Congressional Research Service Reports - 144 Matching Results

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Freedom of Information Act Amendments: 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was designed to enable any person — individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship — to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic.
Date: February 25, 2005
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information in the United States

Description: The Constitution of the United States makes no specific allowance for any one of the co-equal branches to have access to information held by the others and contains no provision expressly establishing a procedure for, or a right of, public access to government information. Nonetheless, Congress has legislated various public access laws. These include two records access statutes—the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a)—and two meetings access statutes—the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) and the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b). Moreover, due to the American separation of powers model of government, interbranch conflicts over the accessibility of information are neither unexpected nor necessarily destructive. The federal courts, historically, have been reluctant to review and resolve “political questions” involving information disputes between Congress and the executive branch. Although there is considerable interbranch cooperation, such conflicts probably will continue to occur on occasion.
Date: January 23, 2003
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information in the United States

Description: The Constitution of the United States makes no specific allowance for any one of the co-equal branches to have access to information held by the others and contains no provision expressly establishing a procedure for, or a right of, public access to government information. Nonetheless, Congress has legislated various public access laws. These include two records access statutes — the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) — and two meetings access statutes — the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) and the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b). Moreover, due to the American separation of powers model of government, interbranch conflicts over the accessibility of information are neither unexpected nor necessarily destructive. The federal courts, historically, have been reluctant to review and resolve “political questions” involving information disputes between Congress and the executive branch. Although there is considerable interbranch cooperation, such conflicts probably will continue to occur on occasion.
Date: January 7, 2005
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interest Groups and Lobbyists: Sources of Information

Description: Interest groups, including those who actively lobby, continue to play a role in the American legislative process. After years of congressional efforts to improve disclosure of interest groups, the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) of 1995 (P.L. 104-65) and the Lobbying Disclosure Technical Amendments Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-166) were signed into law on December 19, 1995, and April 6, 1998, respectively. Both laws seek greater disclosure of interest groups’ activities and more accuracy in reporting their spending. Information on lobbyist registrations and on interest groups in general is available from a variety of online and printed sources, including files available for public inspection. This report provides a list of directories and online services that offer background on the interest groups and lobbyists who focus on legislation in Washington.
Date: July 18, 2002
Creator: Greenfield, Susan Watkins
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FY2005 Budget Documents: Internet Access and GPO Availability

Description: Every year the President submits to Congress a series of volumes that provide the text of the President’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. Neither the Congressional Research Service (CRS) nor the Library of Congress can provide giveaway copies of these documents. This report provides brief descriptions of these budget volumes and related documents, together with Internet addresses, Government Printing Office (GPO) stock numbers, and prices to obtain these publications. It also tells how to find locations of government depository libraries, which can provide both printed copies for reference use and Internet access to the text.
Date: September 16, 2004
Creator: Murray, Justin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Enterprise Architecture and E-Government: Issues for Information Technology Management

Description: This report discusses government efforts to increase efficiency. One approach being implemented to reduce duplicative spending and improve cross-agency collaboration is the use of enterprise architecture (EA) planning across the federal government. An EA serves as a blueprint of the business operations of an organization, and the information and technology needed to carry out these functions.
Date: May 10, 2006
Creator: Seifert, Jeffrey W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590): Overview and Comparison with H.R. 5060

Description: In an attempt to expand oversight of federal spending, including earmarks, S. 2590 would provide the public with access to an online database containing information about entities that are awarded federal grants, loans, and contracts. This report summarizes S. 2590, compares it to H.R. 5060, and outlines the arguments in favor of the bill and those critical of it. The final section discusses the implications of using the Federal Assistance Award Data System (FAADS) and the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) to populate the bill’s proposed database.
Date: September 11, 2006
Creator: Hatch, Garrett L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information in the United States

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.
Date: August 31, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E.O. 12958, as Amended

Description: This report describes security classification policy and procedure, largely prescribed in a series of successive presidential executive orders issued over the past 50 years. This policy provides the rationale and arrangements for designating information officially secret for reasons of national security, and for its declassification as well.
Date: May 14, 2003
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply and also discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, such as the Espionage Act.
Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E.O. 12958, as Amended

Description: This report describes security classification policy and procedure, largely prescribed in a series of successive presidential executive orders issued over the past 50 years. This policy provides the rationale and arrangements for designating information officially secret for reasons of national security, and for its declassification as well.
Date: June 4, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E.O. 12958, as Amended

Description: This report describes security classification policy and procedure, largely prescribed in a series of successive presidential executive orders issued over the past 50 years. This policy provides the rationale and arrangements for designating information officially secret for reasons of national security, and for its declassification as well.
Date: December 31, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws

Description: This report discusses Congressional considerations regarding how to balance the federal government's growing need for sensitive or confidential business information, the public's right of access to information about government activities, and the private sector's interest in keeping its sensitive or proprietary information protected from public disclosure. The report discusses this issue in light of particularly the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other similar legislation.
Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Stevens, Gina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply and also discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, such as the Espionage Act.
Date: December 6, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. The report provides a summary of recent legislation relevant to the issue as well as some previous efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Congressional Research Service and the American Legislative Process

Description: The Legislative Reference Service, it was charged with responding to congressional requests for information. For more than 50 years, this department assisted Congress primarily by providing facts and publications and by transmitting research and analysis done largely by other government agencies, private organizations, and individual scholars. In 1970, Congress enacted a law transforming the Legislative Reference Service into the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and directing CRS to devote more of its efforts and increased resources to performing research and analysis that assists Congress in direct support of the legislative process.
Date: April 12, 2011
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Description: The federal government has long played a key role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department