U.S. House Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force report for 2012 is published

The U.S. House Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force report of activities for 2012 (which begins on page 679) has been published.

[Click here to access the report by itself. HT Eric Mill]

The report in part responds to recommendations submitted to the task force in 2012 by Tom Bruce, Eric Mill, Daniel Schuman, Joshua Tauberer, and John Wonderlich.

Here are excerpts from the report’s executive summary:


  • that it be a priority for Legislative Branch agencies to publish legislative information in XML and provide bulk access to that data;
  • that the XML Working Group develop and maintain standards to ensure compatibility and interoperability of all machine-readable data published by the Legislative Branch; […]
  • that the Task Force be extended to the 113th Congress to continue to coordinate, initiate and track transparency-related projects. […]
  • [for authentication of legislative bulk data,] to use the model already in use by GPO and the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register (OFR) bulk data […]
  • that [the Task Force] continue to meet periodically with outside groups to enhance communication, get feedback on recent projects and continue to gather ideas for new open data projects. […]
  • [regarding whether to continue to use] Document Type Definitions (DTDs) to define open data document structures or make a gradual transition to the use of newer XML Schemas […] the … Task Force recommends asking the Legislative Branch XML Working Group to develop a “White Paper” that will compare the use of DTDs and Schemas and make a recommendation to the Bulk Data Task Force on which technology we should use going forward. […]

[Bulk Data Projects, three of which] support the recommendation[s] […]:

  • [1.] GPO is working on bill text that is already in XML format and making it available in a bulk data file. This project will be complete in time for the start of the 113th Congress. […]
  • [2.] The second […] project […] will take the existing XML Bill Summary documents and put them into a bulk data file. […] This project will also begin with documents from the 113th Congress, the Library is prepared to begin this project immediately but we won’t have an estimated project completion date until a more detailed project analysis can be completed […]. The Bill Summary Bulk Data will reside on GPO’s FDSYS website. Both of these projects will have natural follow-on projects to convert documents from previous Congresses.
  • [3.] the Legislative Challenge […] will be administered by the Library of Congress in concert … with the House of Lords Library of the British Parliament. The proposal for this project invites individuals or groups within and outside of the United States to compete on two data challenges to extend the development of the international Akoma Ntoso data standard so that it can map to the respective legislative data standards currently being used by the U.S. and the U.K. […] [Click here for information about the first challenge]
  • [4.] a Legislative Branch “Data Dashboard” [… will] provide a simple, intuitive interface that allows the user to more easily link to data, documents, video artifacts, searches, and services provided by the various Legislative Branch agencies. This project would also provide links to existing bulk data downloads but would be more geared to the general public. […]

Joshua Tauberer has posted a commentary on the report.

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One Response to U.S. House Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force report for 2012 is published

  1. Pingback: U.S. House of Representatives Makes U.S. Code Available in Bulk XML | Legal Informatics Blog

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