Posts tagged ‘federal’

New Government Report: Combating Gangs: Federal Agencies Have Implemented a Central American Gang Strategy, but Could Strengthen Oversight and Measurement of Efforts

Combating Gangs: Federal Agencies Have Implemented a Central American Gang Strategy, but Could Strengthen Oversight and Measurement of Efforts
by Eileen R. Larence (Paperback, 74 pages, 2010, $25)

Thousands of gang members in the U.S. belong to gangs such as MS-13 and 18th Street that are also active in Central American countries. Federal entities with responsibilities for addressing Central American gangs include the National Security Council (NSC); Depts. of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), and State; and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

This report reviewed federal efforts to combat transnational gangs. It addresses (1) the extent to which the federal government has developed a strategy to combat these gangs, and (2) how federal agencies have implemented the strategy and other programs to combat these gangs, coordinated their actions, and assessed their results.

The report examined federal agencies’ antigang plans, resources, and measures; interviewed federal, state, and local officials in seven localities representing varying population sizes and geographic regions; and interviewed U.S. and foreign officials in El Salvador and Guatemala where U.S. agencies have implemented antigang programs. The results of these interviews are not generalizable. Includes recommendations. Figures.

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April 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

New Government Report: Estimated Financial Effects of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” as Passed by the U.S. Senate on December 24, 2009

Estimated Financial Effects of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” as Passed by the U.S. Senate on December 24, 2009
by Richard S. Foster (Paperback, 37 pages, 2010, $20)

This memorandum summarizes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Office of the Actuary’s estimates of the financial and coverage effects through FY 2019 of selected provisions of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) on December 24, 2009 (HR3590, as amended).

Included are the estimated net Federal expenditures in support of expanded health insurance coverage, the associated numbers of people by insured status, the changes in Medicare and Medicaid expenditures and revenues, and the overall impact on total national health expenditures. Charts and tables.

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April 27, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Office of Collections and Distribution and Fair Funds

Securities and Exchange Commission: Information on Fair Fund Collections and Distributions
by A. Nicole Clowers (Paperback, 34 pages, 2010, $20)

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) primary mission is to protect investors and maintain the integrity of securities markets.

As a part of its responsibility to protect investors, SEC seeks to ensure that individuals who violate federal securities laws and regulations take responsibility for their misdeeds. Specifically, when individuals or firms are found to have violated securities laws, SEC may order civil monetary penalties and seek ill-gotten financial gains, or disgorgement, from the violators.

For its enforcement actions to be successful, SEC must have a collection and distribution program for both civil monetary penalties and disgorgement that functions effectively. In 2002, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which established numerous reforms to increase investor protection, including Section 308(a), the Federal Account for Investor Restitution provision, commonly known as the Fair Fund provision.

This provision allows SEC to combine civil monetary penalties and other donations to disgorgement funds for the benefit of investors who suffer losses resulting from fraud or other securities violations.

In 2007, SEC created the Office of Collections and Distribution (OCD) to manage the collection of penalties and disgorgement, including Fair Funds, and speed the process of returning funds back to harmed investors.

This report examines (1) the status of Fair Fund collections and distributions and (2) the actions that SEC has taken to address GAO’s previous recommendations regarding SEC’s OCD. Figures.

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April 26, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Reports: Multilateral Development Banks (MDB), Economic Impacts of Prison Growth, Role of the Senate in Judicial Impeachment Proceedings, Military Personnel and Freedom of Expression, Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain

New government reports this week:

1) Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress
by Rebecca M. Nelson (Paperback, 33 pages, $25)

Includes an overview of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB): Historical Background: World Bank; Regional Development Banks; Operations: Financial Assistance to Developing Countries: Financial Assistance Over Time; Recipients of MDB Financial Assistance; Funding: Donor Commitments and Contributions: Non-Concessional Lending Windows; Concessional Lending Windows; Structure and Organization: Relation to Other International Institutions; Internal Organization; Debates about Effectiveness of the MDBs: Effectiveness of Foreign Aid; Bilateral vs. Multilateral Aid. Issues for Congress: Authorizing and Appropriating U.S. Contributions to the MDBs.

