Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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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

Iraq: Map Sources

Description: This report identifies online sources for maps of Iraq, including government, library, and organizational websites.
Date: August 5, 2010
Creator: Fischer, Hannah
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

Intelligence Identities Protection Act

Description: This report summarizes the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, P.L. 97-200, enacted by Congress in 1982 to address the unauthorized disclosure of information that exposes covert U.S. intelligence agents. The act also provides exceptions and defenses to prosecution, makes provision for extraterritorial application for offenders who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens, includes reporting requirements to Congress, and sets forth definitions of the terms used in the act.
Date: April 10, 2013
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act: Implementation and Proposed Amendments

Description: 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.
Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Hatch, Garrett L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department