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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

 

SECTION: U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DOCUMENTS

 

HEADLINE: House Administration Rejects Recommendation to Charge Public for

 

Access to Legislative Documents

 

BODY:

 

   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

 

livelihoods.

 

 

 

   "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

 

http://cha.house.gov/sites/republicans.cha.house.gov/files/documents/committeedo

 

cs/CHA%20Letter%20-%20Free%20Access%20to%20Government%20Information%20-%205%2022

 

%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).