Bill Would Open Access to Agency Reports to Congress

woman looking at laptop screen

The Center for Effective Government joined more than 20 allies in endorsing the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 1380). The legislation would require the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) to post any report issued to Congress or its committees on a public website. Introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and a group of 10 bipartisan co-sponsors, the bill would improve public access to the thousands of reports that federal agencies are required to submit to Congress each year by allowing people to search, sort, and download the documents.

Congressionally mandated reports contain valuable information that enables the public to better understand whether federal agencies are fulfilling their respective missions, from ensuring the safety of our drugs and food supply to protecting the environment and monitoring the soundness of our financial institutions. These reports often end up collecting dust on a staffer's shelf or are posted in an obscure section of an agency's website, if they're posted at all. The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act would make it easier for the public to find this information and use it to hold officials accountable for their actions.

Earlier versions of the bill were introduced in 2010 and 2011 but failed to advance in either the House or the Senate. Perhaps the third time will be the charm!

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