Wednesday, October 29, 2003

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2003, Issue No. 93
October 28, 2003


Publicly accessible links from congressional web sites to an
internal database of Congressional Research Service (CRS)
reports suddenly went dead last week without explanation.
But they may yet be restored.

For about three years, the Congressional Research Service has
provided online public access to hundreds of selected reports
through a portal like this one:

No longer.

The publicly accessible CRS portals were part of a "pilot
program," explained a congressional staffer in Rep. Green's
office. "The pilot program has just expired." Goodbye, CRS

But fortunately, there's more to it than that.

Members can still opt to provide public access through their
websites to the internal database of selected CRS reports,
explained another staffer from the House Committee on House
Administration. Or they can provide online access to
individual reports of special interest, as they see fit. In
either case, they must make new arrangements through the
Administration Committee.

FAS has written to Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) and Rep. Christopher
Shays (R-CT) asking them to restore at least the same level of
access to CRS reports that their web sites have provided for
the past three years.

A selection of recent CRS reports on aspects of national
security policy, including some that were never presented in
the public database, is available on the FAS web site here: