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CRS – Congressional Oversight Manual

Congressional Oversight ManualUpdated March 29, 2021: “Today’s lawmakers and congressional aides, as well as commentators and scholars, recognize that Congress’s lawmaking role does not end when it passes legislation. Oversight is considered fundamental to making sure that laws work and are being administered in an effective, efficient, and economical manner. This function is seen as one of Congress’s principal roles as it grapples with the complexities of American government. A fundamental objective of the Congressional Oversight Manual is to assist Members, committees, and legislative staff in carrying out this vital legislative function. It is intended to provide a broad overview of the procedural, legal, and practical issues that are likely to arise as Congress conducts oversight. This includes information on the mechanics of oversight practice based on the House and Senate rules, common investigative techniques, and an inventory of statutes that impact oversight activity. In addition, the Manual discusses important legal principles that have developed around Congress’s oversight practice. It is not intended to address all the legal issues that committees, Members, and staff may encounter when engaged in investigative activities. The Manual is organized both to address specific questions and to support those seeking a general introduction to or broader understanding of oversight practice…”

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