Secretary of the Senate: Fact Sheet on Legislative and Administrative Duties

Order Code 98-747 GOV Updated August 7, 2003 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Secretary of the Senate: Fact Sheet on Legislative and Administrative Duties Paul E. Dwyer Specialist in American National Government Government and Finance Division The Secretary of the Senate is an officer of the Senate with financial, administrative, and legislative responsibilities. The Secretary is elected at the beginning of each Congress by the membership of the Senate. The duties of the Secretary of the Senate are mandated by the Constitution, law, Senate rules, custom, resolutions and precedents of the Senate, directives of Senate leadership, and policies and regulations set by the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in the exercise of their oversight roles. For more information on the legislative process, see [http://www.crs.gov/products/guides/guidehome.shtml]. Financial Responsibilities The Secretary is the chief financial officer of the Senate. As such, the Secretary is responsible for accounting for funds appropriated to the Senate and for managing and supervising the disbursing office, which handles the Senate payroll and related personnel matters. The Secretary also conducts audits of Senate financial activities. Senate expenditures of funds appropriated to the Senate are published semi-annually by the Secretary in the Senate document, Report of the Secretary of the Senate. Administrative Responsibilities As chief operations officer of the Senate, the Secretary is responsible for a number of services that support operations of the Senate. These responsibilities are as follows: ! Stationery Room procures and provides office supplies for purchase by Senate offices; ! Senate Library provides reference services to the Senate; ! Conservation and Preservation Office administers programs for the conservation and preservation of Senate records; ! Public Records Office processes and maintains records filed with the secretary, including records relating to campaign expenses, lobbying disclosure, financial disclosure, the code of conduct, gifts, mass mailings, political fund designees, Senate services, and foreign travel reimbursement reports; ! Historical Office maintains collections on the Senate’s history and provides advice on records and documents storage to Senators’ offices; Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress ! ! ! ! ! Senate Curator administers the Senate’s museum programs for the Capitol and Senate office buildings; Senate Security Office protects Senate classified information; Interparliamentary Services Office handles the administration and protocol of interparliamentary functions involving the Senate and represents the Senate to foreign parliamentary delegations; Senate Page Program coordinates the education of Senate pages; and Gift Shop (Including Gift Shop Revolving Fund). Other duties of the Secretary of the Senate are management of the nonpartisan chief counsel for employment office (provides legal advice and representation in employment law); maintenance of the Senate public Web site; oversight of the Capitol visitors’ center; supervision of Senate staff displaced by the death or resignation of a Senator; assistance to Senate leadership in supervision of the Senate legal counsel; organization of orientation programs for Senators and Senate staff; and custody of the Senate seal. Legislative Responsibilities As chief legislative officer, the Secretary of the Senate manages functions that support the legislative process in the Senate, including supervision of the following staff: ! Bill Clerk records the Senate’s official activities, including the status of legislation; ! Enrolling Clerk prepares Senate-passed legislation before it is sent to the President; ! Executive Clerk records Senate actions during executive sessions, produces the Executive Calendar, and processes nominations and treaty resolutions received from the President; ! Journal Clerk records the Senate’s daily legislative proceedings and prepares a history of legislation for the Senate Journal; ! Legislative Clerk reads aloud bills and amendments, the Senate Journal, and messages to the Senate, calls the roll, and prepares the daily Calendar of Business; ! Official Reporters of Debates prepare verbatim reports of Senate floor proceedings for the Congressional Record; ! Parliamentarian advises Senators and staff on Senate precedents and rules and statutes that affect Senate proceedings; ! Printing and Document Services Office prints and distributes Senate documents, including coordination with the Government Printing Office; ! Daily Digest highlights the day’s activities of the Senate in the Congressional Record, including committee hearings and meetings and floor actions; ! Captioning Office captions Senate proceedings for the hearing-impaired; ! Legislative Information System (LIS) Staff develops the means for creating, tracking, storing, retrieving, editing, sharing, and transmitting legislative documents; and ! Continuity of Operations Program provides legislative support to the Senate to conduct business and retrieve data in an offsite location, in conjunction with the Senate Sergeant at Arms. See [http://www.senate.gov/reference/office/secretary_of_senate.htm], for further information.