Congressional Budget Act of 1974
public access to data
Sec. 203. (a) Right to Copy.—Except as provided in subsections (c), (d), and (e), the Director shall make all information, data, estimates, and statistics obtained under sections 201(d) and 201(e) available for public copying during normal business hours, subject to reasonable rules and regulations, and shall to the extent practicable, at the request of any person, furnish a copy of any such information, data, estimates, or statistics upon payment by such person of the cost of making and furnishing such copy.
(b) Index.—The Director shall develop and maintain filing, coding, and indexing systems that identify the information, data, estimates, and statistics to which subsection (a) applies and shall make such systems available for public use during normal business hours.
(c) Exceptions.—Subsection (a) shall not apply to information, data, estimates, and statistics—
(1) which are specifically exempted from disclosure by law; or
(2) which the Director determines will disclose—
(A) matters necessary to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or the confidential conduct of the foreign relations of the United States;
(B) information relating to trade secrets or financial or commercial information pertaining specifically to a given person if the information has been obtained by the Government on a confidential basis, other than through an application by such person for a specific financial or other benefit, and is required to be kept secret in order to prevent undue injury to the competitive position of such person; or
(C) personnel or medical data or similar data the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
unless the portions containing such matters, information, or data have been excised.
(d) Information Obtained for Committees and Members.— Subsection (a) shall apply to any information, data, estimates, and statistics obtained at the request of any committee, joint committee, or Member unless such committee, joint committee, or Member has instructed the Director not to make such information, data, estimates, or statistics available for public copying.
(e) Levels of Confidentiality.—With respect to information, data, estimates, and statistics obtained under sections 201(d) and 201(e), the Director shall maintain the same level of confidentiality as is required by law of the department, agency, establishment, or regulatory agency or commission from which it is obtained. Officers and employees of the Congressional Budget Office shall be subject or use as officers or employees of the department, agency, establishment, or regulatory agency or commission from which it is obtained.
 The Congressional Budget Office makes most of its documents and information public, but is required by the nature of its mission to keep strict confidentiality over certain matters. CBO is overseen by the two Budget Committees, and have regular public hearings in which CBO personnel are required to give testimony. Hearings related specifically to oversight, though, have been held erratically in the past several decades, with the Senate taking a more active role than the House Budget Committee.
 In general, the Congressional Budget Office prepares estimates of legislation pursuant to requirement under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and under Rule XIII of the Rules of the House for inclusion in the accompanying report on legislation reported by Committees. In order to do so, the Office must contact executive branch entities for information related to the issues addressed in such legislation, and keeps that information strictly confidential pursuant to this section.
This section is classified to the U.S. Code at 2 U.S.C. 603. In title II of the U.S. Code, sections 601 through 612 govern the Congressional Budget Office, but only the first three of these were enacted by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
Section As Enacted
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY NOTES
Pub. L. 93–344, title II, §203, July 12, 1974, 88 Stat. 305. The Congressional Budget Act of 1973 established this section of law.
Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §310(b)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2763 , 2763A-639 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001).
Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [enacted the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000 (H.R. 5662 (106th Congress)) by reference; title III, §310(b)(2)], substituted “subsections (c), (d), and (e)” for “subsections (c) and (d)”.
[BCR § 109]