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AFP Announces Support for Series of Bills to Improve Public Access to Information  

Mar 18, 2019 by AFP

ARLINGTON, Va. – Americans for Prosperity (AFP) today announced its support for H.R. 1164, H.R. 736, H.R. 1582 and H.R. 1654 – legislation that would increase government transparency and public accessibility to information.

Americans for Prosperity Senior Policy Analyst Billy Easley had this to say:

“We applaud Congress for taking important steps to make it easier for Americans to access information showing/shining a light on how government is working for the people it represents. More access to information about their government empowers people to engage on issues they care about and hold those in power accountable. We encourage Congress to swiftly pass these important pieces of legislation and bring them to the president for his signature.”

Background:

H.R. 1164 – Electronic Court Records Reform Act

  • This bill ensures that everyone can access the Public Access to Court Electronic Records System (PACER) for free.
  • PACER is the premiere way for citizens to access federal court documents.
  • Currently, it costs ten cents per page for an individual to access these documents. While that cost made sense in the early days of the program, it doesn’t make much sense now with the declining costs of data storage.

H.R. 736 –  Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act

  • This bill requires that all reports mandated by federal law to be submitted to Congress be made available on the Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) website, with exceptions for classified or confidential material.
  • All these reports are available under FOIA, but this bill will make them easily accessible to the public.

H.R. 1582 – Electronic Message Preservation Act

  • This bill directs the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to issue regulations governing the preservation of e-mail and other electronic records in an electronically searchable format.
  • This is designed to ensure a uniform regulatory process for federal agency preservation of electronic messages that are federal records.

H.R. 1654 – Federal Register Modernization Act

  • This bill makes the Federal Register, which announces proposed government regulations and public notices, more accessible through electronic means.
  • As a result, Americans will more easily gain awareness of new proposals that impact their lives.

For further information or to set up an interview, please send an email to GBraud@afphq.org.

Through broad-based grassroots outreach, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is driving long-term solutions to the country’s biggest problems. AFP activists engage friends and neighbors on key issues and encourage them to take an active role in building a culture of mutual benefit, where people succeed by helping one another. AFP recruits and unites activists in 35 states behind a common goal of advancing policies that will help people improve their lives. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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