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[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


112th Congress                                            Rept. 112-663
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1
======================================================================
 
             ACCESS TO CONGRESSIONALLY MANDATED REPORTS ACT

                                _______
                                

               September 10, 2012.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Issa, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1974]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 1974) to require the Public Printer to 
establish and maintain a website accessible to the public that 
allows the public to obtain electronic copies of all 
congressionally mandated reports in one place, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     3
Explanation of Amendments........................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     4
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     5
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     5
Committee Estimate...............................................     5
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     5

    The amendment (stated in terms of the page and line numbers 
of the introduced bill) is as follows:
    Page 6, line 17, insert ``, with the exception of technical 
changes,'' after ``changed or removed''.

                     COMMITTEE STATEMENT AND VIEWS

                          Purpose and Summary

    The Committee has long been concerned with enhancing the 
transparency of the Federal Government, particularly by 
requiring the publication of Federal information online. H.R. 
1974, the Access to Congressionally Mandate Reports Act (ACMRA) 
would require the Government Printing Office (GPO) to establish 
and maintain a public website that would allow the public, for 
the first time, to obtain electronic copies of all 
congressionally mandated reports.
    Under ACMRA, the reports would be compiled on GPO's website 
in a machine-readable, bulk-downloadable format and made 
available no later than 30 days after they are due to Congress. 
The reports would be searchable based on their content, 
reporting agency, and other data. The website would include a 
mechanism to display which reports are submitted on time, which 
are submitted late, and which are not submitted at all.
    Most executive, legislative, and judicial branch agencies 
would be required to publish their reports on GPO's website, 
subject to guidance issued by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB). Agencies would be deemed to have complied with 
the statutory requirement to submit a report to Congress after 
publishing the report on the website and notifying the Clerk of 
the House, the Secretary 
of the Senate, and the appropriate Congressional committees. 
ACMRA contains exceptions for records that are exempt from 
public disclosure and protects information that may not be 
publicly released under the Freedom of Information Act.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Congressionally mandated reports contain a wealth of 
information about the Federal Government's activities, plans, 
challenges, and compliance with various mandates. This 
information, if made public, would enable Americans to better 
understand how well Federal agencies are (or are not) 
fulfilling their respective missions, from ensuring the safety 
of our food and drug supply, to protecting the environment, to 
monitoring the soundness of our financial institutions.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Representative Quigley press release, June 22, 2011, available 
at http://quigley.house.gov/
index.php?option=com_content&view;=article&id;=505:quigley-cummings-
transparency-bill-passes-house-committee&catid;=19:2011-press-releases.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The rules of the House require the House Clerk to compile a 
``list of reports which it is the duty of any officer or 
Department to make to Congress.'' This list ran to 224 pages 
for the 112th Congress. There is currently no systematic 
requirement for congressionally mandated reports to be provided 
to the public, nor is there any means of public access.
    ACMRA would provide full public transparency and 
comprehensive access for congressionally mandated reports by 
requiring GPO to establish a website to host them and requiring 
agencies to submit them to that website. GPO already has the 
necessary infrastructure to comply with ACMRA. Since 1994, GPO 
has provided no-fee permanent public access to comprehensive 
digital collections of congressional information on its Federal 
Digital System (FDsys).\2\ ACMRA's publishing requirement 
complements GPO's mission to ``Keep America Informed.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Letter from GPO to Mike Quigley, May 9, 2011.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Legislative History

    Representative Dreihaus introduced the Access to 
Congressionally Mandated Reports Act of 2010 as H.R. 6026 on 
July 7, 2010. H.R. 6026 was referred to the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform on July 30, 2010. H.R. 6026 
would have required the Office of Management and Budget to 
establish a single website to publish electronic copies of 
congressionally mandated reports. Then-Ranking Member Issa 
raised concerns about OMB's proposed role. The 111th Congress 
took no further action on ACMRA.
    In the 112th Congress, Representative Quigley revised 
ACMRA, accommodating Representative Issa's concerns and 
incorporating comments by organizations supporting government 
transparency. Representative Quigley introduced the bill as 
H.R. 1974 on May 24, 2011. H.R. 1974 replaced OMB as custodian 
of the congressionally mandated reports website with the GPO, a 
legislative branch agency. H.R. 1974 also strengthened the 
bill's requirement for agencies to report in a timely manner 
and added provisions ensuring state-of-the-art technology. H.R. 
1974 was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform and the Committee on House Administration. The Oversight 
Committee unanimously ordered reported H.R. 1974 at a business 
meeting on June 22, 2011.
    On July 25, 2011, Senator Lieberman introduced companion 
legislation, S. 1411, in the Senate. S. 1411 was referred to 
the Committee on Rules and Administration.

