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H.R. 1381: Transparency in Government Act of 2015

Title: Transparency in Government Act of 2015

Introduced: Mar 16, 2015 (114th Congress)

Sponsor: (No First Name Found) (No Last Name Found) [-]

Status: Referred to Committee - Referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.

Summary: Transparency in Government Act of 2015 Amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and the Rules of the House of Representatives to expand disclosure requirements for the personal financial information of Members of Congress and for foreign travel, gifts, earmarks, and representational allowances. Requires the Comptroller General to study the effect of written requests by Members of Congress to executive agencies to carry out and provide funding for projects and activities. Requires each congressional committee to: (1)  post on its website the schedule for public hearings and markups conducted by each committee, and (2) submit to the Clerk of the House of Representatives a complete list of all public hearings and markup schedules of the committee and its subcommittees for posting on the House website. Requires the Clerk and the Secretary of the Senate to: (1) post on their respective websites voting record information for each Member of Congress; and (2) establish an advisory Congressional Data Task Force to recommend data standards for the creation, exchange, and publication of congressional information. Requires that, to the extent practicable, all bills, resolutions, orders, and votes be created, exchanged, and published in searchable electronic formats. Public Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Resolution of 2015 or the Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Resolution of 2015 Requires the Clerk of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), to establish and maintain a centralized, searchable, bulk downloadable, electronic database consisting of CRS issue briefs, reports, authorization of appropriation products and appropriation products, and similar material intended or available for general congressional distribution. Exempts from public disclosure confidential information or any document that is the product of a confidential research request made by a Member, officer, employee, or office of the House of Representatives and that is not intended for distribution. Lobbyist Disclosure Enhancement Act Directs the Attorney General to establish the Lobbying Disclosure Act Enforcement Task Force, which shall have primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting each case referred to the Attorney General under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. Amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to require: (1) expedited online registration of lobbyists, (2) more frequent disclosure of contributions made by lobbyists, and (3) a system for assigning an identification number to each lobbyist who is required to register or report under such Act. Requires lobbyists registered under such Act to complete an ethics training program. Amends the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to require the USAspending.gov website to provide specified information on federal awards. Requires each agency Inspector General to conduct an annual audit of the data used on USAspending.gov and report on such audit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Requires OMB to: (1) revise its guidance to federal agencies on reporting federal awards, and (2) ensure that the unique identifier used to link information about an award recipient is also used to link information about that recipient on the Federal Awardee Performance Integrity Information System. Amends the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 to require information about individuals receiving awards or grants to be maintained on the Federal Awardee Performance Integrity Information System for 10 years. Requires: (1) every advertisement or other communication paid for by a federal agency to include a prominent notice that the agency has paid for such advertisement or communication, (2) disclosure of White House visitor logs with personal information redacted, (3) online disclosure of OMB budget justifications, (4) disclosure of draft proposed or final rules by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and (4) online disclosure of tax information of nonprofit organizations and registration information of foreign agents. Requires each agency (defined as a U.S. government authority, with specified exceptions) to require all private sector entities from which it regularly collects reports, filings, forms, disclosures or other regularized information to obtain a unique entity identifier. Requires each such agency to: (1) make available in an electronic format its completed responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and (2) use FOAIonline to log, track, and publish all FOIA requests received by the agency. Requires the Chief Justice of the United States to ensure that the audio of an oral argument before the Supreme Court is recorded and is made publicly available on the Court's Internet website at the same time that it is recorded. Directs the Comptroller General to: (1) conduct an audit of the public access to court electronic records system (Pacer) maintained by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and (2) conduct annual audits of the implementation of this Act. Amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to require the U.S. Judicial Conference to post on its website any report filed by a judicial officer within 48 hours of the applicable submission deadline.


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