Site keeps feds on legislative track

Margaret Stanley's office tracks legislation for the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. Although she's just a mile from the U.S. Capitol, getting timely information about what Congress is doing can sometimes be tough.

That's why Stanley is turning to a growing Web service from Inc. that provides up-to-the-minute information about what lawmakers plan to do on every subject from boating to budgets.

The subscription-based Web site debuted about two years ago, and now has more than 3,000 subscribers who pay about $8,000 a year for a virtual heads-up on Capitol Hill.

Its customers include the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury, Agriculture and Defense departments, which can get data from the Web site that will directly affect how they do business. They also can get up-to-the-minute feeds and analysis about the federal budget's status.

"Anyone who wants [federal] money ought to be using this," said Eryn Gurnee Cadoff, account manager for

"It has become one of our primary online tools to track legislation, to keep us abreast of certain things," said Stanley, legislative affairs director for the retirement board, which represents 700,000 former workers.

Not long ago, Stanley and other executives watching Congress had to rely on paper for congressional information. And sometimes it would take two staffers to pull together the information that feeds its clients between midnight and 3 a.m. nightly.

But now Stanley can get critical information in minutes about proposed changes in such policy areas as pension, retirement, civil service, unions and the future of Amtrak.

"It helps us be aware of what bills are out there that impact us in any way," Stanley said. can also provide extensive searching capacities and alert customers to pertinent data in a timely manner.

When prompted to perform a broad search of a single topic, such as "information technology," the service searches for the keyword and notifies the customer where to find it. The searches run on data fed into the system every 24 hours.

Customization is a key feature, said Mike Romanies, who heads marketing for "It allows you to follow changes [and get] notification that a hearing has been rescheduled. It enables you to follow the facts without sitting there and watching C-Span," he said.


Pulling it together began in 1996 in Texas, but it is in Washington, D.C., that it has found a niche market.

There are other private tracking services in Washington, according to Mike Romanies, who heads marketing for And there is a wealth of free information available from Thomas, the legislative tracking service that the Library of Congress runs, not to mention the Federal Register. But unlike with, most of the information comes in pieces and is not tied together, he said.


  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.