GPO's Government Book Talk blog posted an item yesterday about the Sourcebook of the United States Executive Agencies with links to the GPO online bookstore and a suggestion to search for hardcopies of the book in FDLP libraries, using WorldCat. The Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University has a digital copy (pdf) available online.
- All the President’s Men and Women: Sourcebook of the US Executive Agencies, Government Printing Office, Government Book Talk blog (May 24, 2013).
...a first-of-its-kind publication by the Administrative Conference of the United States.
This first edition of the Sourcebook of the United States Executive Agencies was published in December 2012 to break down information and numbers by what they refer to as the "executive establishment," which is the executive branch and all the other Federal agencies, offices, bureaus, and boards that serve the President that do not fall neatly under any of the three branches of the Federal government.
- Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies, [announcement] Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Vanderbilt University.
- Sourcebook of the United States Executive Agencies, [pdf] David E. Lewis and Jennifer L. Selin, Administrative Conference of the United States, Vanderbilt University, First Edition, 2012.
- ACUS Sourcebook Codebook/Appendix. [pdf] This document describes the data collected for theh ACUS Sourcebook of the United States Executive Agencies. It includes the codebook describing the variables and their coding and the statutory provisions justifying the coding.
- ACUS Sourcebook Data. This Microsoft Excel spreadsheet includes data on 55 statutory characteristics for 10 agencies in the Executive Office of the President, 15 executive departments, and 81 independent agencies. The data was collected by a team of researchers during the summer of 2012. Data collection details are included in the accompanying Sourcebook Codebook and Appendix.
The Congressional War on the Social Sciences, by Kenneth Prewitt, Pacific Standard (May 24, 2013).
"There’s nothing wrong with requiring accountability from government-sponsored science. But when policymakers’ questions misjudge the role that science plays, we have a problem."
Oh come on! ProPublica has a story out today "As Need for New Flood Maps Rises, Congress and Obama Cut Funding". This shows the absolute -- not to mention dangerous -- idiocy of our Federal legislators' feverish obsession with cutting the US budget. People, please, the US budget deficit is under control and shrinking faster than the CBO originally estimated. Meanwhile, our public infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes -- another bridge collapsed a few days ago, this time in WA -- and our emergency preparedness is in dire need of being updated. This is not the time for austerity (see Krugman, "How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled.").
The maps, drawn by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, dictate the monthly premiums millions of American households pay for flood insurance. They are also designed to give homeowners and buyers the latest understanding of how likely their communities are to flood.
The government’s response to the rising need for accurate maps? It’s slashed funding for them.
Congress has cut funding for updating flood maps by more than half since 2010, from $221 million down to $100 million this year. And the president’s latest budget request would slash funding for mapping even further to $84 million — a drop of 62 percent over the last four years.
In a little-noticed written response to questions from a congressional hearing, FEMA estimated the cuts would delay its map program by three to five years. The program “will continue to make progress, but more homeowners will rely on flood hazard maps that are not current,” FEMA wrote.
The cuts have slowed efforts to update flood maps across the country.
In New England, for instance, FEMA is updating coastal maps but has put off updating many flood maps along the region’s rivers, said Kerry Bogdan, a senior engineer with FEMA’s floodplain mapping program in Boston.
“Unfortunately, without the money to do it, we’re limited and our hands are kind of tied,” she said.
Many of the flood maps in Vermont — including areas near Lake Champlain that have recently flooded — are decades out of date. “There are definitely communities that really need that data,” said Ned Swanberg, the flood hazard mapping coordinator with Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation.
House bill 1211 amends the Freedom of Information Act with the intended purpose being to provide for greater public access to information. The bill would require federal agencies to make public information disclosed under FOIA available in an electronic, publicly accessible format and require the OMB to ensure the existence and operation of a single, free website for submitting requests for records and receiving automated information about the status of a FOIA request.
- H. R. 1211 To amend section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the Freedom of Information Act), to provide for greater public access to information, and for other purposes., [pdf] Mr. ISSA (for himself and Mr. CUMMINGS), 113TH Congress 1st session, March 15, 2013.
- Bill Summary & Status, Thomas.
- Cost Estimate, H.R. 1211 FOIA Act, by Matthew Pickford, Elizabeth Cove Delisle, Paige Piper/Bach, Theresa Gullo. Congressional Budget Office (May 21, 2013).
Unfortunately, there was a technological glitch and I didn't get to finish my presentation on digital preservation at the 2013 House Legislative Data and Transparency conference. I've attached my presentation notes (PDF) in case anyone is interested. I'd be interested to hear comments.
