Sharing Some Ideas to Improve Congressional Operations


On January 30th the House of Representatives’ Bulk Data Task Force held its second public meeting to outline its efforts and hear from interested members of the public. Yesterday, Daniel Schuman recapped the meeting and discussed some of the many excellent steps the task force has taken, and is planning to take, to make House operations more open.

Recently, the House has shown a deep commitment to making its operations open and accessible to the citizens that it serves. But, there can always be room for improvement. At the recent Advisory Committee on Transparency event three speakers presented ideas that, they argued, would improve congressional operations and make the Legislative branch more effective and transparent.

Celia Wexler, of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, urged Congress to reinstate the Office of Technology Assessment. She argued that Congress needs an independent, reliable source of information about scientific and technical issues.

Sheila Krumholz, of the Center for Responsive Politics, pushed for Congress’s itemized expenditure reports to be put online in machine-readable formats.

Jeremy Miller the Policy Director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, asked for expanded public access to Congressional Research Service reports. The Sunlight Foundation has supported this idea in the past.

You can view all of the presentations from the event here. The Advisory Committee on Transparency brings groups and individuals together to discuss transparency issues and share ideas. The Advisory Committee and the Sunlight Foundation do not necessarily endorse the ideas presented in these videos.