Requiring Federal Agencies to Accept Filings Online

In the late 1990’s when I was Deputy General Counsel for Information Technology for the Weld Administration (then the Governor of Massachusetts) part of my job was to advocate for “online government”. That included working with other jurisdictions on legislative reforms to remove obstacles to adoption of eCommerce in the private sector and the equivalent for online transactions by citizens and businesses with government. My first major work on federal legislation along these lines is now known as the “Government Paperwork Elimination Act” and in general it required federal agencies to accept forms and other filings over the web instead of requiring paper.

I was honored to work with staff and members of the US House and Senate on drafting the language for this bill. Here’s my testimony before the US Senate advocating for the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. This legislation to make federal forms available for people to file over the Internet was enacted into law by the 105th Congress as Public Law 105-277 and is mandatory for all agencies and departments.

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