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Press Release Published: Jan 24, 2023

Comer Supports Bipartisan Bill Bringing Transparency to Closed Door Agency Agreements

WASHINGTON–House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) today delivered remarks on the House floor in support of the bipartisan Settlement Agreement Information Database (SAID) Act (H.R. 300), a bill introduced by Representative Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) that requires federal agencies to submit information regarding consent decrees and settlement agreements to a public, electronic database.

Federal agencies often use settlement agreements to resolve disputes, but these negotiations prevent the public from participating in important policy decisions. Chairman Comer noted that the SAID Act corrects this problem by bringing transparency to agency settlement agreements.

Below are Chairman Comer’s remarks as prepared for delivery.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in support of H.R. 300, the Settlements Agreement Information Database Act.

Transparency and public participation are vital to ensure the public’s continued trust in our government.

Federal agencies frequently use settlement agreements to resolve litigation without going through lengthy, public trials.

However, it is impossible for Congress and the public to determine the impact these settlement agreements have on State and local governments and private sector entities because they must continue to follow the agency requirements these agreements mandate.

Such secret negotiations and agreements essentially prevent the public from participating in important policy decisions.