Title I - Access to Information About Members of Congress
Sec. 101. Greater disclosure and electronic filing of personal financial information.
Current rules relating to personal financial disclosure reports allow for broad and imprecise reporting of the value of assets and liabilities. Requiring lawmakers to report precise values would provide a clearer understanding of the financial interests a Member might have in a particular issue. Electronic filing of the reports would save time and resources by eliminating the need to re-enter information that is already entered and maintained in a database, and would streamline the process to allow the reports to be available for public access on the Internet in a timely fashion. The reports were designed to be public, but, so far, only the House has agreed to post its Members' reports on the Web. In the Senate, the reports are only available to people with the means to photocopy the reports in Washington, DC. See HR 170, 110th Congress.
Financial Disclosures- Section 102(d) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: `(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, in the case of reports of Members of Congress and officers and employees of Congress filed pursuant to sections 101(d) and (e), references to the categories for reporting the amount or value of the items covered in paragraphs (1), (3), (4), (5), and (8) of subsection (a) shall be deemed to be exact dollar amounts as determined by fair market value, tax returns, bank statements, or other means.’
Personal Financial Disclosure reports shall disclose:
the affiliations of Members (and their spouses and adult children) with political action committees and other political organizations such as "Leadership" PACs, whether registered at the Federal or state level, as well as with any 501©(3) or 501©(4) organizations, and
the employment or other economic relationships with entities, of the spouse, siblings, and adult children of Members of Congress.
Mandatory Electronic Filing of Personal Financial Reports.
IN GENERAL- The Rules of the House and the Senate are amended to provide the following: `each person required to file a report under this Act shall be required to maintain and file such report in electronic form accessible by computers.’
Availability of Reports on the Internet- Section 103 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
`(l) A copy of each report filed under this title with the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate shall be made available to the general public on the Internet within 48 hours of filing in a format that is searchable, sortable, and downloadable.’
Effective Date- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply to reports filed for calendar years beginning after the date of enactment of this Act.
DIRECTORY- The Superintendent of Documents, under the Direction of the Public Printer in the Government Printing Office, shall include information about the documents made available on the Internet under this section in the electronic directory of Federal electronic information required by section 4101(a)(1) of title 44, United States Code.