S. 196 would require that all of the information federal agencies provide to the Congress be submitted in an electronic format. In addition, the bill would direct each agency to make electronically submitted information available on their respective public websites in a free, open, and accessible manner. Finally, agencies would be required to make a list of all information transmitted to Congress—including reports, data, and other materials—publicly available via data.gov.
CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost about $2 million over the 2019-2024 period. CBO expects that each of the 26 major executive agencies would need about 15 percent of the time of one federal employee at an average annual cost of $15,000. That time would be spent on submitting Congressionally-mandated reports electronically, as well as creating and updating an online searchable database where reports would be published. Any spending for those activities would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Enacting S. 196 would affect direct spending by some agencies (such as the Tennessee Valley Authority) because they are authorized to use receipts from the sale of goods, fees, and other collections to cover their operating costs. Because most of those agencies can adjust the amounts collected, CBO estimates that any net changes in direct spending by those agencies would be negligible.