Congress Too Busy Electioneering To Make Mandated Reports Public

October 20, 2010

It's hard to believe that some of the reports Congress demands of federal agencies are not available to the public. But it's true — not because the reports are classified but because neither the agencies nor Congress bothers to publish them.

A bill (HR 6026) was introduced by Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) to fix that. It requires agencies to submit an electronic copy of every report mandated by Congress to the Office of Management and Budget — and requires OMB to publish each of them online.

But Congress is away electioneering — often with rhetoric about "accountability" — and has not had time to pass the bill. It is languishing in the House Oversight Committee. Lame-duck action seems unlikely at this point.

The National Freedom of Information Coalition, joined by some 34 other journalism and open-government groups, wrote House Oversight Committee leaders Sept. 22, urging them to act on the bill.