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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

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 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.
Date: January 7, 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

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 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.
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 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.
Date: December 5, 2007
Creator: Relyea, Harold C. & Kolakowski, Michael W.
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 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.
Date: March 13, 2008
Creator: Relyea, Harold C. & Ginsberg, Wendy
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 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.
Date: April 23, 2007
Creator: Relyea, Harold C. & Kolakowski, Michael W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information In the United States: A Primer

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

Access to Government Information in the United States: A Primer

Description: 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.
Date: March 18, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Greene, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Paper Currency by Visually Impaired Individuals: The American Council of the Blind v. Paulson

Description: In May 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a decision in The American Council of the Blind v. Paulson. The court held that under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Treasury Department of the U.S. government discriminates against blind and visually impaired individuals through the issuance of currency in denominations which are not readily distinguishable by touch. The Treasury Department did not file an appeal of the decision, and the case was remanded to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to address the American Council of the Blind’s request for injunctive relief. The House Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology held a hearing on this issue on July 30, 2008. This report discusses the court of appeals’ decision and factors and viewpoints by affected parties that may have implications for a proposed remedy.
Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Toland, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Unapproved Drugs: FDA Policies on Compassionate Use and Emergency Use Authorization

Description: This report discuses the approval or licensure procedures of drugs and biological products which Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may permit the sponsor to provide an unapproved or unlicensed product to patients outside the standard regulatory framework.
Date: August 4, 2015
Creator: Susan,Thaul
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Accident Prevention under the Clean Air Act Section 112(r): Risk Management Planning by Propane Users and Internet Access to Worst-Case Accident Scenarios

Description: This report briefly describes two issues associated with EPA implementation of risk management planning requirements in the Clean Air Act Section 112(r): whether dealers and distributors of propane and other flammable fuels should be covered by the law, and whether electronic access to off-site consequence analyses (OCA), and especially worst-case analyses, should be restricted to avoid misuse by terrorists or criminals. These issues are addressed by S. 880, as reported, and H.R. 1301 in the 106th Congress. The statutory requrrements and EPA implementation to date also are described. Covered facilities must submit risk management plans by June 21, 1999. This product will be updated when events warrant. For information on the status of legislation, see CRS Issue Brief lB10004, Clean Air Act Issues in the 106th Congress.
Date: June 10, 1999
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae

Description: On September 22, 2004, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Supervision (OFHEO) made public a report that was highly critical of accounting methods at Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that plays a leading role in the secondary mortgage market. OFHEO charged Fannie Mae with not following generally accepted accounting practices in two critical areas: (1) amortization of discounts, premiums, and fees involved in the purchase of home mortgages and (2) accounting for financial derivatives contracts. According to OFHEO, these deviations from standard accounting rules allowed Fannie Mae to reduce volatility in reported earnings, present investors with an artificial picture of steadily growing profits, and, in at least one case, to meet financial performance targets that triggered the payment of bonuses to company executives. On November 15, 2004, Fannie Mae reported that it was unable to file a third-quarter earnings statement because its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the accounting results. On December 15, 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), after finding inadequacies in Fannie’s accounting policies and methodologies, directed Fannie Mae to restate its accounting results since 2001. Shortly thereafter, the company’s CEO and CFO resigned. It is estimated that earnings since 2001 will be revised downwards by as much as $12 billion, but the formal restatement of earnings is not expected before late 2006.
Date: November 15, 2005
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department