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Local News

Foster bill aims to improve government access to scientific information

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster recently introduced legislation aiming to better equip federal agencies with the scientific literature necessary to make “well-informed” policy decisions.

The Well-Informed, Scientific and Efficient Government Act would require the Government Services Administration to work with the Library of Congress, agency libraries and government information services to identify ways to make accessing scientific literature more efficient, according to a news release.

Part of what the bill would do is prohibit agencies from subscribing to scientific journals that don’t allow disclosure of the cost of the subscription to other agencies or the Library of Congress.

“In order to make well-informed policy decisions, federal agencies need to be equipped with up-to-date information, especially scientific literature,” Foster said in the release.

Foster also said the legislation would help employees at agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and NASA, among others, make better decisions to improve the lives of Americans.

The bill also would make agencies identify short- and long-term solutions to accessing the literature efficiently.

U.S. Reps. Mark Takano, D-California; Mike Quigley, D-Illinois; Jerry McNerney, D-California; and Dina Titus, D-Nevada, co-sponsored the bill.

“Many employees at federal agencies have a harder time accessing scientific literature than employees at most large universities,” Foster said in the release. “This must change if we are serious about growing our economy, promoting innovation and creating a better world for hardworking Americans.”

A similar bill was introduced by Foster last year, but no action was taken on it.

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