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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2008
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Executive Branch Reorganization and Management Initiatives: A Brief Overview

Executive Branch Reorganization and Management Initiatives: A Brief Overview

Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of recent executive branch reorganization actions and related management initiatives. It reviews the relevant plans and preparations of President-elect Barack Obama as the new Administration transitions to assuming management of the executive branch. Briefly examined, as well, are the organization and management efforts of the most recent regimes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. National Science Foundation: An Overview

U.S. National Science Foundation: An Overview

Date: October 24, 2008
Creator: Matthews, Christine M.
Description: The majority of the research supported by the NSF is conducted at U.S. colleges and universities. Approximately 82.7% ($3,094.8 million) of NSF's FY2006 $3,740.6 million research and development (R&D) budget was awarded to U.S. colleges and universities. On September 30, 2008, the President signed into law the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329, H.R. 2638). The act includes, among other things, three of the 12 regular appropriations acts for FY2009. The Continuing Appropriations Act funds the NSF until passage of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Appropriations bill or until March 6, 2009, whichever occurs first. P.L. 110-329 funds the NSF at the FY2008 level.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Polygraph Use by the Department of Energy: Issues for Congress

Polygraph Use by the Department of Energy: Issues for Congress

Date: October 23, 2008
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: This report examines how the Department of Energy's (DOE) polygraph testing program has evolved and reviews certain scientific findings with regard to the polygraph's scientific validity. Several issues include whether: DOE's new screening program is focused on an appropriate number of individuals occupying only the most sensitive positions; the program should be expanded in order to adequately safeguard certain classified information; further research into the polygraph's scientific validity is needed; there are possible alternatives to the polygraph; and whether DOE should continue polygraph screening.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

Date: October 14, 2008
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: The Federal Protective Service (FPS) -- within U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- is responsible for protecting federal government property, personnel, visitors, and customers, including property leased by the General Services Administration (GSA). FPS currently employs over 15,000 contract security guards to protect federal property. DHS intends, according to its FY2009 budget justification, to continue the use of contract security guards to focus FPS activities on maintaining security policy and standards, conducting building security assessments, and monitoring federal agency compliance with security standards.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: October 10, 2008
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. This report describes and analyzes the Administration's FY2009 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Description: Developments in wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies -- also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy -- are beginning to gain momentum. At the same time, their regulatory status is still evolving, as shown by recent changes in law aimed at clarifying hte federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. Two federal agencies currently appear to have a lead role in offshore renewable energy projects -- the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Statutory Offices of Inspector General: Past and Present

Statutory Offices of Inspector General: Past and Present

Date: September 25, 2008
Creator: Kaiser, Frederick M.
Description: Statutory offices of inspector general (OIG) consolidate responsibility for audits and investigations within a federal agency. Established by public law as permanent, nonpartisan, independent offices, they now exist in more than 60 establishments and entities, including all departments and largest agencies, along with numerous boards and commissions. Various initiatives and proposals in the 110th Congress are designed to strengthen the IGs' independence, add to their reports, and create new posts in the Intelligence Community.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Defense Base Act (DBA): The Federally Mandated Workers' Compensation System for Overseas Government Contractors

The Defense Base Act (DBA): The Federally Mandated Workers' Compensation System for Overseas Government Contractors

Date: September 15, 2008
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey; Szymendera, Scott & Webel, Baird
Description: This report provides an overview of the Defense Base Act (DBA) and the systems used to provide DBA insurance at the Department of State (DOS), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Also included are criticisms of the current DOD DBA policy raised by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Army auditors as well as responses to those criticisms by DOD and USACE. The report concludes with a discussion of several DBA reform options suggested by the House of Representatives in recent legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs): An Institutional Overview

Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs): An Institutional Overview

Date: September 9, 2008
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Description: Congress chartered government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to improve the workings of credit markets. This report briefly describes the nature of GSEs, their mixed governmental-private nature, the differences between GSEs and government agencies, and the arguments for and against GSEs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Department of Defense Role in Foreign Assistance: Background, Major Issues, and Options for Congress

The Department of Defense Role in Foreign Assistance: Background, Major Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.; Dale, Catherine; Grimmett, Richard F.; Margesson, Rhoda; Rollins, John; Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji et al.
Description: This report provides background information on and discusses issues related to the DOD's role in providing U.S. foreign assistance and undertaking foreign assistance-type activities. Topics include the types of assistance DOD provides, the authorities under which DOD conducts its programs, and coordination and cooperation mechanisms between DOD and other agencies. The report begins with a brief introduction to the three areas in which DOD plays a role in foreign assistance and to Congress's part in authorizing that role. Next, the report briefly discusses the general evolution of DOD's role and the Department of State's current perception of that role based on current national security needs. The report then provides an overview of the evolution of the DOD role and current activities in the three areas cited above, with a snapshot of the varying perspectives on the DOD roles in these areas. Finally, the report discusses issues that Congress may wish to consider. The appendices provide more detailed information on the current and most significant foreign assistance programs in which DOD plays a role.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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