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Creating a Federal Advisory Committee in the Executive Branch

Description: This report provides a brief overview on how Congress can establish federal advisory committees, and provides some considerations as to why a federal advisory committee may or may not be an appropriate mechanism for a particular policy or funding question. It presents data on the number of active committees established by Congress with special emphasis on the committees established in FY2014. This report concludes by presenting a list of the federal advisory committees currently proposed for establishment in legislation in the 114th Congress.
Date: October 19, 2015
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Advisory Committees: An Introduction and Overview

Description: Federal advisory committees—which may also be labeled as commissions, councils, or task forces—are established to assist the executive branch in deliberating and, in some cases, helping to solve complex or divisive issues. Congress, the President, or an agency head may establish a federal advisory committee to render independent advice or provide policy recommendations. This report offers a history of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), examines its current requirements, and provides data on federal advisory committees operations and costs.
Date: October 28, 2015
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Information Act Legislation in the 114th Congress: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis

Description: This report provides a side-by-side comparison of two bills relevant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), using the versions that have passed each of their originating congressional chambers. The report also provides context related to bill amendments and language additions that occurred between bill versions, when applicable. Finally, the report provides analysis of certain provisions of the bills.
Date: April 21, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Common Questions About Federal Records and Related Agency Requirements

Description: This report provides an introduction to federal records. It describes the scope and requirements of the Federal Records Act (FRA) and its associated regulations. This report focuses on federal recordkeeping laws, regulations, and policies including what is or is not a federal record, which agencies are required to comply with the FRA and how agencies can transfer or dispose of federal records. This report does not address the recordkeeping requirements of Congress, the Supreme Court, the President, or the Architect of the Capitol.
Date: February 2, 2015
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Offices of Inspectors General and Law Enforcement Authority: In Brief

Description: This report identifies the laws and regulations that vest certain offices of inspector general (OIGs) with law enforcement authority, which permits the use of guns and ammunition. This report also describes some of the requirements and expectations of OIGs that have law enforcement authority, and includes some reasons that OIGs have expressed a need for law enforcement authority.
Date: September 8, 2014
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits

Description: This report provides a legislative and cultural history of the Former Presidents Act (FPA). It details the benefits provided to former Presidents and their costs. Congress has the authority to reduce, increase, or maintain the pension and benefits provided to former Presidents of the United States. This report considers the potential effects of maintaining the FPA or amending the FPA in ways that might reduce or otherwise modify a former President's benefits.
Date: March 21, 2013
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
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

Do Not Mail Initiatives and Their Potential Effects: Possible Issues for Congress

Description: This report examines the state level initiatives to create Do Not Mail (DNM) registries, and analyzes their potential effects on the environment and the economy should they be implemented. It also notes, but does not exhaustively analyze, possible constitutional impediments to state DNM registries. In addition, the report reviews existing methods to reduce or eliminate the delivery of unsolicited advertising mail. This report concludes with federal legislative options that could affect direct mail marketing.
Date: September 24, 2008
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Advisory Committee Act: Analysis of Operations and Costs

Description: The report provides an in-depth examination of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) committee operations, using the data collected by General Services Administration (GSA). The report concludes by providing a list of policy options that Congress can consider when deliberating current or future legislation to amend FACA.
Date: October 27, 2015
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

Federal Inspectors General: History, Characteristics, and Recent Congressional Actions

Description: This report provides background on the statutory creation of federal offices of inspector general (OIGs) and provides historical context for contemporary debates about the strengths and limitations of the offices. Federal inspectors general (IGs) are authorized to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within their affiliated federal entities; to execute their missions, OIGs conduct and publish audits and investigations--among other duties.
Date: June 2, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Greene, Michael
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

Creating a Federal Advisory Committee in the Executive Branch

Description: This report report provides a brief overview on how Congress can establish federal advisory committees, and provides some considerations as to why a federal advisory committee may or may not be an appropriate mechanism to assist a particular policy or funding question. The report also explores why Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) may or may not be appropriate for application to particular advisory committees. It presents data on the number of active FACA committees established by Congress with special emphasis on the committees established in FY2015. This report concludes by presenting a list of the federal advisory committees currently proposed for statutory establishment in the 114th Congress.
Date: December 9, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Burgat, Casey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department