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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).