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2) Economic Impacts of Prison Growth
by Suzanne M. Kirchoff (Paperback, 35 pages, $25)

The United States corrections system has gone through an unprecedented expansion during the last few decades, with a more than 400% jump in the prison population and a corresponding boom in prison construction. At the end of 2008, 2.3 million adults were in state, local, or federal custody, with another 5.1 million on probation or parole. Of that total, 9% were in federal custody. Globally, the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prisoners. Figures and tables.

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3) Role of the Senate in Judicial Impeachment Proceedings
by Susan Navarro Smelcer (Paperback, 28 pages, $20)

Contents: (I) Introduction; (II) An Overview of the Impeachment Process in the House and Senate; (III) Rules Governing Senate Impeachment Proceedings; (IV) Organizing the Senate for Trial; (V) The Role of the Presiding Officer; (VI) Use of an Impeachment Trial Committee: Organization and Responsibilities of the Committee; Procedure During the Preliminary Phase of Its Proceedings; Procedure During the Evidentiary Phase of Its Proceedings; Submitting a Report to the Full Senate; (VII) Deliberation by the Full Senate; (VIII) Judgment by the Full Senate; (IX) Length of Senate Impeachment Trials; (X) Concluding Observations; Appendix A. H. Res. 1031, Articles of Impeachment Against Judge G. Thomas Porteous; Appendix B. Chart of the Senate Impeachment Trial Process. Tables.

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4) Military Personnel and Freedom of Expression: Selected Legal Issues
by R. Chuck Mason and Cynthia Broughter (Paperback, 17 pages, $15)

This report provides an overview of the requirements of the First Amendment related to military personnel’s religious exercise, regarding the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause. It analyzes current constitutional and statutory requirements regarding religious exercise, and provides a framework for how Congress and the courts might consider future issues that arise related to servicemembers’ religious exercise.

Specifically, the report examines the limitations placed on servicemembers in uniform in the exercise of their religious beliefs. It also examines the role of military chaplains and the legal challenges associated with publicly funding religious personnel. The report analyzes efforts by Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) to address the constitutional concerns that are raised by these issues.

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5) Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain
by Belva M. Martin (Paperback, 38 pages, $25)

This letter formally transmits the briefing in response to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111-84), which required a report on rare earth materials in the defense supply chain to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House of Representatives. Contents: Introduction; Objectives, Scope, and Methodology; Background; Summary; Objective 1: Current and Projected Availability; Objective 2: Defense System Dependency; Objective 3: Department of Defense (DOD) Identified Risks and Actions; Agency Comments; Points of Contact. Figures.

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April 23, 2010 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

New Government Reports: Supreme Court Rulings on Enemy Combatants, Senate Filibusters, Threat of Bioterrorism, National Broadband Plan, All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV)

New government reports this week:

1) Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
by Jennifer K. Elsea and Michael John Garcia (Paperback, 18 pages, $15)

As part of the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the U.S. has captured and detained numerous persons believed to have been part of or associated with enemy forces. Over the years, federal courts have considered a multitude of petitions by or on behalf of suspected belligerents challenging aspects of U.S. detention policy.

Although the Supreme Court has issued definitive rulings concerning several legal issues raised in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, many others remain unresolved, with some the subject of ongoing litigation. This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance to U.S. detention policy. The report also addresses a few notable decisions by federal district courts that are the subject of ongoing habeas litigation.

Finally, it describes a few federal court rulings in criminal cases involving persons who were either involved in the 9/11 attacks or were captured abroad by U.S. forces during operations against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated entities.not convicted.

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2) Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate
by Richard Beth, Valerie Heitshusen and Betsy Palmer (Paperback, 22 pages, $15)

Contents: (I) The Right to Debate: The Right to Recognition; The Right to Speak at Length and the Two-Speech Rule; The Motion to Table; (II) The Conduct of Filibusters: Germaneness of Debate; Yielding the Floor and Yielding for Questions; Quorums and Quorum Calls; Roll Call Voting; Scheduling Filibusters; (III) Invoking Cloture: Matters on Which Cloture May be Invoked: Timing of Cloture Motions; (IV) Effects of Invoking Cloture; (V) The Impact of Filibusters. Tables.

