Secrecy News

Wanted: Better Access to CRS Reports

In a news story today about the imminent arrival of the federal government’s debt limit (“Debt Ceiling Has Some Give, Until Roof Falls In” by Binyamin Appelbaum), the New York Times cited a Congressional Research Service report that was performed “in February” concerning the impact of the debt limit.

But that report has been updated and superseded, though one might not know it due to congressional secrecy policy, which precludes direct public access to CRS publications.  The current version is “Reaching the Debt Limit: Background and Potential Effects on Government Operations” (pdf), April 27, 2011.

I will be participating in a panel discussion on “The Future of CRS,” including prospects for improving public access to non-confidential CRS reports, on Monday, May 9 at 2 pm in 2203 Rayburn House Office Building.  It is sponsored by the Sunlight Foundation.

2 thoughts on “Wanted: Better Access to CRS Reports

  1. Whereas

    The CRS is funded by taxpayers, the taxpayers should have free and open access to the work that it produces.

    The government has no right to take the fruits of our labor and secret away the creations it builds on top of them; save for vital national defense interests. I would like to see one, even one representative of government explain to me how CRS papers on the debt ceiling have any relationship, whatsoever, to national security.

    This is an outrage. It is unconscionable and inexcusable. The congress should be ashamed of itself for it’s utter failure to carry out it’s public duty.

  2. couldn’t find an argument that supports crs secrecy on debt limit report.

    it’s not a good thing and is emblematic of the governments bias and active pursuit of more secrecy.

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