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Category Archives: Government Documents

Report to Congress: DATA Act Pilot Program

Report to Congress: DATA Act Pilot Program, Office of Management and Budget, August 10, 2017.

“In May 2017, the Administration enabled a new view of Federal spending that for the first time, linked Federal account information to awards. This represents the successful implementation of the centerpiece of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) (Pub.L. No. 113-101). Reaching this milestone was the culmination of three years of effort by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and partner Federal agencies to transform the manner in which Federal financial information is provided to the public. The effort began with the standardization of key data elements shared across multiple functions, continued with the development of new linkages across government management processes, and resulted in an innovative new public display. The authors of the DATA Act believed that the increased interoperability of financial data systems could dramatically improve the efficiency of the Federal government, and significantly reduce the financial reporting burden of grantees, contractors and other parties that partner with the government…”

EFF – Congress is At Home, So Pay Your Members a Visit

EFF: “It’s August. In the United States, that means members of Congress will be swinging back home to their home districts to check in with their state-side staffers, hit some fundraisers, and maybe host a few public events. You can meet them. Constituents can request meetings with members of Congress while they are home this… Continue Reading

Privacy and Court Records: Online Access and the Loss of Practical Obscurity

Ardia, David S., Privacy and Court Records: Online Access and the Loss of Practical Obscurity (August 4, 2017). University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2017, No. 5, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3013704 “Court records present a conundrum for privacy advocates. Public access to the courts has long been a fundamental tenant of American democracy, helping… Continue Reading

Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

“The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University today released a comprehensive analysis of online media and social media coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign. The report, “Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election,” documents how highly partisan right-wing sources helped shape mainstream press coverage and seize… Continue Reading

Heritage Foundation reports plan replacement of fed experts with AI

Derek B. Johnson: “The Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank, is calling for increased reliance on automation and the potential creation of a “contractor cloud” offering streamlined access to private sector labor as part of its broader strategy for reorganizing the federal government. Seeking to take advantage of a united Republican government and a… Continue Reading

Animal Welfare: Information on the U.S. Horse Population

Animal Welfare: Information on the U.S. Horse Population, GAO-17-680R: Published: Jul 17, 2017. Publicly Released: Aug 16, 2017. “There could be as many as 9.2 million domesticated equines—including horses, burros, and mules—in the United States, and at least 200,000 free-roaming equines on federal and tribal lands. Managing equine populations poses several challenges, including Affording care… Continue Reading

CBO – The Effects of Terminating Payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions

“Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurers receive federal payments to cover costs incurred when offering plans with reduced deductibles, copayments, and other cost sharing to some people who purchase plans through the ACA marketplaces. If those payments for cost-sharing reductions stopped after the end of this year, participating insurers would raise premiums to cover… Continue Reading

NIST – Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations

Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations, August 2017. Draft NIST Special Publication 800-53 Revision 5. This publication provides a catalog of security and privacy controls for federal information systems and organizations to protect organizational operations and assets, individuals, other organizations, and the Nation from a diverse set of threats including hostile attacks,… Continue Reading

Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report

United States International Trade Commission – Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report, May 2017 “Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report focuses on U.S. exports and imports of professional services, particularly accounting and auditing, architecture and engineering, legal, and management consulting services. In 2015, the United States exported $139.7 billion… Continue Reading

GAO reports continuing security controls for protecting confidentiality of taxpayer data

Information Security: Control Deficiencies Continue to Limit IRS’s Effectiveness in Protecting Sensitive Financial and Taxpayer Data, GAO-17-395: Published: Jul 26, 2017. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2017. “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made progress in addressing previously reported control deficiencies; however, continuing and newly identified control deficiencies limited the effectiveness of security controls for protecting the… Continue Reading

Ozone treaty taking a bite out of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions

NOAA – “The Montreal Protocol, the international treaty adopted to restore Earth’s protective ozone layer, has significantly reduced emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals from the United States. A new study by NOAA and CIRES scientists shows the 30-year old treaty has also significantly reduced climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. That’s because the ozone-depleting substances… Continue Reading

Nuclear Threat Initiative Report on North Korea

“Nuclear Threat Initiative is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to reduce global threats from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.” Last Updated: July, 2017 [Except as follows with the full report here] “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has an active nuclear weapons program and tested nuclear explosive devices in 2006, 2009, 2013, and twice… Continue Reading