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Friday, 29th February 2008

Lieberman Calls for Wider, Easier, Timely Access to CRS Reports

Lieberman Calls for Wider, Easier, Timely Access to CRS Reports

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., is calling for greater public access to the expert reports produced by the highly acclaimed Congressional Research Service. In a letter to Rules Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, Lieberman thanked her for asking CRS to devise a system for the Senate similar to one now operating in the House. Lieberman, however, said the House standard was still inadequate and asked for her help in implementing S. Res. 401, which he introduced last fall with Senators McCain, Collins and others, to provide the public with greater access to CRS reports.

“Unfortunately, Congress and CRS’ policies have severely limited the public’s ability to read these unclassified reports,” Lieberman wrote. “As a result, there is uneven access among the public, with many companies now profiting from selling CRS reports to those who can afford to pay…. I believe the new system should provide constituents with tools similar to what Congressional staff has, with material presented by topic as well as the capability to search across all reports and issue briefs.”

Lieberman said the House system still makes it burdensome for members to provide a substantial number of reports to constituents.

Source: U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs

Hat tip: the openhouse project


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