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OPEN BOOK ON EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT PASSES HOUSE

Feb 27, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act, H.R. 1033, passed in the House with widespread bipartisan support. Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) sponsored the bill in order to increase transparency among federal agencies as they apply the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).

EAJA enables Americans with limited resources to seek redress against the government by requiring agencies to reimburse plaintiffs for their legal fees if the agency is found to have pursued an unjustified position in the case. Because these agencies have not been required to keep records of EAJA disbursements for two decades, however, the public has been unable to access information about how the government has handled these suits.

“Americans have a right to be protected from abusive litigation tactics at the hands of their government, tactics that infringe on their basic liberties. The Equal Access to Justice Act remains a key tool in giving individual citizens recourse to address federal agency misconduct. The Open Book Act gives taxpayers access to information about federal agency payments and legal positions in EAJA cases, strengthening the original law by ensuring that federal agencies apply it transparently and effectively,” said Collins.

“The passing of the Open Book Act in the House represents a step toward greater government transparency and a victory for the American people, and I look forward to seeing this bill pass in the Senate.”