The Trump administration announced on Thursday it would be eliminating an obscure rule requiring federal agencies to provide updates on how they will prepare for a bug that infected computers in 2000.
In addition to eliminating the Y2K bug rule, agencies will also be eradicating dozens of other paperwork requirements. For example, the Pentagon will not have to file a report each time a small business vendor is paid, which consumes approximately 1,200 man hours, according to Bloomberg.
"We're looking for stuff everyone agrees is a complete waste of time," Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters at the White House.
President Donald Trump has kept his campaign promise of pushing deregulation, signing "more laws rolling back his predecessor's regulations than the combined total of the three previous presidents since the process was established by the 1999 Congressional Review Act," Bloomberg reports.
Seven of the more than 50 paperwork requirements the White House eliminated on Thursday dealt with the Y2K bug, according to a memo OMB released. Officials at the agency estimate the changes could save tens of thousands of man-hours across the federal government.
The agency didn't provide an estimate of how much time is currently spent on Y2K paperwork, but Linda Springer, an OMB senior adviser, acknowledged that it isn't a lot since those requirements are already often ignored in practice.
Mulvaney said he hopes that by publicly eliminating the rules, departments and agencies will be inspired to review their own policies and procedures to reduce inefficiencies.
"Many agencies have forgotten how to deregulate," Mulvaney said. "It's been so long since somebody asked them to look backwards."
Mulvaney said his efforts were not intending to reduce the workforce at federal agencies, but to instead give federal workers more freedom for productive tasks. He said he will be conducting a second review of federal agency requirements to identify more regulations imposed by former administrations.