GPO expands its open file repository

GPO expands its open file repository

The Government Publishing Office is making the source material for the parliamentary procedures used in the House of Representatives available in XML format so that developers can easily leverage it for mobile web applications, eBooks, third-party analytical tools and  new content delivery methods.

The GPO is using the XML information model designed for legislation -- known as the United States Legislative Markup (USLM) -- to make the materials machine-readable. The agency is working with the House of Representatives Committee on Rules, the House Parliamentarian and the Clerk of the House on the file conversion, according to GPO officials.

The files have been released on the GPO’s GitHub account for comment and will be available on and Bulk Data Repository, making them the first USLM documents to be available in both locations. The agency will also make digitally signed PDF copies available to confirm authenticity.

The document is formally entitled “Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives” and includes:

  • The Constitution of the United States.
  • Applicable provisions of Jefferson's Manual (parliamentary procedures for the Senate).
  • Rules of the House.
  • Provisions of law and resolutions having the force of rules of the House.

Pertinent decisions interpreting the rules and other procedural authority used in the House of Representatives.

This document conversion is part of GPO’s continued efforts to make files available online. Its GitHub account already includes XML-formatted House and Senate bills, bill summaries and bill status information.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a Reporter/Producer for GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media, Ziadeh was a contributing journalist for USA Today Travel's Experience Food and Wine site. She's also held a communications assistant position with the University of Maryland Office of the Comptroller, and has reported for the American Journalism Review, Capitol File Magazine and DC Magazine.

Ziadeh is a graduate of the University of Maryland where her emphasis was multimedia journalism and French studies.

Click here for previous articles by Ms. Ziadeh or connect with her on Twitter: @aziadeh610.

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