WASHINGTON–Today, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) re-introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (ACMRA) to create a single website on which Congress and the public can easily search, sort, and download all agency congressional reports. This bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives in the 116th Congress unanimously.
“Good governance requires the American people have full, transparent access to information about their government. Congress receives thousands of reports annually from federal agencies about how they are fulfilling their missions, but there isn’t a spot to find all of them in one place. The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act provides Americans easy access to these reports by requiring all federal agency congressional reports be housed in one accessible location. If these reports can’t be easily found, the reports don’t serve their purpose. The American people need the information contained in these reports to be accessible so we can see and understand how the federal government is using their taxpayer dollars. The House and Senate must take up this commonsense legislation,” said Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member Comer.
“As founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus, I am proud to re-introduce this hallmark transparency bill that I have introduced every Congress since 2011,” said Quigley. “This bill will increase government transparency by providing the public easily-accessible information on how agencies are accomplishing their policy goals. By consolidating this information in one location, my hope is that it will improve the institutional and technological capacity of the legislative branch and rebuild the public’s trust in our government. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this legislation in the House again this Congress.”
Each year, federal agencies submit thousands of legally mandated reports to Congress containing a wealth of information on the executive branch, which enables the public to better understand how effectively federal agencies are fulfilling their respective missions and policy obligations. These reports cover a range of topics, including the status of implementing new programs or legislative requirements, updates on agency efforts to combat waste and fraud, information on policies related to cybersecurity, and financial accountability. The reports also provide valuable information related to specific agency missions, such as ensuring the safety of our drugs and food supply, protecting the environment, monitoring the soundness of our financial institutions, homeland security, and national defense. Unfortunately, many of these reports are only seen by the Committees to which agencies are required to submit them or they appear in scattered posts in numerous places on dozens of agency websites.
The ACMRA has been endorsed by the following bipartisan organizations: American Library Association, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Bipartisan Policy Center Action, Campaign for Accountability, Center for Responsive Politics, Defending Rights & Dissent, Demand Progress, Freedom of the Press Foundation, FreedomWorks, Government Accountability Project, Government Information Watch, Issue One, Judicial Watch, Lincoln Network, National Freedom of Information Coalition, National Security Archive, National Security Counselors, National Taxpayer Union, Niskanen Center, Oakland Privacy, Open The Government, Pay Our Interns, Progress American, Project On Government Oversight, Protect Democracy, R Street Institute, Senior Executives Association, TechFreedom, and X-Lab.
Please see the official letter of support from endorsing organizations HERE.
“The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act stands for the bedrock principle that the federal government must be accountable to Congress and the people,” said Daniel Schuman, policy Director, Demand Progress. “We applaud the reintroduction of the ACMRA by Reps. Quigley and Comer because the legislation will make it possible — for the first time ever — to track the reports the Executive branch must by law submit to Congress and it will make them available online where everyone can read them.”
“A strong Congress is one capable of holding the Executive branch to account,” said Zach Graves, head of policy, the Lincoln Network. “The bipartisan Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act would empower congressional oversight by making sure the Executive branch’s reports to Congress are available at Congress’s fingertips.”
“The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (ACMRA) would greatly improve accessibility and transparency in our government and put more access to agency reports back into the hands of the people,” said Melissa Wasser, Policy Counsel at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). “Allowing more taxpayer-funded reports to be accessible and downloadable online gives the public, journalists, and members of Congress the power to conduct more robust oversight of executive agencies. POGO thanks Congressman Quigley and Congressman Comer for their commitment to strengthening transparency and creating a more accountable federal government for all.”