February 25, 2014 Library of Congress Announces Legislative Data Challenge Winners

Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

The Library of Congress today announced the winners of two legislative data challenges conducted using the Challenge.gov platform. The challenges, conducted at the request of the U.S. House of Representatives, will advance the exchange of legislative information worldwide.

Jim Mangiafico is the winner of the “Markup of U.S. Legislation in Akoma Ntoso” challenge. Mangiafico and Garrett Schure won first and second place, respectively, in the “Legislative XML Data Mapping” challenge.

“Markup of U.S. Legislation in Akoma Ntoso” invited competitors to apply the Akoma Ntoso schema to the text of four U.S. federal bills. Akoma Ntoso (www.akomantoso.org External) is a framework used in many other countries around the world to annotate and format electronic versions of parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents. Mangiafico was awarded first place and a $5,000 prize for his submission, which explained the practical decisions and difficulties required to apply the Akoma Ntoso schema to U.S. bill text. Mangiafico, who earned a doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School, is an attorney in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

“Legislative XML Data Mapping” invited competitors to map the Akoma Ntoso schema to established U.S. and United Kingdom legislative markup languages to improve Akoma Ntoso’s support of U.S. and U.K. legislative data. Mangiafico’s submission earned first place and a $10,000 prize. Schure’s submission garnered second place and a $5,000 prize. Both submissions accomplished the mapping using open source software, which resulted in foundational options that can be learned from and expanded on by others.

The Library put together a panel of judges with expertise in all aspects of the challenge elements - U.S. legislation XML standards, U.K. legislation XML standards and the Akoma Ntoso legal schema. The Library is participating in standards bodies tasked with examining the potential for an international standard, and will apply information obtained through these challenges to ensure U.S. federal legislative information can be more broadly accessed and analyzed alongside legislative documents created elsewhere.

Submissions for both challenges, including those of the winners, can be viewed on the Challenge.gov website at akoma-ntoso-markup.challengepost.com External and legislative-data-mapping.challengepost.com External.

Challenge.gov is an online platform administered by the U.S. General Services Administration in partnership with ChallegePost that empowers the U.S. government and the public to bring the best ideas and top talent to bear on our nation’s most pressing challenges. Submissions can range from simple suggestions to complex proofs of concept, designs or finished products that solve the grand challenges of the 21st century.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.


PR 14-026
ISSN 0731-3527