The Congressional Institute
1700 Diagonal Road. #730
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: (703) 837-8812

Tips for Newly Elected Members

Managing a Congressional office is no easy task. The difficulties of establishing and maintaining an efficient office to handle a Representative or Senator’s many duties and responsibilities is compounded by rapidly evolving technology that can significantly help or hinder these efforts. Listed below are links to management tips and guidelines on how to best utilize email and the Internet.

* The House Floor Procedures Manual
This interactive version of the Congressional Institute’s Floor Operations Manual for the U.S. House of Representatives is designed to assist the public, Members of Congress and Hill staff to better understand and follow the daily activities on the Floor of the U.S. House.

* Enforcement of Ethical Standards in Congress
A description of how both houses enforce ethics standards. Includes a historical overview of Congressional ethics inquiries, hearings, and reforms.

* How Many People Can I Hire and How Much Can I Pay Them?
Answers to those critical questions about how to structure and budget your new staff.

Your Office on the World Wide Web
Congressional Websites and E-Newsletters
Cutting edge research by Presentation Testing, Inc., commissioned by the Congressional Institute, reveals that Members of Congress are missing opportunities to communicate effectively. Their websites and newsletters fall far short of where they could be. Members should be using the web to present their positions on issues and their reasons for important votes. With few exceptions, they are not.

* Congressional Management Foundation’s Golden Mouse Awards
The Congressional Management Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which researches and suggests best management practices for Members of Congress, frequently grades Members’ websites, bestowing the “Golden Mouse Award” on exemplary offices and making recommendations for improvement. The reports are available for free on their website.

For their competition for the 112th Congress (conducted by their new affiliate, The Partnership for a More Perfect Union), they released their results in the form of a blog–a reflection of the changing nature of internet communications. (In previous years, CMF produced a formal report, the most recent of which was released in 2007.) You also can see the great progress made in the development of Congressional websites by taking a look at their early reports, from 2002 and 2003

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