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Task Force To Cut Down On Government Paperwork Has Been Disbanded

March 31, 1986

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ A 2-year-old task force set up to reduce paperwork in state government agencies has been disbanded, partly because it was too independent and didn’t file enough reports, a state official says.

The panel helped save state government $5.5 million by slashing the number of forms and brochures circulating in government agencies.

″But frankly, they were too independent, and although they did a good job there was no control,″ state budget director Richard B. Standiford told The Star-Ledger of Newark. ″We wanted to know exactly what they were doing over there.″

Standiford said the task force also failed to file enough reports with him on its progress.

″We needed reports from them because we certainly want to know what all our people are doing and working on to coordinate the activities and make sure there is no duplication,″ he said.

Task force members who used to have their own office and operated fairly independently have been reassigned to jobs within the Office of Management and Budget, he told The Associated Press on Sunday.

He said task force members will continue their battle against paperwork in their new jobs, but rather than choose assignments they will be sent by him to various bureaucratic troublespots.

The commission was created by Standiford’s predecessor, Alfred Fasola.

Alfred Gaissert, the project director of the task force, said government paperwork costs taxpayers about $500 million a year. The state’s proposed budget for fiscal 1987 is $9.3 billion.

In one of its first cases, the task force found that there were 30 different publications for new state employees discussing subjects ranging from the length of lunch hour to work ethics.

The task force designed one brochure and saved the state thousands of dollars in printing costs, Gaissert said.

In the Department of Human Services, monthly reports were replaced by quarterly reports. In the Division of Motor Vehicles, the task force found that each form required eight copies; it decided one copy was sufficient and reduced the paper mountain by 11.2 million pieces.

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