The House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress voted on September 29 to adopt 24 recommendations aimed at improving the performance of legislative member offices and committees.
The recommendations focus on streamlining constituent services, improving constituent engagement, and facilitating the development, adoption, and use of new technologies in the House.
Based on the results of the committee’s previous work, its recommendations are not subject to further legislation action; rather, they are available to be implemented by the House. The committee said that 124 of its previous 171 recommendations have either already been implemented, or seen “meaningful action” toward implementation.
“These recommendations streamline constituent services, provide constituents with a way to share feedback on the services Congress offers, and help members engage better with the folks back home,” said Committee Chairman Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash.
“These 24 recommendations, alongside the 171 bipartisan recommendations we have already passed, will go a long way in making the House work better for the American people,” he added.
The recommendations fall into two separate categories: strengthening constituent services and constituent engagement, and strengthening congressional technology.
Several recommendations aim to institutionalize and standardize technological tools available to members of Congress. These recommendations would also modernize the House’s digital infrastructure so that members and staff can do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
The committee also recommended that the House chief administration officer develop an “Established Delivery Partners” system to offer access to solutions and vendors that have experience working with Congress, while also ensuring that tech acquisitions become more public, transparent, and easier to manage.
When it comes to constituent services, the committee is recommending onboarding systems that allow member offices to aggregate and analyze casework data to examine the effectiveness of current service offerings and make suggestions for improvements.
In addition, the committee wants to speed up the development of tech platforms to manage constituent correspondence as well as separate systems to handle common activities like scheduling tours and managing constituent flag requests.
“By strengthening communication and engagement, streamlining the services members provide their constituents, and integrating new technology into House operations, the legislative branch will be better equipped to thoroughly understand and address the needs of the American people,” said Vice Chairman Rep. William Timmons, R-S.C.