As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on July 29, 2015
S. 779 would require federal agencies that spend $100 million or more annually on extramural research activities to make the results of such research freely available on the Internet. The bill also would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to issue reports on the effectiveness of this bill in making government research available to the public.
CBO estimates that implementing S. 779 would not have a significant federal cost. The bill could affect direct spending by agencies not funded through annual appropriations; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, however, that any net increase in spending by those agencies would not be significant. Enacting S. 779 would not affect revenues.
Most of the provisions of the bill would codify and expand current policies and practices of federal agencies. A memorandum from the Office of Science and Technology Policy dated February 22, 2013, included a requirement that agencies develop and implement plans to make research funded by the federal government more widely available to the public. Consequently, CBO estimates that implementing this bill would not significantly increase the workload or administrative costs of federal agencies.
S. 779 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Any costs incurred by public entities, such as public universities and research institutions participating in federal research programs would be incurred as conditions of receiving federal assistance.