Make permanent the Bulk Data Task Force and rename it the Congressional Data Task Force.
Congress established the Bulk Data Task Force with a focus on the question of determining whether Congress should make the data behind THOMAS and LIS available to the public as structured data. Ultimately the Task Force recommended, and GPO implemented the publication of bill summary, status, and text information online as structured data. In this sense, the Task Force completed its intended mission. However, in completing its mission, the Task Force brought together many of the technology stakeholders inside the legislative branch as well as members of civil society and continues to hold public meetings on a quarterly basis.
This ongoing collaboration has been positive for the Clerk’s Office and for data transparency groups, ultimately leading to technological advances in how legislative data is made public. The Committee recommends the Task Force’s mission expand beyond publishing bills and the data attendant to them to allow for consideration of other legislative documents and congressional operations data. The Task Force should be renamed the Congressional Data Task Force to accurately capture the Task Force’s expanded mission.