December 14, 2017

Appropriations Bill May Finally Make Congressional Research Reports Public

From POGO (Project on Government Oversight):

The Project On Government Oversight has long advocated for free and open public access to the publicly funded Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports, and is happy to say that the day anyone can access a CRS report may soon be here.

In the proposed appropriations for the CRS released yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee directed the CRS to “make available to the public, all non-confidential reports,” and because the mandate is in a Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, these reports are only one successful House vote away from being publicly released.

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Unfortunately, House sources indicate that an amendment may be introduced by Representative Betsy McCollum (D-MN) to weaken the bill’s language, undermining public access to CRS reports. Passing this amendment would be a mistake. Weakening this long-overdue transparency measure perpetuates the harmful opacity and misinformation surrounding government, and harms the public’s general understanding of the issues facing the nation today.

Two Notes From infoDOCKET Founder/Editor, Gary Price:

1. Being able to access CRS reports directly from the organization would be wonderful. The EU and UK are examples of legislative research organizations that have provided open-web access to their reports for many years.

2. Access to reports direct from the CRS is important and LONG overdue, however access to a growing number of CRS materials can be accessed online (for free) via EveryCRSReport.com and the Federation of American Scientists, and others.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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