About the PRA Initiative

The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) accounts for 77% of the entire paperwork burden placed on the public by the Federal Government.  The majority of this burden is attributed to information gathering required by the tax code.  As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Treasury uses the Federal Register to solicit public comments on more than
1,200 separate information collections (ICs).  Treasury publishes a 60-day Federal Register Notice (FRN) and a 30-day FRN announcing these opportunities for public comments.  Through the FRN process, Treasury asks the public, specifically for small business entities, to provide feedback on how to reduce the burden to complete ICs.  Some areas of interest for burden reduction include simplification, leveraging information technologies, less frequent reporting, etc.  Though it is required by the PRA, Federal Register Notices for comment have proven to be an ineffective means of gathering feedback from the public.

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is piloting a social media technology initiative to increase public participation and 
collaboration in the PRA process and to achieve the Administration's goals for more a more open government.   For this pilot, the OCIO and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are testing the form Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, also called Form 1023.  The information collection (form) is 28 pages, and the associated instructions are 38 pages.   Form 1023 takes an estimated 96 hours to complete and places more than three (3) million paperwork burden hours on the public every year.


Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance of Form 1023 expires on January 31, 2011.  A 60-day FRN will be published in July 2010 to notify the public of the renewal, request comments, and provide a link to this collaboration tool.  The collaboration tool will maintain the official comments that IRS will use to determine potential changes to Form 1023. 


The OCIO anticipates this collaboration tool will obtain public comments that will lead to reduction in Treasury's paperwork burden on the public as well as reduce costs to Form 1023 users. The IRS costs to print, process, and distribute Form 1023 could also reduce the burden imposed by the form.    


The OCIO plans to expand the use of this website to gather feedback on additional forms and information collections.  After we receive comments on collaboration tool, the OCIO will enhance the tool and employ the Google Moderator prior to migration to full implementation. 

We welcome your comments on these forms.


* Each bar on the graph represents an action taken to change or renew the burden for this collection, and the year in which the action took place. For example, the burden listed in 1993 was the approved yearly collection burden until it was updated in 1996.