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.
- "NFOIC, Partners, Urge House To Pass Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act," National Freedom of Information Coalition, September 22, 2010.