According to Scott A. Hodes, bringing a FOIA case often results in a more timely release of information, more information being released then the agency would have released if it wasn’t in litigation and more information going to the requester about agency decisions and withheld documents.
Various federal government agencies make canned “state profiles,” tables of data for a specific state, available on their sites. These tables are quick and easy, and Peggy Garvin demonstrates how to find them.
Paul Jenks offers insights into the procedures by which Congressional earmarks are used to inject opinions and priorities, great and small, into the governing process.
George Butterfield provides an overview of the new CBO website that hosts a wealth of government documents on health related issues.
For librarians and educators planning programs for Constitution Day, Peggy Garvin’s column links to a variety of web resources for online versions of the United States Constitution and related teaching materials.
Peggy Garvin reviews the strengths, weaknesses and range of source material offered by several free online federal contracts and awards information databases.
Peggy Garvin explores the evolution in the features and services provided by GovTrack, the free, public, independent web service with information on federal legislation, congressional documents, legislators, and votes. She also profiles a site with complementary content on lobbying activity and campaign contributions.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has for the first time released a massive two-part compilation of Comptroller General decisions and opinions that are included in two Excel spreadsheets. The first spreadsheet contains decisions from 1990 through present The second spreadsheet contains decisions prior to 1990. Michael Ravnitzky reports the details.
Sabrina I. Pacifici has revised and updated her guide to a core group of reliable, content rich resources for researchers. Highlighted topics include: a new search engine for legal blogs, one for free federal district court filings, and one for Wikipedia; an updated legal research guide from M.G. Gallagher Law Library, government sponsored e-waste and recycling services, a filmology of librarians in the movies, the 10 best corporate intranets of 2007, the launch of the Anglo-American Legal Tradition Project Website, and much more.
According to Paul Jenks’ commentary, the role Congress plays in foreign affairs requires some tempering of any enthusiasm as well. The President still holds the primary responsibility for foreign relations and trade policy.