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3) Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress
by Frank Gottron and Dana A. Shea (Paperback, 13 pages, $10)

The federal government’s efforts to address the perceived threat of bioterrorism span many different agencies and are organized and directed through several strategy and planning documents. These agencies have implemented numerous disparate actions and programs in their statutory areas to address the threat.

Despite these efforts, many experts, including congressional commissions, non-governmental organizations, and industry representatives, have highlighted weaknesses or flaws in the federal government’s biodefense activities.

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4) Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan
by FCC Staff (Paperback, 360 pages, $45)

Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century. The number of Americans who have broadband at home has grown from 8 million in 2000 to nearly 200 million last year.

But approximately 100 million Americans do not have broadband at home. Broadband-enabled health IT can improve care and lower costs by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades, yet the U.S. is behind many advanced countries in the adoption of such technology.

In early 2009, Congress directed the Fed. Communications Comm. (FCC) to develop a National Broadband Plan to ensure that every American has “access to broadband capability.”

To fulfill Congress’s mandate, this plan seeks to ensure that the entire broadband ecosystem — networks, devices, content and applications— is healthy. It makes recommendations to the FCC, the Executive Branch, Congress and state and local governments. Figures.

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5) All-Terrain Vehicles: How They Are Used, Crashes, and Sales of Adult-Sized Vehicles for Children’s Use
by Susan Fleming (Paperback, 68 pages, $20)

All-terrain vehicles (ATV), which are off-road motorized vehicles, have become increasingly popular. However, ATV fatalities and injuries have increased over the last decade and are a matter of concern to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission).

Many ATV crashes involving children occur when they are riding adult-sized ATVs. Manufacturers and distributors have agreed to use their best efforts to prevent their dealers from selling adult-sized ATVs for use by children under the age of 16.

This report examines (1) how ATVs are used and the advantages of their use and (2) the nature, extent, and costs of ATV crashes. The report reviewed ATV use and crash data and discussed these issues with Commission staff, industry officials, user groups, and safety stakeholders. Includes recommendations. Figures.

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April 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

New Government Reports: Russia, Israel-Palestine, Debt, Iraq and Oil, Federal Research

Every week we highlight five new government reports. Here are this week’s:

1) Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
Edited by Jim Nichol (Paperback, 39 pages)

Post-Soviet Russia and significance for the United States. Includes political and human rights development in the Putin-Medvedev era, political pluralism, human rights problems, and insurgency in the North Caucasus. Defense reforms regarding arms control and missile defense. Trade, economic and energy issues, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

2) Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy
by Carol Migdalovitz (Paperback, 55 pages)

Recent developments between Israel and Palestine, Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon. Also includes the United States’ role from 1991-2008, including the Obama Administration, the Madrid Conference, Bilateral talks and development between Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

3) Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases

Includes a brief history of the federal debt limit: origins of the federal debt limit during World War II, the debt ceiling in the last decade and the economic slowdown and federal debt. Charts and tables.

4) Iraq: Oil and Gas Legislation, Revenue Sharing, and U.S. Policy
by Christopher M. Blanchard (Paperback, 29 pages)

Draft of hydrocarbon legislation, interim arrangements and contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government and Ministry of Oil. Also includes the Iraqi Perspectives on Iraq’s Constitution, federal and regional authority, revenue sharing, foreign participation. Plus legislation by the United States Congress.

5) Federal Research and Development Funding: Fiscal Year 2011

Federal research and development (R&D) funding perspectives: Agency Perspective; Character of Work, Facilities, and Equipment Perspective; Combined Perspective. Includes the National Nanotechnology Initiative; Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program and the U.S. Global Change Research Program. More from the DoD; DHS; NIH; DoE; NSF; Department of Commerce: NIST, NOAA, NASA; USDA; Department of the Interior; EPA and DoT. Charts and tables.



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April 3, 2010 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

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