Portman Introduces Two Bills to Increase Transparency by Publishing Federal Reports Online

January 17, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) today introduced two pieces of legislation – the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act and the Modernizing Congressional Reporting Act – that will increase government transparency by establishing a publicly-accessible website that serves as a library of all non-confidential agency reports mandated by the legislative branch. This website would give policymakers and members of the public access to these taxpayer-funded reports. 

“Congress requires the executive branch produce thousands of reports on every conceivable topic each year, but does not compile them into one, central location for easy public access,” said Portman. “A public library of these reports enhances our democracy in two ways. First, it strengthens Congress’ ability to pass sound legislation by giving policymakers new access to vital information. Second, it promotes transparency in government by giving citizens access to taxpayer-funded reports and studies. I hope my colleagues with join me in supporting this legislation.” 

NOTE: The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act requires federal agencies to submit to the Government Publishing Office (GPO) all congressionally-mandated reports, after each agency first redacts information that would not be publicly dis-closable under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). GPO would publish all reports submitted by agencies and keep track of whether a report has been submitted. Senator Portman previously introduced this measure with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the last Congress.  Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) plans to introduce this legislation in the House of Representatives soon. 

The Modernizing Congressional Reporting Act requires each federal agency to self-publish the congressionally-mandated reports the agency is required to produce each year.