Are you a Congress.gov user? Would you like to hear what we have been working on and share your thoughts on Congress.gov?
Then sign up for our Congress.gov Virtual Public Forum.This online event is scheduled for September 10, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. – noon EDT.
In addition to the live forum, we would like to learn more about your legislative information needs through this new feedback form.
During the public forum, Robert will provide a recap of the enhancements made to Congress.gov over the last year. I will cover what we are currently working on and initial priorities for the future. We will also have a panel of our data partners, including from the House, Senate and Government Publishing Office that will discuss the data modernization occurring across Capitol Hill and the importance of data standards. Fred Simonton will provide an overview of a new survey for you to share your feedback for Congress.gov. There will also be a question and answer period to discuss enhancements and prioritization. Congress.gov is a user-centered website: we develop new features based on feedback that we collect from a variety of sources such as webinars, comments on this blog, and the feedback link on the site.
Congress.gov is a cross-organization collaboration both within the Library of Congress and across Capitol Hill. The Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Law Library of Congress are hosting this virtual public forum focusing on Congress.gov and the Library’s role in providing access to congressional information.
You can read more about the event on Congress.gov in H. Rept. 116-64:
Public Access to Legislative Information: The Library of Congress has become one of the pre-eminent sources of public information about federal legislation and congressional processes, particularly through its role in hosting the “Congress.gov” website but also through other digital activities. The Committee commends the Library for its achievements in this area.
The Committee also understands that users of the Library’s legislative information services have suggestions regarding ways in which those services could be improved or expanded, and the Committee would like to encourage creation of a more structured process for receiving and considering such suggestions. Such a process should also recognize some of the limits on the Library’s ability to implement improvements and expansions of these services, however. For example, much of the information presented on the Congress.gov website is not generated or controlled by the Library but rather comes from other sources–particularly various offices of the House of Representatives and the Senate and the Government Publishing Office–and expanding or changing the content of Congress.gov will often require those sources to do something new or different. Further, some improvements and expansions would require commitment of substantial time and resources by offices both within and outside the Library that already have a heavy IT workload.
To facilitate public input into the Library’s legislative information services and how they could be improved, the Committee urges the Library to convene a public meeting at least once a year during the next two years to discuss these issues. The Library should invite a broad range of potentially interested parties to participate, such as journalists, academics, advocacy and public interest organizations, research institutions, libraries, and publishers of legislative information. The Library should also invite and encourage participation from representatives of Legislative Branch stakeholders such as the Clerk of the House, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Government Publishing Office.
This is not the first time Congress.gov has been mentioned in a report. H. Rept. 115-696 requested we “update the Congress.gov website to include a calendar for Senate and House of Representatives committee hearings and markups.” This resulted in the Committee Schedule that is now a part of the search function and includes a weekly email alert.
We are excited to host this forum and hope that you can join us! Register here. If you would like to submit feedback ahead of the public forum, please add a comment below or use our Congress.gov feedback form.