Today, Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Elijah E. Cummings (MD-7), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, introduced the bipartisan Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, which increases government transparency by making reports written for Congress by federal agencies available online to the public.
"Federal agencies submit thousands of reports containing vital information to Congress each year, but many simply sit collecting dust on Committee shelves," said Quigley. "Making these reports publicly accessible ensures that government business is done transparently and empowers everyday citizens to be the government's best watchdog, holding it accountable to the people it serves."
"The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act is a common-sense measure that will make the government more transparent and accountable by creating a one-stop shop where Congress and the public can access agency reports," said Cummings. "Making it easier to access agency reports is a positive step towards improving Congressional oversight and protecting the public's trust."
The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act creates a single website where the public can easily search, sort, and download congressional reports from agencies ranging from the Food and Drug Administration to the Department of Justice. The bill was originally introduced in the 112th Congress and was unanimously passed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Congressionally mandated reports contain a wealth of information that enables the public to better understand how 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.
The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act calls for any report required by statute to be issued to Congress and releasable under the Freedom of Information Act to be posted on a website managed by the Government Printing Office. The reports would be available no later than 30 days after their transmission to Congress.
Additional co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. Justin Amash (MI-03), Jim Cooper (TN-5), Danny Davis (IL-07), Ron Kind (WI-03), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Jared Polis (CO-02), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and John Yarmuth (KY-03).
Rep. Quigley has been committed to good government reform throughout his time in Congress. He is co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, which recently focused on FOIA reform during its first forum of the 113th Congress. Earlier this month, he introduced the Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Act, which would make taxpayer-funded congressional reports available to the public.