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Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress

Description: Legislation enacted in 1980 gave the executive branch authority to limit advance notification of especially-sensitive covert actions to eight Members of Congress (called the "Gang of Eight") when the President determines that it is essential to limit prior notice in order to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting U.S. vital interests. 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.
Date: April 6, 2011
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The State Secrets Privilege: Preventing the Disclosure of Sensitive National Security Information During Civil Litigation

Description: This report presents an overview of the protections afforded by the state secrets privilege; a discussion of some of the many unresolved issues associated with the privilege; and a selection of high-profile examples of how the privilege has been applied in practice.
Date: March 28, 2011
Creator: Garvey, Todd & Liu, Edward, C.
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

The 2010 Decennial Census: Background and Issues

Description: 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.
Date: April 27, 2009
Creator: Williams, Jennifer D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals

Description: 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.
Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr. & Cumming, Alfred
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Record: Its Production, Distribution, and Accessibility

Description: 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.
Date: October 27, 2006
Creator: Amer, Mildred
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A User's Guide to the Congressional Record

Description: This report discusses use of the Congressional Record, which is a substantially verbatim account of remarks made during the proceedings of the House and Senate, subject only to technical, grammatical, and typographical corrections. It consists of four main sections: the proceedings of the House and Senate, the Extensions of Remarks, and the Daily Digest.
Date: October 27, 2005
Creator: Amer, Mildred
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybersecurity: Critical Infrastructure Authoritative Reports and Resources

Description: This report serves as a starting point for congressional staff assigned to cover cybersecurity issues as they relate to critical infrastructure. Much is written about protecting U.S. critical infrastructure, and this report directs the reader to authoritative sources that address many of the most prominent issues.
Date: March 8, 2016
Creator: Tehan, Rita
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

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

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.
Date: March 8, 2013
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Classified Information Policy and Executive Order 13526

Description: 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.
Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intelligence Whistleblower Protections: In Brief

Description: This report describes three sources of Intelligence Community (IC) whistleblower protection including the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 (ICWPA), Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), and Title VI of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Title VI). Generally speaking, whistleblowers are those who expose misconduct (e.g., fraud, abuse, or illegal activity) within an organization. In the context of the IC, whistleblowers are generally employees or contractors of federal intelligence agencies who bring to light information on agency wrongdoings.
Date: October 23, 2014
Creator: Perry, Rodney M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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.
Date: June 15, 2010
Creator: Gomez-Granger, Julissa & Leland, Anne
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: December 13, 2010
Creator: Stevens, Gina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework

Description: This report provides an overview of the relationship between executive and legislative authority over national security information, and summarizes the current laws that form the legal framework protecting classified information, including current executive orders and some agency regulations pertaining to the handling of unauthorized disclosures of classified information by government officers and employees. The report also summarizes criminal laws that pertain specifically to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, as well as civil and administrative penalties. Finally, the report describes some recent developments in executive branch security policies and legislation currently before Congress (S. 3454).
Date: December 17, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Access to Data from Federally Funded Research: Provisions in OMB Circular A-110

Description: The results of scientific studies are used in making many governmental policy decisions. While the studies are often published, the data on which they are based may not be, even for federally funded research. Before 1999, academic and nonprofit performers of such research were permitted but not required to make their data available to the public through provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In October 1998, a provision in P.L. 105-277 changed that, requiring that such data be made publicly available. This report provides background on the 1999 revisions to federal policy, a discussion of the impacts of those changes, and an analysis of the issues raised by them.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electronic Rulemaking in the Federal Government

Description: 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.
Date: May 16, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Curtis W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework

Description: This report provides an overview of the relationship between executive and legislative authority over national security information, and summarizes the current laws that form the legal framework protecting classified information, including current executive orders and some agency regulations pertaining to the handling of unauthorized disclosures of classified information by government officers and employees. The report also summarizes criminal laws that pertain specifically to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, as well as civil and administrative penalties. Finally, the report describes some recent developments in executive branch security policies and relevant legislative activity.
Date: January 10, 2013
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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.
Date: December 16, 2009
Creator: Gomez-Granger, Julissa & Leland, Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications

Description: This report reviews the history of the Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure. The "Gang of Eight" procedure is statutorily based and provides that the chairmen and ranking Members of the intelligence committee, along with the Speaker and minority leader of the House, and Senate majority and minority leaders--rather than the full membership of the intelligence committees-- are to receive prior notice of particularly sensitive covert action programs, if the President determines that limited access to such programs is essential to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting vital U.S. interests.
Date: April 16, 2013
Creator: Erwin, Marshall Curtis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department