Foundational methods for practicing design research.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)


The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) is a law governing how federal agencies (and their consultants) collect information from the American public. It applies primarily when we collect structured information from 10 or more members of the public.


PRA aims to prevent unnecessary or duplicative information requests from the public. The intent is for federal agencies to be good stewards of the public’s time.

Time required


How to do it

  1. Determine the type of research and estimate how many participants you’ll need. See “When PRA is most likely to apply” in Navigating PRA (Internal Bixal resource, for now).
  2. Think creatively about how to get the answers you need while complying with PRA. Each method in this site includes some guidance on the application of PRA, but in general, it does NOT apply in these cases:
    • Research methods that involve “direct observation or non-standardized oral communication”.
    • Research conducted with federal employees as participants.
  3. If you think a PRA clearance might be necessary, discuss with the project manager or product owner right away. They can help you connect with the PRA representative at the related federal agency.

Additional resources