                           SECTION-BY-SECTION

Section 1. Short title

    Stipulates that the Act may be cited as the ``Access to 
Congressionally Mandated Reports Act.''

Section 2. Establishment of website for congressionally mandated 
        reports

    Requires the Government Printing Office to establish and 
maintain a website where the public can search, sort and 
download all congressionally mandated reports for free. The 
reports must be available within 30 days of being submitted to 
Congress and searchable by title, reporting agency, publication 
date, receiving committee, and other data. The website must 
also list which reports were submitted on time, late, and not 
at all.

Section 3. Federal agency responsibilities

    Requires the head of each agency to publish the agency's 
reports on the website established under Section 2, in an open 
format that is machine readable. Reports must be submitted 
without restrictions on access and re-use. Also requires the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue guidance to 
assist agencies in implementation.

Section 4. Relationship to requirements to submit reports to Congress

    Provides that each agency will be deemed to have complied 
with a statutory requirement to submit any congressionally 
mandated report after it has published a complete and 
unredacted copy on the website established under Section 2 and 
has notified the Clerk of the House, the Secretary of the 
Senate, and each receiving congressional committee. It also 
provides that once a report has been published it may only be 
changed or removed with the consent of each receiving 
congressional committee.

Section 5. Relationship to Freedom of Information Act

    Prevents the Act from being construed to require the 
disclosure of information exempt from public disclosure under 
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Requires agencies to 
redact information that may not be publicly released, indicate 
where redactions were made, and identify the relevant FOIA 
exemption.

Section 6. Definitions

    Defines ``congressionally mandated report'' to mean ``a 
report that is required to be submitted to either house of 
Congress or any committee of Congress by statute or by a 
conference report that accompanies legislation signed into 
law.'' It defines ``Federal agency'' using the meaning in 
Section 102 of title 40, United States Code, which includes an 
executive agency or an establishment in the legislative or 
judicial branch, except the Senate, the House, and the 
Architect of the Capitol. It also exempts the Government 
Accountability Office.

Section 7. Implementation

    The website and other provisions of the bill must be 
implemented within one year after the date of enactment of the 
Act.

                       EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS

    Mr. Quigley offered an amendment allowing agencies to make 
technical changes to reports after they are posted on the 
publicly accessible website required under the bill. It was 
accepted by voice vote.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On June 22, 2011, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1974 as amended, by 
voice vote, a quorum being present.

              APPLICATION OF LAW TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill requires the Government Printing Office (GPO) to 
establish and maintain a public website that would allow the 
public, for the first time, to obtain electronic copies of all 
congressionally mandated reports. As such this bill does not 
relate to employment or access to public services and 
accommodations.

  STATEMENT OF OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the descriptive portions of this report.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

                     FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       UNFUNDED MANDATE STATEMENT

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement the Committee has 
received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included 
herein.

                         EARMARK IDENTIFICATION

    H.R. 1974 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           COMMITTEE ESTIMATE

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 1974. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     BUDGET AUTHORITY AND CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 1974 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                                      July 7, 2011.
Hon. Darrell Issa,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1974, the Access 
to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1974--Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act

    H.R. 1974 would require the Government Printing Office 
(GPO) to establish and maintain a Web site that would allow the 
public to obtain electronic copies of all Congressionally 
mandated reports. Most executive, legislative, and judicial 
branch agencies would be required to provide GPO with their 
reports and notify the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of 
the Senate, as well as the appropriate Congressional committee, 
when the report is available on the Internet.
    Based on information from GPO and other agencies that 
produce Congressionally mandated reports, CBO expects that 
complying with the bill's provisions would increase 
administrative costs to GPO to store and maintain the reports 
and to agencies to provide them. Based on information provided 
by those agencies, CBO estimates that in total implementing the 
bill would cost less than $500,000 annually, assuming the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures apply to the bill because it would 
affect direct spending by agencies not funded through annual 
appropriations, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and 
Bonneville Power Administration. Such agencies would face some 
additional costs, but CBO estimates that any net increase in 
direct spending would not be significant. Enacting the 
legislation would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 1974 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.