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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Common Questions About Federal Records and Related Agency Requirements

Common Questions About Federal Records and Related Agency Requirements

Date: February 2, 2015
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: This report provides an introduction to federal records. It describes the scope and requirements of the Federal Records Act (FRA) and its associated regulations. This report focuses on federal recordkeeping laws, regulations, and policies including what is or is not a federal record, which agencies are required to comply with the FRA and how agencies can transfer or dispose of federal records. This report does not address the recordkeeping requirements of Congress, the Supreme Court, the President, or the Architect of the Capitol.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552) enables any person to access—without explanation or justification—certain existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records. Pursuant to FOIA, the public has presumptive access to requested agency records unless the material falls within any of FOIA's nine categories of exemption from disclosure. This report discusses FOIA's history, examines its implementation, and provides potential policy approaches for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 113th Congress

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 113th Congress

Date: March 8, 2013
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: This report provides background on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses the categories of records FOIA exempts from public release, and analyzes statistics on FOIA administration. The report also provides background on several legal and policy issues related to FOIA, including the release of controversial records, the growth in use of certain FOIA exemptions, and the adoption of new technologies to improve FOIA administration. The report concludes with an examination of potential FOIA-related policy options for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Access to Government Information in the United States

Access to Government Information in the United States

Date: August 31, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background, Legislation, and Policy Issues

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background, Legislation, and Policy Issues

Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report provides background on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses the categories of records FOIA exempts from public release, and analyzes statistics on FOIA administration. It also provides background on several legal and policy issues related to FOIA, including the release of controversial records, the growth in use of certain FOIA exemptions, and the adoption of new technologies to improve FOIA administration. The report concludes with an examination of potential FOIA-related policy options for the 113th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report reviews the objectives delineated in President Obama's Open Government Initiative (OGI) and examines the expectations placed on agencies to meet these objectives. This report reviews department and agency attempts to implement Obama Administration initiatives that seek to make the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The report then analyzes options for congressional action in this area.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Date: August 17, 2010
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report reviews and discusses President Obama's Open Government Initiative and the Open Government Directive. The report then analyzes both agency response to the OGI and the OGD, and examines whether the OGD's requirements can meet the stated goals of the Administration. The report discusses the three central tenets of the Administration's OGD--transparency, public participation, and collaboration--and analyzes each one individually to determine whether agencies are meeting these requirements and whether the requirements may improve the effectiveness of the federal government.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Date: August 9, 2010
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report reviews and discusses President Obama's Open Government Initiative and the Open Government Directive. The report then analyzes both agency response to the OGI and the OGD, and examines whether the OGD's requirements can meet the stated goals of the Administration. The report discusses the three central tenets of the Administration's OGD--transparency, public participation, and collaboration--and analyzes each one individually to determine whether agencies are meeting these requirements and whether the requirements may improve the effectiveness of the federal government.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Presidential Libraries Act and the Establishment of Presidential Libraries

The Presidential Libraries Act and the Establishment of Presidential Libraries

Date: February 6, 2015
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.; Lunder, Erika K. & Richardson, Daniel J.
Description: This report details the legislative history of the Presidential Libraries Act and examines information on existing library facilities and their locations, organizational characteristics, and outreach efforts. It also analyzes legislative options for the act, including increasing endowment requirements for the library foundations and clearly delineating the relationship between the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the libraries' supporting organizations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources

Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources

Date: September 1, 2006
Creator: Gomez-Granger, Julissa & Klarman, Kim Walker
Description: This report is a guide to locating individual service records and military unit histories from the American Revolution to the present. This guide provides referral information for locating individual service records of discharged and deceased veterans. It includes information regarding locating and obtaining active service records. Also included are relevant addresses and websites of government agencies, historical associations, and a select bibliography.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department