House Administration Rejects NAPA Recommendation to Charge Public for Access to Legislative DocumentsSubmitted by jajacobs on Wed, 2013-05-22 08:11.
In a letter to the Acting Public Printer of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) the House Committee on Administration has rejected a recent recommendation by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to charge the public for access to GPO’s congressional documents. The response is to the NAPA report Rebooting the Government Printing Office: Keeping America Informed, which recommended that GPO consider charging for access to its Federal Digital System (FDsys).
- House Administration Rejects NAPA Recommendation to Charge Public for Access to Legislative Documents, Committee on House Administration (May 22, 2013).
- Letter to Vance-Cooks, [PDF] Chairman Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-Pa) (May 21, 2013)
The 2nd annual House Legislative Data and Transparency conference is now streaming live. Here's the agenda and speaker bios for the conference. Note that I'll be on a panel on digital preservation at 2pm eastern/11am pacific with Lisa LaPlant from GPO and Marc Levitt, Byrd Center for Legislative Studies. Should be fun :-)
[Editor's note 5/23/13: Several people have contacted FGI and asked for clarification. The title of our post, which we borrowed from Steven Aftergood, is a little misleading. The decision to suspend access to NASA technical reports was purely the decision of NASA administrators. GPO's news item makes it clear that GPO is only announcing that some of the purls to NASA technical reports in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) "may not link to the documents that the catalog record describes."]
Steven Aftergood reports that The Government Printing Office is blocking public access to some previously released records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. PURLs may not link to the documents that the catalog record describes.
- GPO Suspends Public Access to Some NASA Records, by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News (May 16, 2013).
The Government Printing Office is blocking public access to some previously released records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, while the records are reviewed to see if they contain export-controlled information. The move follows the controversial disabling and partial restoration of the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) (NASA Technical Report Database Partly Back Online, Secrecy News, May 9.)
- NASA Technical Reports Server Has Limited Content Availability Until Further Notice, FDLP (May 16, 2013).
Affected classes are:
NAS 1.15: 0830-D
NAS 1.26: 0830-H-14
NAS 1.2/2-2: 0830-H-26
NAS 1.60: 0830-H-15
See also our earlier comment on this issue.
The past two weeks have been active ones at the State Agency Databases Project (http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases). For a full listing of activity during the past two weeks, see http://tinyurl.com/statedbs14d. Here are some highlights:
ALASKA (Daniel Cornwall)
Alaska Geologic Data Index - From the website: “AGDI includes information about industry reports and maps, field notes, drill logs, and other unpublished geology-related data. The archived data are held and controlled by government agencies, institutions, and private companies; the index points to the physical location of the data, provides a basic description, and contains information on accessibility.” Data can be selected by clicking on a map or conducting a search. The "more options" search allows one to search by keyword, author, title, project, year range and location. The search may be limited by data source, data set type, themes or commodity.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (Susan Paterson)
Legislation Information Management System - The Council’s Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) is available for the public to view the status of a Bill or Resolution, Legislation by Council Member, Legislation by Committee, Text of a Bill or Resolution, A Council Member’s Voting Record, Contract Summary, Legislation by Co-Sponsor, A List of Legislation, Text of an Act, Legislative Meeting Agendas. You can search for legislation by keyword.
MARYLAND (Siu Min Yu)
Attorney Listing - Search for attorneys admitted to practice in the State of Maryland by name.
MISSOURI (Annie Moots)
All Contributions & Expenditures Search - Search for campaign contributions, expenditures, and committee to committee contributions multiple ways back to 2002.
WEBINAR USING PROJECT PAGE POSTED
This past week project volunteers were happy to see a presentation on Alaska agency databases and other information resources that relied heavily on our Alaska project page. The webinar is titled Databases By Alaskans and the archived version is viewable at http://library.alaska.gov/is/video/databasesbyalaskans2013.html.
Not Your Grandfather's Web Any More, a project briefing from the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) spring 2013 member meeting by David S.H. Rosenthal of LOCKSS and Kris Carpenter Negulescu of the Internet Archive, is now available on CNI's video channels:
What are the practical and theoretical archiving problems posed by the newer parts of the Web, like social media, scientific workflows and Web services? How can the challenges of these latest developments be met, if at all? This presentation reports on the results of a workshop held at the Library of Congress under the auspices of the International Internet Preservation Consortium, where practitioners of Web archiving reviewed these questions. More information about this talk, including presentation slides, is available on the CNI site.