Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress
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(FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552) enables any person to access—without explanation or justification—certain existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records.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.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 113th Congress
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.
Access to Government Information in the United States: A Primer
This report offers an introduction to the four access laws and provides citations to additional resources related to these statutes. It includes statistics on the use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and on litigation related to FOIA. In addition, this report provides some examples of the methods Congress, the President, and the courts have employed to provide or require the provision of information to one another, as well as a list of resources related to transparency, secrecy, access, and nondisclosure.
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.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background, Legislation, and Policy Issues
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.
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.
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress
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.
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress
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.
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress
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.
The Presidential Libraries Act and the Establishment of Presidential Libraries
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.
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.
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.
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.
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
This guide 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.
Publishing Scientific Papers with Potential Security Risks: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the publication of federally-funded research results including positive aspects (wide dissemination that may drive innovation, job creation, technology development, and the advance of science), and the negatives (that some research results could also be used for malicious purposes). This report describes the underlying controversy, the potential benefits and harms of publishing these manuscripts, the actions taken by domestic and international stakeholders, and options to improve the way research is handled to minimize security concerns.
Interest Groups and Lobbyists: Sources of Information
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.
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.
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.
Where to Get Publications from The Executive and Independent Agencies: A Directory of Sources for Official Documents
No Description Available.
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
This report discusses safeguards in place to protect controlled information and proposals for change of some of the mechanisms in place. Congress uses classified national security and other controlled information to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, particularly overseeing the executive, appropriating funds, and legislating public policy.
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
This report discusses safeguards in place to protect conterolled information and proposals for change of some of the mechanisms in place. Congress uses classified national security and other controlled information to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, particularly overseeing the executive, appropriating funds, and legislating public policy.
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.
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
No Description Available.
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
No Description Available.
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
No Description Available.
China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets
This CRS Report discusses China’s suspected acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets, including that on the W88, the newest U.S. nuclear warhead, since the late 1970s. This current controversy, began in early 1999, raises policy issues about whether U.S. security is further threatened by the PRC’s suspected use of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets in its development of nuclear forces, as well as whether the Administration’s response to the security problems is effective or mishandled and whether it fairly used or abused its investigative and prosecuting authority.
China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets
This CRS Report discusses China’s suspected acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets, including that on the W88, the newest U.S. nuclear warhead, since the late 1970s. This current controversy, began in early 1999, raises policy issues about whether U.S. security is further threatened by the PRC’s suspected use of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets in its development of nuclear forces, as well as whether the Administration’s response to the security problems is effective or mishandled and whether it fairly used or abused its investigative and prosecuting authority.
"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy
This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland Security Act (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy
This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland SecurityAct (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy
This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland Security Act (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
"Sensitive but Unclassified" Information and Other Controls: Policy and Options for Scientific and Technical Information
This report traces the evolution of "sensitive but unclassified" or SBU-related controls; summarizes actions taken to protect certain types of scientific and technical information; describes critiques of some control policies; and summarizes proposals and actions, including congressional, executive and other initiatives, to clarify these issues and develop policies that serve various stakeholders. It also raises issues that may warrant further attention.
Classified Information Policy and Executive Order 13526
This report provides information on classified information policy, which also is called security classification policy and national security classification information policy. It discusses the history, costs, and agencies assigned roles in classified information policy. The report focuses on Executive Order 13526, which establishes much of the current policy, and the report identifies possible oversight issues for Congress.
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.
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.
Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization in Brief
This report discusses the legal background associated with the sunset of various provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and of subsequent related legislation.
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.
Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization in Brief
This report discusses the legal background associated with the sunset of various provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and of subsequent related legislation.
Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff
This report is designed to introduce congressional staff to selected governmental and nongovernmental sources that are useful in tracking and obtaining information federal legislation and regulations. It includes governmental sources such as the Legislative Information System (LIS), THOMAS, the Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System (FDsys), and U.S. Senate and House websites. Nongovernmental or commercial sources include resources such as HeinOnline and the Congressional Quarterly (CQ) websites. It also highlights classes offered by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the Library of Congress Law Library.
Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff
This report is designed to introduce congressional staff to selected governmental and nongovernmental sources that are useful in tracking and obtaining information on federal legislation and regulations. It includes governmental, nongovernmental, or commercial sources, and highlights classes offered by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the Law Library of Congress.
Nuclear Weapons Complex Reconfiguration: Analysis of an Energy Department Task Force Report
No Description Available.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
Report discussing the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. Support of IT R&D began because the government 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 Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. Support of IT R&D began because the government 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 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.
Critical Infrastructure Security: CRS Experts
This report contains a table which provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to critical infrastructure security. Policy areas identified include: mission; security services; and specific sectors: assessing vulnerabilities, planning and implementation.
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.
Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security
This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was passed to ensure by statute citizen access to government information. Nine categories of information may be exempted from disclosure. Three of the nine exemptions provide possible protection against the release of critical infrastructure information: exemption 1 (national security information); exemption 3 (information exempted by statute); and exemption 4 (confidential business information). Congress has considered several proposals to exempt critical infrastructure information from the FOIA.