Gary Palmer’s SAID Act passes House, calls for transparency in federal agency settlement agreements

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Congress Capitol
[Photo Credit: AP Photo | J. Scott Applewhite]

Alabama 6th District U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer’s Settlement Agreement Information Database Act (SAID Act) unanimously passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The legislation would bring clarity and accountability to the litigation activity of federal agencies.

The SAID Act, H.R. 995, would establish a centralized, public database that contains basic information about settlement agreements and consent decrees entered into by federal agencies. In the case of a confidential agreement, the SAID Act would require the agency to issue a public statement that justifies the nondisclosure.

“Currently, there is no uniform standard for record-keeping across federal agencies. Most of the public’s access to federal settlement agreement information is primarily issued by press release,” Palmer said. “This lack of transparency frequently leaves the public and elected officials in the dark about costs and outcomes. The SAID Act would provide overdue transparency and accountability standards to federal settlement agreements.”

The SAID Act passed the by a vote of 418 – 0. It now moves to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.

Palmer discussed the SAID Act ahead of the vote: