November Update: What Items are Due in the Modernization Committee Resolution

In early March, the House passed H.Res 756, adopting modernization recommendations of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. The resolution included 29 recommendations that were unanimously reported by the Fix Congress Committee in 2019. The resolution called on legislative support offices to start a number of projects and report back on how to implement others. 

Last week, the Committee on House Administration released a series of congressional reports that were due in H.Res 756. We continue to catalogue the projects and their due dates into a public spreadsheet, and have them broken down by items. 

As this session of Congress comes to an end, there are still a few items due from H.Res 756. See below which 13 reports are past due and have yet to be publicly released. Farther down you can find the 10 reports have been submitted and publicly released. We look forward to the Modernization Committee and the Committee on House Administration to continue to release more outstanding and quarterly reports to the public.

Outstanding Items

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Bulk Purchasing Report

Resolution, pg 20

Due Date: June 8, 2020

The CAO will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the steps necessary to provide a standard suite of information technology for bulk purchases. 

Plan for Members-elect Office Operations

Resolution, pg 11

Due Date: June 8, 2020

The CAO shall submit a report to the Committee on House Administration that contains a detailed plan for establishing a program under which, upon the recommendation of an individual by a Member-elect (other than a Member elected to fill a vacancy), the CAO shall appoint the individual for a limited period of time to assist such Members-elect with administrative and other responsibilities pertaining to the preparation of the Member’s congressional office for operation, and shall include in the plan a timetable for implementation, an estimate of expected costs, and the identification of any statutory or regulatory obstacles to the implementation of such a program

Report on the Feasibility of Updating the Employee Payroll System

Resolution, pg 7

Due Date: July 8, 2020

The CAO will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the feasibility of updating the employee payroll system to address considerations of younger and lower-paid employees, as well as address the timing of the monthly payment schedule. 

Report on Adjusting the Statutory Limitation of Number of Employees in Member Offices

Resolution, pg 8-9

Due Date: May 9, 2020 for the outside entity contract. July 8, 2020 for the final report to CAO.

The CAO will enter into a contract with an outside entity under which the entity shall work with the Chief Administrative Officer to prepare and submit a report examining the feasibility of adjusting the statutory limitation established in 1975 on the number of employees who may be employed in the office of a Member. 

The report submitted to CAO will include information regarding the size and markup of each congressional district, the average number of employees for each district office and common tasks per position, recommendations for the optimal number of employees for the DC and district offices, and recommendations regarding employee salaries and costs. 

Office of House Information Resources Report

Resolution, pg 15

Due Date: September 6, 2020 

The CAO will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the operations of the Office of House Information Resources. This report will include:

  • A roadmap of root causes of HIR’s inability to deliver enterprise programs and IT in a timely manner.
  • Recommendations to improve the quality of services.
  • Recommendations for changes to HIR’s mission to better align it with the needs of Members. 

Report on Accessibility of Practices and Programming by Leg. Branch Offices

Resolution, pg 24

Due Date: September 6, 2020 

The CAO, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services and the Librarian of Congress, will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the accessibility of practices and programming used by offices of the Legislative Branch to serve the needs of individuals with disabilities. 

CAO and the Clerk

Closed Captioning of Proceedings Report 

Resolution, pg 23

Due Date: September 6, 2020

The CAO and Clerk will provide the Committee on House Administration with a report detailing a plan to ensure that all House proceedings that are broadcast on television or streamed on the Internet provide closed caption services, and provide a free captioning service for all web videos created by Member, committee, and leadership offices, as well as the CAO and the Clerk. The report will include:

  • A statement of the estimated costs of providing close captioning services for all such proceedings.
  • A statement of the estimated costs of providing captioning service for all such web videos.
  • An estimated timeline for carrying out the plan
  • A discussion of any barriers to carrying out the plan, including statutory or regulatory impediments

Clerk of the House (Clerk)

Report on Database of Recorded Votes in Committee

Resolution, pg 29-30

Due Date: July 8, 2020, with quarterly reports thereafter.

The Clerk will submit an initial report to the Committee on House Administration regarding the establishment and maintenance for all recorded votes in committees. The clerk will then submit quarterly reports on its establishment and maintenance. 

House Information Resources (HIR)

Reports on Improving Member and Staff Feedback Regarding Outside Vendors and Services

Resolution, pg 19

Due Date: June 8, 2020 

HIR shall submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the steps necessary to:

  • In compliance with applicable Rules of the House of Representatives and other regulations and standards of the House, create an internal customer satisfaction portal on HouseNet that allows Members and employees to rate and review outside vendors and HIR services;
  • Annually survey district-level staff and district specific technology concerns; and
  • Survey Members and employees on what technologies they would like to use.

