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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2014
No. 14-03


GPO MEDIA CONTACT: GARY SOMERSET  |  202.512.1957  | cell 202.355.3997  | gsomerset@gpo.gov

GPO and LOC Increase Transparency to Congressional Information House Bill Summaries
Now Available in XML Format

(PDF VERSION OF RELEASE)

WASHINGTON –– The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has partnered with the Library of Congress (LOC) to make House of Representatives bill summaries available in XML format for bulk data download from GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys). Bill summaries are prepared by the LOC's Congressional Research Service and describe the most significant provisions of a piece of legislation. They also detail the effects the legislative text may have on current law and Federal programs. The bill summaries are part of FDsys' Bulk Data repository starting with the 113th Congress. Making House bill summaries available in XML permits data to be reused and repurposed for mobile web applications, data mashups, and other analytical tools by third party providers, which contributes to openness and transparency in Government. This project commenced at the direction of the House Appropriations Committee, and is in support of the task force on bulk data established by the House.

"GPO and the LOC have been important partners in working towards House Leadership's goal of increasing transparency by making more data available in bulk data formats," said Karen Haas, Clerk of the House. "The successful completion of the bill summaries project marks another positive step in that direction."

GPO already makes House bills as well as the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and other documents from the executive branch available in XML format for bulk data download.

Link to House bill summaries on FDsys: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/bulkdata/BILLSUM

"This new feature on FDsys is another example of GPO's continuing commitment in providing greater public access to Government information in a variety of formats," said Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. "We appreciated the opportunity to work with the Library of Congress to make this important congressional information available to the American people in XML format for bulk data downloading."

"This is the result of an effective ongoing collaboration between the Library and GPO to provide legislative information in modern, widely-used formats," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "We are pleased the popular bill summaries, which provide objective descriptions of complex legislative text, are now available through the Federal Digital System."

GPO is the Federal Government's official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through our Federal Digital System (www.fdsys.gov), partnerships with approximately 1,200 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program, and our secure online bookstore. For more information, please visit www.gpo.gov.

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