Congressional Research Service Reports - 139 Matching Results

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Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E.O. 12958, as Amended
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.
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
This report provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It includes contact information for military history centers, websites for additional sources of research, and a bibliography of other publications.
Congressional Printing: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview and analysis of issues related to the processing and distribution of congressional information by the Government Printing Office. Subsequent sections address several issues, including funding congressional printing, printing authorizations, current printing practices, and options for Congress. Finally, the report provides congressional printing appropriations, production, and distribution data in a number of tables.
Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI), the rationale for the sharing of terrorism-related Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), and how the NSI seeks to achieve this objective. It examines the privacy and civil liberties concerns raised by the initiative and identifies other oversight issues for Congress.
"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications
This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress
This report describes the statutory provision authorizing Gang of Eight notifications, reviews the legislative history of the provision, and examines the impact of such notifications on congressional oversight.
Access to Government Information in the United States
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.
Access to Government Information In the United States: A Primer
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.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Issues for the 111th Congress
This report includes a brief history of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses subsequent modifications of FOIA, addresses statutory changes to FOIA that have not yet been implemented, examines Obama Administration efforts to modify the act, and outlines possible legislative issues related to the act.
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress
This report describes the statutory provision authorizing Gang of Eight notifications, reviews the legislative history of the provision, and examines the impact of such notifications on congressional oversight.
"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications
This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications
"Gang of Four" intelligence notifications generally are oral briefings of certain particularly sensitive non-covert action intelligence activities, including principally, but not exclusively, intelligence collection programs, that the Intelligence Community typically limits to the chairmen and ranking members of the two congressional intelligence committees, and at times, but not always, to their respective staff directors. This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions
Published reports have suggested that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities as part of what the Bush Administration termed the global war on terror. This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Federal Rulemaking: The Role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
This report discusses the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, which created the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This report addresses OIRA's responsibilities, controversies related to OIRA, and possible legislative issues involving OIRA, including increasing or decreasing the office's funding and staffing, and improvements in the transparency of OIRA's review process.
Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E.O. 12958, as Amended
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.
The State Secrets Privilege and Other Limits on Litigation Involving Classified Information
This report provides an overview of the protections afforded to government organizations and officials by the state secrets privilege. The state secrets privilege, derived from common law, is an evidentiary privilege that allows the government to resist court-ordered disclosure of information during litigation if there is a reasonable danger that such disclosure would harm the national security of the United States.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's 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 that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
The 2010 Decennial Census: Background and Issues
This report discusses the major innovations that were planned for the 2010 Census, problems encountered in the attempt to automate certain decennial field operations, issues of census accuracy and coverage, and efforts to ensure an equitable count.
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions
This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider. Published reports have suggested that the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities, and some observers have asserted that the Department of Defense (DOD) may have been conducting certain kinds of counterterrorism intelligence activities that would statutorily qualify as "covert actions," and thus require a presidential finding and the notification of the congressional intelligence committees.
Iraq: Map Sources
This report identifies online sources for maps of Iraq, including government, library, and organizational websites.
Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities
This report summarizes legal authorities regarding access by the government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices. Where pertinent, it also discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions.
Federal Information Security and Data Breach Notification Laws
This report provides an overview of federal information security and data breach notification laws that are applicable to certain entities that collect, maintain, own, possess, or license sensitive personal information.
Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information
This report examines the role of Congress as a consumer of national intelligence and examines several issues that Congress might address in the 111th Congress.
Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals
This report discusses the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) position created by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). It includes an overview of the authorities granted to the DNI by legislation in 2004 and later as well as the varying opinions of Congress regarding new DNI authorities, as well as related legislation.
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions
This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Presidential Libraries: The Federal System and Related Legislation
This report provides a brief overview of the federal presidential libraries system and tracks the progress of related legislation.
Presidential Libraries: The Federal System and Related Legislation
Through the National Archives and Records Administration, the federal government currently manages and maintains 12 presidential libraries. Inaugurated with the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955, these entities are privately constructed on behalf of former Presidents and, upon completion, are deeded to the federal government. This report provides a brief overview of the federal presidential libraries system and tracks the progress of related legislation.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's 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.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act: Implementation and Proposed Amendments
This report initially discusses the background of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA). It then discusses the act's provisions, noting what types of assistance are part of the new website, the primary sources of the data, and deadlines for implementation. The report then identifies and discusses issues that have been raised regarding the act that might affect its implementation. Finally, it examines legislation proposed in the 110th Congress that would significantly expand the information accessible through USAspending.gov.
Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice and Recent Developments
This report discusses the background of claims of executive privilege, a right to preserve the confidentiality of information and documents in the face of legislative demands, ending with a look into how President George W. Bush has used them.
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
The protection of classified national security and other controlled information is of concern not only to the executive branch - which determines what information is to be safeguarded, for the most part - but also to Congress, which uses the information to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. It has established mechanisms to safeguard controlled information in its custody, although these arrangements have varied over time between the two chambers and among panels in each. This report explores and analyzes said mechanisms. It also discusses various proposals for standardization of and modifications to current policies.
Electronic Rulemaking in the Federal Government
This report explores the Bush Administration's initiative of implementing electronic rulemaking (e-rulemaking) in the federal government, the questions regarding how this initiative is being funded, its overall structure, its costs and expected financial benefits, the functionality of some of the applications being used, and its effect on public participation in the rulemaking process.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's 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.
Lobbyists and Interest Groups: Sources of Information
Lobbyists and interest groups play an active role in the American legislative process. 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 is a guide for locating governmental sources that maintain files on lobby groups, their registrations, and finances. Also included in this report are nongovernmental sources that offer background information on the lobbyists and interest groups who focus on legislation in Washington.
Access to Government Information In the United States
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 and the Privacy Act — and two meetings access statutes — the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report provides background on the issue of government transparency and examines relevant litigation.
Access to Government Information In the United States
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 and the Privacy Act — and two meetings access statutes — the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report provides background on the issue of government transparency and examines relevant litigation.
Iraq: Map Sources
This report identifies online sources for maps of Iraq, including government, library, and organizational websites. These sources have been selected on the basis of their authoritativeness and the range, quality, and uniqueness of the maps they provide. Some sources provide up-to-the-minute maps; others have been selected for their collection of historical maps. Maps of the Iraq, the Middle East, the state of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and the movement of refugees in Iraq are provided.
Lobbyists and Interest Groups: Sources of Information
Lobbyists and interest groups play an active role in the American legislative process. 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 is a guide for locating governmental sources that maintain files on lobby groups, their registrations, and finances. Also included in this report are nongovernmental sources that offer background information on the lobbyists and interest groups who focus on legislation in Washington.
Access to Government Information In the United States
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 and the Privacy Act — and two meetings access statutes — the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report provides background on the issue of government transparency and examines relevant litigation.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's 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.
Intelligence Spending: Public Disclosure Issues
This report describes the constituent parts of the intelligence budget, past practice in handling intelligence authorizations and appropriations, the arguments that have been advanced for and against making intelligence spending totals public, a legal analysis of these issues, and a review of the implications of post-Cold War developments on the question. It also describes past congressional interest in keeping intelligence spending totals secret.
Lobbyists and Interest Groups: Sources of Information
Lobbyists and interest groups play an active role in the American legislative process. 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 is a guide for locating governmental sources that maintain files on lobby groups, their registrations, and finances. Also included in this report are nongovernmental sources that offer background information on the lobbyists and interest groups who focus on legislation in Washington.
Congressional Record: Its Production, Distribution, and Accessibility
This report briefly discusses how the Congressional Record is created and distributed. The Congressional Record is the most widely recognized published account of the debates and activities in Congress and it often reflects the intent of Congress in enacting legislation.
Protection of Security-Related Information
No Description Available.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 109th Congress
Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 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. The statute specified nine categories of information that may be permissibly exempted from the rule of disclosure. Disputes over the accessibility of requested records could be ultimately settled in court. The statute has become a somewhat popular tool of inquiry and information gathering for various quarters of American society. This report details the history of the Act, as well as relevant legislation and incidences and the efforts to amend the Act.
Critical Infrastructure: The National Asset Database
The purpose of this report is to discuss the National Asset Database: what is in it, how it is populated, what the Database apparently is, what it is not, and how it is intended to be used. The report also discusses some of the issues on which Congress could focus its oversight, including appropriation bill language.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590): Overview and Comparison with H.R. 5060
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.
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
This report is a guide to locating individual service records and military unit histories from the American Revolution to the present.
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
This report is a guide to locating individual service records and military unit histories from the American Revolution to the present.
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
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.