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POGO – Revealing the Lost World of Government Reports

POGO – “Congress is considering a simple but important step in overseeing federal agencies. A recently introduced bill would require a one-stop, easy-to-use, online location for all congressionally mandated reports. This may put an end to the world of lost and hidden government reports. Each year, Congress mandates that federal agencies report on programs, laws, and other aspects of government, big and small. Whether it’s an analysis of Medicare’s ability to provide health care to seniors, the price impact of agricultural subsidies, problems with the Navy’s aircraft carrier program, or Amtrak’s ability to keep the trains running on time, Congress wants to know. In fact, agencies complete several thousand congressionally mandated reports annually in order to keep both elected officials and the public informed. Of course, government reports are intended to shine a light on government operations and national issues, but in an odd and persistent twist, Congress, the press, and the public can’t always find the reports after they are published. Surprisingly, no government agency or congressional office currently has the job to keep track of the reports. Instead, each agency has its own system of issuing and transmitting reports. Major reports of national and political focus are closely tracked and covered in the press. However, those that are less notable, but still important, may slip between the bureaucratic cracks…”

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