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Average of 30 minutes to complete government’s non-litigation budget form

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) uses a “Non-Litigation/Transactional Budget Form” [FDIC 5000/26 (11-00)].  Its two pages ask firms serving the FDIC for fee rates by timekeeper, a description of the matter, and a breakout of fees and expenses by “action”.  Actions include research, review, negotiation, drafting, advice & consultation, non-judicial foreclosure, and other.  Quite straightforward.

What caught my eye was the fine print at the bottom of the second page.  Under the heading, “Disclosure of Estimated Reporting Burden,” the form advises that the “Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.5 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed and completing and reviewing the collection of information.” (emphasis in original)

This Orwellian government pronouncement – plain English translators would write: “It should take an average of 0.5 hours to complete this form, including….” – makes me laugh.  Thirty minutes for everything associated with describing a new matter and establishing its budget.  That can’t be correct, because completing IRS Form 1040 takes only 0.67 hours!