Monday, February 20, 2012

Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports

Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a research agency of Congress and writes reports at Congress' request. These short reports (usually 10-40 pages long) cover recent topics of concern. This month brings us reports on the budget, foreign relations, military issues, and much more. Although these reports are in the public domain, there is no central database available to the public. To get a copy of a CRS report, you can request it from your senator or representative. These reports were discovered by  Secrecy News:
Interested in historical CRS reports? If you are here at the Boulder campus, check out the  Congressional database, which has reports dating back to 1916.

Not on campus but still want access to additional reports? The library has a guide linking to various additional sources of CRS reports. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eyes on the Economy

The state of the economy is one of the key issues during this election cycle.  Among the leading economic indicators are data produced by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   The Census Bureau reports on international trade, wholesale trade, retail trade, manufacturing, construction, home ownership, new residential sales and more.  Data and a calendar of future Census releases are in the Economic Briefing Room.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gathers and publishes data on the consumer price index, employment cost, producer prices, earnings and employment, productivity, and U.S. import and export prices.   The BLS site is so huge and so complex that it's probably best to start on the News Releases page.

Economic Indicators from the Census Bureau
The Conference Board also produces statistics that are widely-cited including the Leading Economic Indicators Index and the Consumer Confidence Index.  According to the Conference Board, a composite index is powerful because it is "constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner...."  Based on the latest numbers from 2011 we can be "cautiously" optimistic for the first half of 2012.

The Government Information Library has links for additional resources on its Business and Economics pages.  Check it out.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports and Releases

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) which is often called the investigative arm of Congress. This month brings us publications from GAO investigating transportation, defense, banking, and many other issues. If you would like to know more about GAO, check out the library's guide.

  • Arlington National Cemetery: Actions Taken and Steps Remaining to Address Contracting and Management Challenges, by Brian J. Lepore, director, defense capabilities and management, and Belva M. Martin, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, GAO-12-374T, January 25.
  • Department of Energy: Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy Could Improve Its Collection of Information from Applications, by Frank Rusco, Director, National Resources and Environment, before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology: Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee. GAO-12-407T, January 24.  
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