Report on Streamlining Tech Vendor Approval

Resolution, pg 17 

Due Date: June 8, 2020 

HIR will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration describing the steps necessary to create a streamlined approval process for outside technology vendors.

Report on Establishing a Program for Offices to Adopt New IT Early

Resolution, pg 18 

Due Date: July 8, 2020

HIR will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration describing the establishment of a program for offices to elect to participate in early adoption of new IT and applications developed by outside vendors prior to the approval by HIR. 

House Sergeant at Arms, the Architect of the Capitol, and the ED of the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights

Capitol Grounds Accessibility Report 

Resolution, pg 24

Due Date: September 6, 2020 

Provide a joint report to the Committee on House Administration identifying areas of the Capitol buildings and Capitol Grounds that are not currently accessible, estimated costs of making the necessary changes, and a timetable for accessibility modifications. 

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity Plan

Resolution, pg 6

Due Date: August 7, 2020 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will submit a diversity plan to the Committee on House Administration that include the following:

  • Policies to direct and guide House employing offices to recruit, hire, train, develop, advance, promote, and retain a diverse workforce, consistent with applicable House rules, regulations, and law.
  • The development of a survey, in consultation with the Committee on House Administration, to evaluate diversity in House employing offices. The Office shall develop, conduct, and report the results of the survey in a bipartisan manner.
  • Framework for the annual diversity report. 
  • A proposal for the composition of an Advisory Council that shall inform the work of the office. 
  • Anything else determined by the Committee on House Administration. 

Diversity Report

Resolution, pg 6-7 

Due Date: End of each session of Congress

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will submit a diversity report to the Speaker of the House, the House Majority and Minority Leaders, the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration, and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee. The report will be presented in a bipartisan manner. 

Delivered Items

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

House Website Accessibility 

Resolution, pg 22

Due Date: June 8, 2020 

Report

The CAO will provide the following elements to the Committee on House Administration to ensure the accessibility of House websites:

  • A schedule for scanning and analyzing all House websites and applications to determine the accessibility level of each website and application. 
  • An analysis of the resources and assistance necessary to ensure all relevant systems are compatible with common programs used by major disability groups. 
  • A plan to ensure that all updates to such websites and applications, as well as new websites and applications, are accessible. 

Report on the Interest in Congressional Leadership Academy

Resolution, pg 13

Due Date: July 8, 2020

Report

The CAO will publish the results of survey to the Committee on House Administration for Members to determine the level of interest in establishing a Congressional Leadership Academy

Clerk of the House (Clerk)

Report on Standardizing a Format for Legislative Documents

Resolution, pg 25

Due Date: May 9, 2020, with quarterly reports thereafter. 

Report

The Clerk will submit an initial report to the Committee on House Administration regarding the status of the implementation and adoption of a standard legislative drafting, viewing, and publishing format. The Clerk will then submit quarterly reports on the statues of implementation and adoption. 

Report on the Legislative Comparison Project

Resolution, pg 26-27

Due Date: June 8, 2020, with quarterly reports thereafter. 

Initial Report

Quarterly Report, October 15, 2020

The Clerk will submit an initial report to the Committee on House Administration regarding the timeline of completion, costs accrued, and expected costs of completion of the legislative comparison project. The Clerk will then submit quarterly reports on the status and costs of completion and adoption of the project. 

Report on Expiration of Authorization of Programs Database

Resolution, pg 28-29

Due Date: July 8, 2020, with annual reports thereafter.

Report

The Clerk will submit an initial report to the Committee on House Administration regarding the timeline and costs of the establishment and maintenance for a database of information on the expiration of authorizations of programs. This report will be updated on an ongoing basis. An annual report will also be submitted each year (not later than 15 days after the last day of each calendar year that begins after the submission of the initial report). 

Report on Status of Unique Lobbyist Identifiers

Resolution, pg 31-32

Due Date: May 9, 2020 for the initial report, then quarterly reports on its status. 

Initial Report

Quarterly Report, October 15, 2020

The Clerk will submit an initial report to the Committee on House Administration regarding the status of assigning a unique ID number of each person who filed registration with the Clerk under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. The Clerk will then submit quarterly reports on its status. 

Report on Database of Recorded Votes in Committee

Resolution, pg 29-30

Due Date: July 8, 2020

Report

The Clerk will submit an initial report to the Committee on House Administration regarding the establishment and maintenance for all recorded votes in committees. The clerk will then submit quarterly reports on its establishment and maintenance.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Operational Plan for Staff Appointments

Resolution, pg 5

Due Date: May 9, 2020 

Report

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will provide an operational plan to the Committee on House Administration for appointing and establishing duties for staff in the office.