Agency reports just a mouse click away under Senate bill
- By Alyah Khan
- Jul 27, 2011
A new Senate bill would require the Government Printing Office to start and maintain a website that would publish electronic copies of all agency reports required by Congress.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced the bill (S.1411) July 25 and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are cosponsors.
A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) in May.
According to the legislation, agency reports would be available within 30 days of being submitted to Congress and would be searchable by text, keywords, agency names and congressional committees receiving the reports.
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The bill would cover thousands of reports required by law and sent to Congress annually and includes a provision that would prohibit the publication of classified information.
“In the digital age, Congress should be sharing as much information as possible with our constituents through available information technologies, so taxpayers can judge for themselves how well their government is performing,” said Lieberman, chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Collins said agency reports can shed light on government performance, but access to these reports can be “almost impossible for the public and even for many in Congress.”
The legislation is supported by several good government and transparency groups.
Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.