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Jessica McGilvray (staff)'s picture

Good news! House Administration Rejects Recommendation to Charge Public for Access to Legislative Documents

Copyright 2013 Federal Information and News Dispatch, Inc.


                    Congressional Documents and Publications


                                  May 22, 2013




HEADLINE: House Administration Rejects Recommendation to Charge Public for


Access to Legislative Documents




   May 22, 2013



   House Administration Rejects NAPA Recommendation to Charge Public for Access


to Legislative Documents




   Committee on House Administration Calls on GPO to Maintain Free Access to


Congressional Documents




   Washington, DC - Today, House Administration Chairman Candice Miller,


R-Mich., and Ranking Member Robert Brady, D-Pa., issued the following statement


after the full Committee sent a letter to the Acting Public Printer of the U.S.


Government Printing Office (GPO) rejecting a recent recommendation by the


National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to charge the public for access


to GPO's congressional documents:




   "Charging the public to access legislative data and documents would be a


colossal setback to the progress Congress has made to improve transparency and


access to legislative information.




   "Over the past few years this Chamber has made vast improvements to the way


the public accesses House information. From posting financial disclosures


online, to creating an online central repository for bills and amendments before


the House and its committees, to establishing a single public website that hosts


all live and archived committee hearing videos, we have worked towards the


common goal of engaging our constituencies in the legislative process. Charging


the public to access important legislative documents offered online by GPO, like


the Congressional Record and the U.S. Code, would be a direct assault on our


ability to engage Americans in a process that is of great consequence to their






   "While we share GPO's efforts to seek remedies to government-wide budget


constraints that have impacted every corner of the federal government, in the


interest of transparency and accessibility, we believe that publicly available


documents should continue to be offered to the public with free access."




   The letter






%2013.pdf to GPO's Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks is written in


response to a recent report from NAPA, "Rebooting the Government Printing Office


: Keeping America Informed http://www.napawash.org/publications/rebooting-the-


government-printing-office-keeping-america-informed-in-the-digital-age/," which


recommends that GPO consider charging "end users" for access to its repository


of government documents made available via its online platform, Federal Digital


System (FDsys).