be no longer of value or are one-time reporting requirements that have already been completed. Of this amount, 375 reports require legislative action to eliminate. For the remainder, we will be contacting the Legislative Counsel Bureau to have them deleted from their website that tracks outstanding reports.

We are providing this list of reports to the Legislature for its consideration and respectfully request legislative action to eliminate them.

If you have any questions concerning this letter, please contact David Botelho, Chief, Office of State Audits and Evaluations, at (916) 322-2985.