Open Knowledge

Legislation 100% open

United States


What data is expected?

This data category requires all national laws and statutes available to be available online, although it is not a requirement that information on legislative behaviour e.g. voting records is available. To satisfy this category, the following minimum criteria must be met:

  • Content of the law / status
  • If applicable, all relevant amendments to the law
  • Date of last amendments
  • Data should be updated at least on quarterly

What data is available

  •   Openly licensed? Yes(Here)
  •   Is the data machine readable? Yes (XML)
  •   Is the data available for free? Yes
  •   Available in bulk? Yes
  •   Is the data provided on a timely and up to date basis? Yes
  •   Is the data available online? Yes (Here)
  •   Is data in digital form? Yes
  •   Publicly available? Yes(as The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is the Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. published by US Government Printing Office)
  •   Does the data exist? Yes

Details

The link provided is to bulk XML data for United States Code provided by Office of the Law Revision Counsel for US House of Representatives. Data made available since July 2013 (see this announce http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/opengov-house-representatives-makes-us-code-available-bulk-xml).

Regarding open licensing we assume that the US Code is public domain. In addition no copyright assertion is mentioned on the site and the congress.gov site is run by the Library of Congress and one would anticipate is subject to standard public domain provisions (though there is a legal section whose copyright portion is unfortunately rather unenlightening - http://beta.congress.gov/legal/#copyright).

There is a variety of additional (machine-readable) data from a variety of sources not least the new Congress.gov website (which will be completely replacing http://thomas.loc.gov/ from November 2013). Other resources include: - Bulk data from the GPO in XML format including Congressional Bills, Commerce Business Daily etc. (Does not seem to be updated since Jan 2013). Announced Jan 10 2013 - see http://www.gpo.gov/pdfs/news-media/press/13news01.pdf - The full US Code on the GPO at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionUScode.action?collectionCode=USCODE (PDF) - The Federal Register https://www.federalregister.gov/ which includes "Regulations are issued by federal agencies, boards, or commissions [which] explain how [an] agency intends to carry out a law." (Data is provided in HTML, CSV and JSON and there is a full API - see https://www.federalregister.gov/developers/api/v1 and https://www.federalregister.gov/blog/learn/developers) - Resources listed on http://speaker.gov/open including http://docs.house.gov/ (which includes XML versions of laws being considered) and House floor activities at http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor-download.aspx In addition it is worth noting various unofficial sites that provide excellent material such as: - https://www.govtrack.us/ - http://opencongress.org/ It may also be interesting to read how expensive some of this material once was, see e.g. Carl Malamud's comments in http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/03/bulk-data-downloads-government-transparency-breakthrough.html

Reviewer comments

The submission is correct.

Contributors

Reviewers

  • Kamil Gregor

Submitters

  • anonymous