A bill to establish an advisory committee to issue nonbinding governmentwide guidelines on making public information available on the Internet, to require publicly available Government information held by the executive branch to be made available on the Internet, to express the sense of Congress that publicly available information held by the legislative and judicial branches should be available on the Internet, and for other purposes.

Introduced in Senate
Public Online Information Act of 2017

This bill establishes a Public Online Information Advisory Committee to: (1)
coordinate the government's efforts to make information from all three branches
of government available on the Internet, and (2) issue nonbinding guidelines on
how the government should make public information available.

The government must make public records available on the Internet at no charge,
except as imposed by federal law before this bill's enactment. The bill
requires: (1) public records to be permanently available on the Internet; (2)
current information technology to be applied to the formats and means through
which records are made available; and (3) each agency to publish on the Internet
a searchable, machine-processable list of all records it makes publicly

The bill delineates the roles of the Office of Management and Budget, the Office
of Electronic Government, and the chief information officers of independent
regulatory agencies. It allows exceptions to the Internet publication
requirement, including a process for an agency's request for an exception to be
granted if: (1) there is a clear and convincing reason for the record to not be
made available on the Internet, and (2) the harm caused by disclosure
significantly outweighs the public's interest in having the record available on
the Internet. 

Inspectors general must periodically review agency compliance. Private
individuals or organizations may file a complaint in federal court if an agency
denies a request to place public records on the Internet.

The bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) judicial and legislative
agencies adopt or adapt the advisory committee's recommendations, and (2) the
Government Publishing Office make all of its publications permanently available
on the Internet in a multiplicity of formats.



  • Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

    Mar 14th, 2017
  • Introduced in Senate

    Mar 14th, 2017