Congressional Modernization Tracker

Throughout its four years of operation the Modernization Committee passed 202 recommendations aimed at improving the functioning of Congress. These recommendations were all passed on a bipartisan basis, most were passed unanimously, and over two-thirds of the recommendations were fully or partially implemented by the time the Committee ceased operations at the end of 2022. As noted in its Final Report,

“The Modernization Committee is one of the only congressional reform entities that has worked to hold itself accountable and work to monitor and implement its recommendations during the Committee’s tenure. According to a longtime Congressional Research Service expert, the Committee is also the premier example of a reform committee when it comes to implementation of its recommendations while the Committee is still standing.” 

Appendix I and II from the Committee’s final report assigned status categories to each of the recommendations to reflect their varying degrees of progress toward implementation:

  • Closed-Implemented: An entity has taken action pursuant to a recommendation that addresses the problem that prompted the recommendation.
  • Closed-Resolved: An entity has taken action or provided additional information independently of the literal recommendation but that still addresses the problem that prompted the recommendation.
  • Open-Partially Implemented: Elements of the recommendation have been fully implemented, or administrative or legislative actions to implement the recommendation are at an advanced stage of progress.
  • Open-In Progress: Administrative or legislative actions to implement the recommendation have begun.
  • Open-Needs Attention: No meaningful progress towards implementation of the recommendation has taken place.
  • Closed-Unimplemented: The Committee determined that further action to implement the recommendation is either impossible or highly unlikely due to technical or logistical barriers.

In the 118th Congress, the House of Representatives created the Subcommittee on Modernization within the Committee on House Administration to continue implementation efforts of the Select Committee’s recommendations and to explore additional areas where modernization is needed. Since forming, the Modernization Subcommittee has worked with institutional partners to fully implement thirteen recommendations (below).

Recommendations Implemented in the 118th Congress

Short Title Status Latest Action

Recommendation 22:

Creating one point of contact for technology services for each member office.

Closed- Implemented
CAO Customer Advocates are now providing services inline with what the recommendation envisioned.

Note: The Modernization Subcommittee still considers this recommendation In Progress.

Recommendation 59:

Create a common committee calendar portal to help with scheduling and reduce conflicts.

Closed- Implemented
The House Digital Service released its committee scheduling tool, Deconflict, to all committee schedulers.
Recommendation 66:
 
Reevaluate the funding formula and increase the funds allocated to each member office.

Closed-Implemented

The new formula was adopted by CHA Committee Resolution 118-13 on March 8, 2023. The revised formula “is established in such a way as to allow for recalculations each year that take into account changes to the price of materials, services, technology, office space and rates of pay.”

Recommendation 103:

The Chief Administrative Officer should provide offices with an expanded standard onboarding packet that includes comprehensive information on available resources and benefits for staff.

Closed- Implemented
Staff receive a large welcome packet during onboarding that details resources and benefits, CAO has introduced a web series “Benita Knows Benefits”, and there is now a benefits page on HouseNet.

Note: The Modernization Subcommittee still considers this recommendation Partially Implemented.

Recommendation 115:

Visitors and staff with disabilities should have access to information on the security screening techniques they will encounter upon entering the Capitol complex.

Closed-Implemented
The U.S. Capitol Police website now provides screening information. The Modernization Subcommittee has also requested that this information be posted with the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center for increased visibility.
Recommendation 144:
 
The CAO should assist committees in obtaining and utilizing effective, industry standard “e-discovery” software to improve document review and processing capabilities.
Closed- Implemented
The House is now making available a chamber-wide eDiscovery platform for committees and others to utilize in investigations and other work.

Recommendation 146:

The CAO should designate a single point of contact for each office to streamline the process for setting up district office operations. 

Closed-Implemented
CAO Customer Advocates now fulfill this role as envisioned by the recommendation.

Note: The Modernization Subcommittee still considers this recommendation In Progress.

Recommendation 148:

The CAO should facilitate opportunities for staff that work directly with constituents to connect and share best practices.

Closed- Implemented
CAO supports and facilitates the Caseworkers Teams chat. CAO Coach program now regularly offers programming for district staff.

Note: The Modernization Subcommittee still considers this recommendation In Progress.

Recommendation 181:

Congress should institutionalize and expand technology education and innovation initiatives such as the Congressional Hackathon.

Colsed-Implemented

In September 2023, Speaker McCarthy, Leader Jeffries, and the CAO held the Congressional Hackathon 5.0.

Note: The Modernization Subcommittee still considers this recommendation Needs Attention.

Recommendation 189:

The House should create a Digital Service Advisory Board to help plan and prioritize the work of the House Digital Service.

Closed- Implemented
The HDS Advisory Group has been launched and has 358 members.

Recommendation 190:

The Capitol switchboard should be updated to allow call information to be passed through to House offices.

Closed-Implemented
The Capitol switchboard now shares caller ID information across chambers.

Recommendation 200:

The House should align travel related expense reimbursement rules for members with standard business travel practices in the private sector and other parts of the federal government.

Closed- Implemented
CHA updated the Members’ Handbook to include language and regulations allowing for member reimbursement for travel expenses.
Recommendation 201:
 
The House should provide a home for ongoing modernization work within the Committee on House Administration.
Closed- Implemented
The Modernization Subcommittee was formed under CHA at the start of the 118th Congress.

As of December 22, 2023 57 recommendations have been fully implemented, resolved, or closed, 37 have been partially implemented, and 56 are in progress towards implementation. The document below provides an update to the tables provided in Appendix I and II of the Select Committee’s final report and describes the latest action, next steps, or necessary conditions for full implementation of any open recommendations.