The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35 ) requires Federal agencies to obtain approval from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) (a division of the Office of Management and Budget) before collecting information from ten or more members of the public.

Members of the public are:

• Individuals (who are not Federal employees),
• Partnerships,
• Associations,
• Corporations,
• Business trusts,
• Legal representatives,
• Organized groups of individuals, and
• State, territory, tribal, or local governments or branches or political subdivisions.

In addition, OIRA does not limit to geographical location when information is collected from the public. The public can be from domestic or overseas locations.

Under the PRA, the method in which information is collected does not matter. The State Department collects information through many methods that goes through OIRA approval, such as:

• Forms,
• Telephone and interview scripts,
• Pilots,
• Surveys,
• Focus group discussion questions,
• Recordkeeping requirements,
• Electronic applications, and
• Within Regulations

The overall goal of the PRA is –

• Maximize the practical use of information that is collected, maintained, or used by the Federal government;
• Minimize burden to the public when collecting information; and
• Ensure information collected is not duplicative of ongoing collection efforts.

For more information

Contact us at to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future