A bill that has cleared the committee level in the Senate and that could come to a floor vote at any time would reduce the costs agencies incur in printing reports required by Congress while making those reports more readily available to the public, according to a summary of the measure.
S-196 would require agencies to send all congressional reports or other information in an electronic, searchable format unless a congressional office specifically requests otherwise. Also, agencies would have to post all congressionally-mandated reports and supporting materials on their public website.
A summary from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said that in 2017 that committee alone received reports from agencies on about 20,000 sheets of printed paper. It included no estimate of the cost of those printed reports or those sent to Congress as a whole but cited the $3,600 the VA spent to print and mail just one edition of its semiannual report to Congress.
The summary says the bill would build on a law signed early in 2018 ending the practice of sending printed copies of the Federal Register to agency offices or to a member of Congress unless that office specifically requests it.
The committee also has advanced S-195, which would require that publicly accessible reports from agencies to Congress be put on a central searchable website.